Back in 2008, Mozilla announced the formation of Mozilla Messaging.
It was supposed to be an effort that was going to propel Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client to the same level of adoption and interest as Firefox.
Three years later, Thunderbird and Mozilla Messaging have not lived up to the initial hope of Mozilla Messaging. I don’t think that Mozilla Messaging ever achieved the market adoption they hoped for and I don’t think they ever figured out a revenue model either.
So now, Mozilla is merging Mozilla Messaging with the Mozilla Labs effort, which has been a wonderful incubator for marvelous ideas like Weave (now Sync), Tab Candy (now Firefox Panorama) and other solid projects (including Prism which is now part of Chromeless).
“Mozilla has been exploring new ways to put people in control of
their online communications and social interactions for a couple of
years now,” Mozilla’s Chief Lizard Wrangler Mitchell Baker blogged. ” We currently have two teams. One is the team at Mozilla
Messaging, which produces Thunderbird and messaging innovations such as Raindrop and F1. The second team is within Mozilla Labs, and has been working on identity, contacts and related topics. We intend to combine the two teams to increase our effectiveness.
Practically this means we’ll be integrating Mozilla Messaging with
I’m not surprised that Mozilla has given up on making a business out of Messaging as a standalone.
Though Thunderbird is a decent application, the reality of the modern web is that messaging is a more complex and in some cases commoditized business.