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29 August 2012, 10:41

Thunderbird 15 activates instant messaging

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Zoom Users can now instant message other users in real time over chat networks such as Facebook, Google Talk, IRC and XMPP
Source: Mozilla
Following the arrival of Firefox 15, the Mozilla Project has released version 15 of its open source Thunderbird email client, which includes security improvements, some new features, instant messaging support and an updated user interface. The release is the second since Mozilla announced plans to halt new development on Thunderbird by the time Thunderbird 17 was released. Features that have been in development at Mozilla are being included in the Thunderbird releases running up to Thunderbird 17.

For example, the instant messaging feature has been in development for some time. The developers had previously added support for instant messaging in Thunderbird 13 and 14, but had decided to disable it by default while they were polishing the implementation. Instant messaging conversations can be displayed in their own tabs within the standard Thunderbird user interface. Supported chat networks currently include Facebook Chat, Google Talk, IRC, Twitter and XMPP/Jabber. Instructions for configuring and using chat are provided.

Thunderbird 15 is the first version of the email client to have full support for the "Do Not Track" (DNT) header. The DNT privacy setting is a developing standard being used to tell web sites that the browser user wishes to opt-out of online behavioural tracking; Firefox has had support for DNT since version 4.0.

Zoom Thunderbird 15 has a new menu and toolbar design
The developers have also implemented a new menu and toolbar design based on the Australis theme in Thunderbird 15 to make it "look and feel" more like upcoming versions of Firefox. Thunderbird's "Filelink" feature for sending large attachments – first introduced in version 13.0 – has also been updated: in addition to YouSendIt, Filelink now supports Canonical's Ubuntu One (U1) cloud storage platform.

The latest update also addresses a total of 12 security vulnerabilities. Of these, five are rated as critical by Mozilla and could be exploited by a remote attacker to, for example, execute arbitrary code on a victim's system.

Further information about the update can be found on the what's new page and in the release notes. Thunderbird 15 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux; existing users can use the built-in update tool or wait for the automatic update notification. Like Firefox, source code and binaries for Thunderbird are released under the Mozilla Public Licence 2.0.

Thunderbird 15 is also available from The H's Downloads section.

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