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  1. #1
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    Readers recommend Thunderbird alternatives




    LANGALIST PLUS

    Readers recommend Thunderbird alternatives


    By Fred Langa

    A recent mention that Mozilla is winding down active development of its immensely popular e-mail client, Thunderbird, generated a slew of reader mail. Fortunately, many of those letters offered excellent suggestions for alternative applications.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/readers-recommend-thunderbird-alternatives/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Question Thunderbird alternatives...

    I am somewhat surprised that Incredimail wasn't mentioned. It has been around for a while and is still being developed/supported. I tried it once years ago and liked it but haven't ever read any reviews about it concerning security, etc. It's almost as if no-one knows about it. Maybe it's just too cute. Does anyone else know about how it compares to Thunderbird, Outlook, etc. for security? I'd be interested to know.
    Al

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    I run TB portable. Are any of the recommended alternatives avaialable as portable apps? I looked at PostBox and it sort of does portable, so long as your drive letter doesn't change (which, of course, it will).
    Cheers

    KeithC

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    Great Replacement for Thunderbird

    I know all you doubting Thomas' out there will get a chuckle out of this, but I'm really not kidding! If you're running Windows 7 (or perhaps even 8) down the road,and would like to have Windows Mail on your machine (NOT to be confused with Windows Live Mail), there's a wonderful little company out there who will 'activate' it for you, because it's actually there! They also make all kinds of gorgeous stationery and loads of icons to make your e-mails really stand out in a crowd! Their name is Cloudeight and they'll perform the work for you while you watch! Their price is about $40. and you won't find a more honest company on the planet. If you're interested, this is a link to their site - http://thundercloud.net/direct/winmail.htm. Since Windows Mail was a remake of Outlook Express, you should enjoy the trip back to yesteryear!

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    There has been a procedure listed in these forums on how to bring back Win Mail to both Win 7 and Win 8 for free. This is one such thread. There are others.
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    Postbox support?

    After reading the article, I took a quick look at Postbox. It crashed apparently after importing my Thunderbird profile. But it did not import the message filters, and I could not find anything on their support site about importing or converting Thunderbird message filters to Postbox.

    But my biggest disappointment was the lack of any kind of support forum.

    Their support policy seems to be one of "don't call us." I saw no way even to submit bug reports. From their support page "Please note that we do not offer one-on-one support offerings to new users at this time. All support efforts are currently dedicated towards providing better documentation and self-help solutions so that our users can more quickly find the answers they need."

  7. #7
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    What about a program that supports Usenet newsgroups in addition to handling standard e-mail?

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    As Fred's article was aimed at finding a replacement for Thunderbird, I do wish each "recommendation" for a replacement indicated whether the Thunderbird mail folders can be directly imported or not. Never counted, but I likely have thousands of messages archived in Thunderbird folders and any replacement better be able to import and access those folders. BTW, happy that Fred made it clear that Thunderbird isn't becoming *unsupported*, only that new features won't be added. It already has all the features I care about, so as long as security updates are made (which they will be according to Mozilla), I will be sticking with T-Bird.

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    I too took a look at Postbox and am really disappointed in the lack of support. I currently use Pocomail and have a large number of accounts (> 50) with a lot of filters and folders shared across all the accounts. I have been unable to get Postbox to be able to share the folders between multiple accounts, and it also looks like the filters are designed to be per account, so no sharing there either. Would really be interested in finding an alternative to Pocomail that allows this criteria.

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    Ease of porting to a new program

    Hi Fred. I know you don't reply to these threads, but when you next address this issue, please talk about which programs have the easiest path to port Thunderbird folders. I have literally thousands of saved e-mails that I need to be able to port easily AND reliably to whatever new program I work with. If there is not a straightforward, reliable migration path, I don't care how good the new program is, I'll avoid using it.

    Fortunately, I won't be migrating to another e-mail client anytime soon, so hopefully good migration paths will be developed by the time I have to move if they don't exist now.

    Randy

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    I was all ready to jump onto Postbox, but the total lack of support is a real turn-off.

    I found it hilarious that so many people recommended Pegasus. I switched FROM Pegasus to Thunderbird over 4 years ago, due to Pegasus' lack of feature improvements and bugfixes. I'd been using Pegasus for 10 years and I didn't want to move, but I finally did. In late 2008 the most recent update was over 2 years old, and among many other annoyances it didn't handle formatted HTML mail well at ALL. There were other problems I don't remember, but I very clearly remember thinking I'd finally entered the 21st century when I switched to Tbird.

    There have been updates in the last 4 years, and apparently they finally added decent formatted-email capabilities at some point. But I wouldn't go back.

  12. #12
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithC View Post
    I run TB portable. Are any of the recommended alternatives avaialable as portable apps? I looked at PostBox and it sort of does portable, so long as your drive letter doesn't change (which, of course, it will).
    Pegasus Mail, configured properly, is fully portable. I have mine on a USB stick and on my three OS installations (Win XP, Win 7 and Win 8). The main downside is converting Thunderbird's no-extensions mailboxes into the Pegasus format -- that can cause issues during the conversion, but not thereafter. If this or any other issue arises, Pegasus Mail has an active support forum.

    @garyfritz -- Take another look at Pegasus Mail. They are actively developing and fixing the program again now. It is headed towards a new version for full Windows 8 compatibility. I can already use Pegasus Mail in its portable form with Windows 8 Release Preview. And its features generally have not proven buggy or too limited for my use with GMail, Yahoo or Fastmail, IMAP and POP-3.

    To ALL -- Remember, once Thunderbird development ceases, the program will no longer get any bugfixes, security updates or support from Mozilla. Users will be on their own.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-10-28 at 15:21.
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  13. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    I know all you doubting Thomas' out there will get a chuckle out of this, but I'm really not kidding! If you're running Windows 7 (or perhaps even 8) down the road,and would like to have Windows Mail on your machine (NOT to be confused with Windows Live Mail), there's a wonderful little company out there who will 'activate' it for you, because it's actually there! They also make all kinds of gorgeous stationery and loads of icons to make your e-mails really stand out in a crowd! Their name is Cloudeight and they'll perform the work for you while you watch! Their price is about $40. and you won't find a more honest company on the planet. If you're interested, this is a link to their site - http://thundercloud.net/direct/winmail.htm. Since Windows Mail was a remake of Outlook Express, you should enjoy the trip back to yesteryear!
    I do hope they aren't going to get into the same "reverse engineering" and EULA issues which cause so much trouble with third-party activation cracks. Not that this is necessarily a crack, but I'd like to find an unbiased review to confirm that this is a legitimate program or service, permitted by Microsoft, before letting it be recommended in The Lounge.

    Honesty with users and compliance with EULA terms can be two different things. I don't like "greyware", like Y-POPS or Proxy Services which allow you to access regionally blocked media content. These types of "services" leave me feeling like taking a shower every time I visit their websites to check them out.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-10-28 at 15:25.
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  14. #14
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    Why this campaign to abandon Thunderbird? It works just fine, thank you, and has hundreds of add-ons to customize and tweak it. Why must Thunderbird "evolve"? To what? As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", so perhaps Thunderbird can simply remain in its current form for years to come with no harm. The only exception might be new security threats, but those could be handled with 3rd-party utilities.
    The worst threat, at least for those using AT&T as a service provider, is the total abandonment of ALL POP3 email client support, attempting to force everyone to AT&T webmail, with its annoying advertising banners, lack of customization, and zero backward compatibility. AT&T quote: "If you created a free att.net email address after June 11th, 2011 you will not be able to use an email client to access your email. Retrieve your email at http://www.att.net."
    It's enough to abandon AT&T after more than a decade, but there are too few alternatives, alas.

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    Regarding PostBox, for now I just tested it briefly and went back to Thunderbird.

    The lack of customer support is a good point. Of course Thunderbird doesn't really have support either, but we don't pay for that.

    In my particular case, I thought PostBox flawlessly imported my Thunderbird configuration and mail, but I don't have thousands of saved emails and I now realize that I don't remember if I even tried to verify the importing of filters.

    I'm not personally too keen on "conversational view", but I think I did discover how to turn it off.

    One thing that did disturb me was that I couldn't figure out any way to keep the number, if any, of unread messages displayed with the folder in the list of folders. I would very definitely miss that.

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