Well, you’re not alone. According to Thunderbird Project Design Manager Alessandro Castellani, this question has been on the minds of many Thunderbird users. And it’s not just the outdated look that’s got folks talking; there are also murmurs about whether Thunderbird is on its last legs.
Castellani has come forth with a new blog post that sheds some light on what’s in store for Thunderbird’s future. The 2023 release, codenamed Supernova, will be a complete overhaul of the user interface, designed to be “simple and clean” for new users and “flexible and adaptable” for veteran users who prefer the current look.
In addition to the new UI, Supernova will bring several other changes, such as a redesigned calendar and support for Firefox Sync.
Thunderbird’s development and relationship with Mozilla
The development history of Thunderbird and its relationship with Mozilla is a complicated story, so let’s summarize it. Mozilla once maintained Thunderbird, but over the years, the responsibility for its development has shifted to a community-driven model. This has allowed Thunderbird to stay afloat, but it has also led to a lack of consistency in the user interface and long periods of inactivity. That’s also part of the reason why it looks so dated.
Today, Thunderbird is back in the hands of Mozilla through a subsidiary called MZLA Technologies. This group of paid employees is working hard to get Thunderbird back on track, including shedding its technical debt, expanding its user base with a new Android client, and redesigning the user interface.
Thunderbird still evolves and improving. The Supernova release, due in July, is just the start. If you’re a Thunderbird user or simply curious about the future of the app, check out Castellani’s blog post for more details. It offers insight and up-to-date news on the developments of this classic email client.