Mozilla Updates Thunderbird E-Mail Client

The latest version, in a technology preview, focuses on easing Windows installation, stopping more spam and improving security. As with its standalone Firefox browser, the foundation aims for a full version release later this year.

The Mozilla Foundation on Monday updated its standalone e-mail application, bringing it a step closer to a full release.

The open-source software developer announced the availability of its Thunderbird Version 0.6, a release that remains a technology preview but adds a host of enhancements for easing installation, stopping spam and improving security.

The release of Thunderbird 0.6, available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, follows Mozillas renaming and updating in February of its standalone Web browser, now called Firefox. Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox are part of the Mountain View, Calif., foundations plans to focus more development attention on discrete applications, rather than its namesake browser application suite.

Mozilla, which last year became independent of America Online Inc.s Netscape subsidiary, is pushing to launch full, non-preview releases of both Firefox and Thunderbird later this year.

The Mozilla suite itself also is due for an update. The foundation has been working on Mozilla 1.7, which last month went out as a Release Candidate 1 and is likely to be fully released later this month.

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about the current application suite release, Mozilla 1.6.

The update to Thunderbird features a new installer for Windows, improvements to its spam filters and a visual theme for the Mac OS X to better match that operating systems look and feel.

With Version 0.6, the e-mail client adds improved support for IMAP protocol extensions and secure password authentication using a cross-platform implementation of the NTLM (NT LAN Manager) authentication mechanism.

Thunderbird 0.6. is available as a free download from the Mozilla Web site or in a CD edition for $5.95.

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