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22 July 2009, 11:56

Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3 Beta 3

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Thunderbird.png Almost five months since the second beta of Thunderbird 3.0 was made available, the Mozilla developers have released the third beta for version 3.0 of their popular open source email and news client. Thunderbird 3 Beta 3 is based on the Gecko platform and includes over 500 changes from the previous beta 2 release. According to Mozilla, many of the changes have set the groundwork for future changes.

The beta 3 release now includes support for tabbed email messages, so that when a users double clicks, or hits enter on an email message, it will open in a new tab window in Thunderbird. A new message view summary has been added that provides a summary view to users who select multiple messages and column headings can now be set on a per-folder basis. Users can now use a Smart Folders mode to combine special mailboxes, such as the Inbox, from multiple accounts.

Gmail integration has also been improved, adding support for Gmail's special folders such as Sent and Trash. The third beta includes an early test version of a new Mail Account Set-up Wizard "to make configuring email accounts in Thunderbird easier and less error-prone". According to a blog post by developer Dan Mosedale, the release includes several improvements for extension developers and a fourth beta is already being worked on.

More details about the release can be found in the release notes and change log. As with all beta releases, Thunderbird 3 Beta 3 is intended for testing and not for production use. Thunderbird 3 Beta 3 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in over 40 languages. The developers also note that Thunderbird 3 no longer supports Windows 95, 98, ME, NT and Mac OS X versions prior to 10.4. A final release date for Thunderbird 3, however, has yet to be announced.

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