For some people, offline email is still the way to go. Be it due to habit, mistrust of cloud services, or sensible prudence about backups, downloading email to a client still factors large in their routine. Mozilla Thunderbird is a key part of such setups thanks to its hefty set of features and zero-cost price tag. But Thunderbird has long been criticized for its outdated interface, and not without cause—it still looks like it’s stuck in 2003.
That will finally change in July, with the upcoming launch of version 115. As detailed in a Thunderbird blog post, this year’s update of the client will sport a “simple and clean” user interface friendlier to new adopters. Customization options will also be available, allowing the client to retain a familiar vibe for long-time users. (Though given the repeated references the team makes in the blog post to the questions they’ve received about the UI, most Thunderbird veterans will welcome the refreshed look.)
In addition to revamping the software’s user interface and experience, the Thunderbird team also plans to overhaul its code to make it leaner, rewrite old code, and otherwise clean up and modernize the code base. And, like Firefox, Thunderbird will move to monthly release schedules.
You can read more about the developers’ reasons for rebuilding Thunderbird (and why it’s taken so long) in the blog post, which gives a wide overview of the email client’s long history—including seminal moments that affected the software’s direction, like the 2012 move to community-driven development. But the short of it is, long-time Thunderbird fans are finally getting what they asked for.