Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client may evoke fond memories for those who were sending many emails across multiple account in the Noughties, but it has started to look and feel old. With rivals like Microsoft Outlook and Google Gmail offering something more modern and function, Mozilla has decided to get with the times.

The company has announced a roadmap of updates for Thunderbird throughout 2019. Speaking in a blog post, Mozilla’s Ryan Sipes said the company was striving to improve the aesthetic and functionality of the app.

It is worth noting, while Thunderbird has fallen behind rivals, the differences in operation are clear. Whereas Microsoft and Google can throw resources and personnel at their clients, Mozilla is more limited. Indeed, Sipes says the team is growing, but confirmed how limited the organization is:

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“Our team grew considerably in 2018, to eight staff working full-time on Thunderbird. At the beginning of this year we are going to be adding as many as six new members to our team.”

Still, he says the team is focused on making a “more beautiful and useable” app. Among the changes coming to Thunderbird are support for the Windows 10 Action Center. This is a much-needed upgrade that will allow Windows to notify Thunderbird users of app events.

Gmail and Security

It’s not just Windows support, as Mozilla is working on improving Gmail support in the client. Among the improvements will be labels and other Google-centric features. Finally, Mozilla is seeking to make a more secure experience:

“The UX/UI around encryption and settings will get an overhaul in the coming year, whether or not all this work makes it into the next release is an open question – but as we grow our team this will be a focus,” Sipes said, ” It is our hope to make encrypting Email and ensuring your private communication easier in upcoming releases, we’ve even hired an engineer who will be focused primarily on security and privacy.”

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