Ubuntu 11.10: Thunderbird is go
The final decision has now been made about the default email client for Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot: it will be Thunderbird. The confirmation came from Mike Conley, who has been leading the integration of Thunderbird with the Unity environment.
In May, Evolution was still on the cards to be the default client unless a number of development work items were completed on Thunderbird. By the time Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 arrived in July, Thunderbird had provisionally replaced Evolution. Canonical had decided to move forward with Thunderbird as the developers had completed integration with elements such as Unity's "global" menu scheme, the launcher and the messaging menu. But Canonical had left itself a "plan b" which would allow it to move back to Evolution at a moment's notice.
Conley says that "plan b" is no longer in play and Canonical are now "fully on board" and that "come early October, Thunderbird will be shipped by default! Woop!". He also thanked Chris Coulson and Andreas Nilsson for their work in making Thunderbird a first class default citizen of the Ubuntu desktop.