Giving Microsoft The Bird
Posted on September 3, 2007 by Chris Duke
I used to be the biggest evangelist of Microsoft. All other software was inferior. I’m sure that had something to do with my history in Redmond. Slowly over the years I’ve seen the light. A few months ago, after much frustrations with IE7 I made FireFox my default browser. I’m so happy I did, too. And today I gave Microsoft “the bird” by switching to Mozilla Thunderbird.
I have been a huge Outlook user since the early days of Outlook Express. I’ve stuck with it because there really wasn’t anything better out there. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of advice from friends & family to check out Thunderbird. After upgrading to the latest version of Outlook and having major performance issues with it (plus the UI overhaul made me sick), I got fed up after a week or so. Today was the worst, so I installed Thunderbird, imported all my Outlook contacts and email, set up my five mail accounts, then added a ton of extensions to make Thunderbird rock like Outlook always wanted to.
The most immediate thing I’ve noticed is speed. It loads immediately, and responds immediately. And that is with all of my Outlook data in-tact! After I migrated my data I went to town with the extensions. I’ve listed them all below, as I found some really cool ones. My favorites are the Lightning/GCal add-on and the QuickFolders. My only loss was Exchange support for work. Not a huge deal, as it isn’t a requirement to use Exchange, and the POP/SMTP support works just fine.
I did also try out the Outlook theme, which makes Thunderbird look very much like the previous version of Outlook. In the end, I decided to stick with the Thunderbird theme out of respect for the bird.
My Thunderbird Extensions
- DictionarySearch 2.0.2
Looks up selected word in an online dictionary
- Extension List Dumper 1.8.0
Dumps a list of the installed extensions.
- Get all mails 1.0.3
This extension provides a button for the mail toolbar to get mails for all accounts.
- Lightning 0.3.1
An integrated calendar for Thunderbird (build 2007021403)
- Mark All Read Button 0.2
Adds a toolbar button to mark all emails as read.
- MR Tech Toggle Preview Pane 188.8.131.52
Adds a Toggle Preview Pane button to the toolbar.
- Provider for Google Calendar 0.1.1
Allows bidirectional access to Google Calendar
- Purge! 0.4
- QuickFolders 0.4
Bookmark mail folders in Thunderbird
- Select Inbox 1.3
Automatically select the Inbox folder at startup.
- Talkback 184.108.40.206
Sends information about program crashes to Mozilla.
- Update Notifier 0.1.5.3
Notifies you when updates are available for your extensions and themes.
I found a great list of Thunderbird themes and extensions at mashable.com. Check it out!