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16 March 2011, 09:47

Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.3 Alpha 3

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Thunderbird Logo The Mozilla development team has announced the release of a third alpha for version 3.3 of Thunderbird, code named "Miramar". Like Firefox 4, which is also currently in development, the early version of Mozilla's next generation open source email client is based on version 2.0 of the Gecko rendering platform – the Thunderbird 3.1 and Firefox 3.6 branch use Gecko 1.9.2 – and features a new Add-ons Manager and extension management API.

Zoom Thunderbird 3.3 Alpha 3 on Mac OS X.
Aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, Thunderbird 3.3 Alpha 3 now allows tabs to be reordered and dragged to different windows and features a newly revised account creation wizard, making initial setup even easier. The developers also note that plug-ins can now be loaded in RSS feeds by default. Other changes include platform fixes for more than 100 bugs, several of which are rated as "critical" by Mozilla. Compared to Thunderbird 3.1, version 3.3 will include improvements to the Windows 7 and Vista user interface, as well as support for 32- and 64-bit Mac OS X systems – however, it will no longer support PowerPC (PPC).

As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Additionally, installing Miramar Alpha 2 may overwrite existing installations of Thunderbird on Linux systems; Thunderbird will install to different locations on Windows and Mac OS X. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

More details about the development preview, including a list of known issues, can be found in the release notes. Thunderbird 3.3 Alpha 3 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's early releases page in English (US) only. The developers note that future Beta and Release Candidate versions will be made available in more languages.

Thunderbird binaries are released under the Mozilla Thunderbird End-User Software License Agreement and the source code is released under disjunctive tri-licensing that includes the Mozilla Public Licence, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1. The latest stable release is Thunderbird 3.1.9 from early March.

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