The Mozilla team recently announced that they will not invest resources in innovation on Thunderbird. The timing was surprising as Ubuntu just switched to Thunderbird for LTS release. Many LTS users were concerned about the status of Thunderbird in Ubuntu.
Jono Bacon, the community manager of Ubuntu, has tried to address such concerns. He has assured Ubuntu users that the company with support Thunderbird for 5 years (the support cycle or an LTS release).
Thunderbird will be supported with security updates for the next five years as promised with the current 12.04LTS.
Jono also disagrees with the stand of Mozilla on Thunderbird that there is no more innovation possible.
In terms of the relevance of email on the desktop, speaking personally, I don’t consider Thunderbird to have solved all email challenges. There are many opportunities for improving, extending and refining Thunderbird, and I think the app could see some great work in terms of design, desktop integration, and email within the context of a social Internet.
That's true given that we are communicating more than ever before Thunderbird can be at the center stage of all this communication. Thunderbird chat could have been a great tool to enable users to chat, check email, connect to their social networks from the same place.
Jono says, "I really hope the Thunderbird community focuses on the wealth of opportunity that still lies at Thunderbird’s feet, and continues to grow and extend their community. While I am busy with my own things here, I am more than happy to provide any input or guidance on Thunderbird community growth and ideas if needed."
Jono invites developers to contribute to the Thunderbird community and let it grow.