From the ‘Threaded Conversations’ files:
Love it, or hate, Gmail introduced millions of people to the concept of fully threaded email conversations.
It’s a concept that Mozilla is now delivering to its Thunderbird email users by way of a the Conversations add-on.
Conversations this week got it’s first stable release, tagged officially as version 2.0 (now up to version 2.0.4 for some incremental bug fixes). The real push with this add-on is that it is fully integrated with the new Thunderbird 5.0 release which came out last week.
Thunderbird itself could be nearing a tipping point for adoption, so the new Conversations release is a great addition. Ubuntu 11.10, is set to adopt Thunderbird as its default email client (yeaah another GNOME snub) which could bring millions more users to Mozilla’s open source email system.
I suspect that at some point Conversations will be considered for inclusion as part of the core Thunderbird release. Currently it is a Mozilla Labs effort, which hasn’t been terribly active on the email side in my view. Mozilla Labs has however been a great incubator for tech that landed in Firefox 4 (Tab Candy! JetPack and more..).
Gmail is the tech that for better or for worse, many users compare every email service against. Thunderbird with Conversations, isn’t Gmail, but it does provide users with a similar approach, on an open source platform.