The Mozilla Foundation’s recent announcement that it is effectively ending further development of the Thunderbird email client raises concerns about the long-term viability of the popular email platform.
Pat Brennan, who leads the Mail/Calendar Team at DoIT, responded on behalf of his team:
The announcement that Thunderbird's development is ending is significant because Thunderbird has long been a popular email client for WiscMail customers. As an email client, the current version of Thunderbird will probably work well enough to get the campus through the transition to Microsoft Office 365. A larger concern is the list of problems we've identified with the Lightning calendar connector. In the short term, it is unlikely that those issues will be resolved. In the longer term, there is a chance that Thunderbird will be adopted by a new community of developers. Until more information is available, those who find the Thunderbird/Lightning combination suitable should continue using it. Those looking for an alternative to Thunderbird/Lightning have several choices. They may want to look at the suitability of the WiscMail/WiscCal web interface, other supported desktop clients, or the ShareURL service. DoIT offers a variety of free training options for those interested in learning to use the new WiscCal web interface, and the DoIT Help Desk is available to provide assistance.