You may have heard that despite reports earlier in the week,after all. But unless Microsoft pull off something truly remarkable, I’m not going to switch back from my beloved Mozilla Thunderbird. And what’s more, I’ve given you a list of reasons why I’m not switching, in no particular order :).
- Themes – bored of the normal look? Change it. 10 themes are already available and it’s only at version 0.1
- Extensions – add on extra features without using shell hooks (like OEQuoteFix uses).
- Junk Mail filtering – considering OE is the world’s most popular mail client, I’m suprised this isn’t already in. But it isn’t. Thunderbird uses Bayesian filtering which is one of the best forms.
- Better message filtering – much more powerful than the rather basic filtering in OE, and easier to use too! Great for adding a filter to mark out mail that SpamAssasin thinks is spam, since you can specify custom header matching.
- Not full of security bugs – I can open an email infected with Klez and know that I won’t be automatically infected. And not a security patch in sight.
- HTML Sanitization – you can either view HTML messages in their full glory, or with things like images and CSS removed so that your address cannot be tracked as easily. You can even view them all as plain text.
- Sanitization for Junk Mail – if you like pretty messages but still want privacy, you can enable sanitization only for emails marked as junk.
- Cross platform – you probably could run OE in Wine on Linux, but this baby runs natively on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. And it’s already being ported to all manner of other OSes.
- Text Zooming – it’s been nearly a year since I used OE properly so I can’t remember if it does this, but if IE is anything to go by, even if it did it wouldn’t do it properly. You can make text larger or smaller in all emails, whether they use CSS or not. Great if your aunty sends everything in 64pt fonts.
- Automatic folder compression – those DBX files can get awfully big in OE, even if you delete all your mail. Thunderbird can compress them automatically, rather than waiting for you to do it yourself.
- Three-pane vertical layout – Outlook has this, but OE does not. But Thunderbird does 🙂
- Customisable start page – Yes, you can change it in OE but only by going into the registry or using X-Setup (a blatent plug because I wrote that plug-in myself :)). Thunderbird has it on the opening tab of the Options dialog.
- On-screen alerts – You can have it pop up a message near the system tray when mail arrives. Handy that.
- Message labelling – Have important emails marked as red, or personal ones marked in green, although naturally you can change the colours easily. And you can set mail filters to do this automatically.
- Graphical emoticons – MSN Messenger has this, why doesn’t OE?
- Spellchecker – yes, OE has it but in some cases it’s buggy. And you can also change the language without buying a new OS.
- Doesn’t get hijacked – one of my ISPs decided to add an ‘Infobar’ to the bottom of OE once, taking of valuable screen real estate. And then there was the Hotmail advertising bar, and the ‘Outlook Express provided by…’. Yes, again X-Setup can fix those but how many users in the world have X-Setup? Probably about 0.1% or something.
I’ve probably missed many others, but that’s 18 features that I personally find useful that OE doesn’t have. Are you convinced yet? 😉
Added: meanwhile,, complete with screenshots and very simple instructions. Check it out! 🙂