Wired had a chat with Scott MacGregor, the lead engineer of the Thunderbird e-mail client.
Wired News: With seemingly every aspect of our data moving toward online apps and away from the traditional desktop model, why is Mozilla still interested in a desktop e-mail client?
Scott MacGregor: We believe the Thunderbird experience is better for moderate to heavy e-mail use. It's much easier to process incoming mail -- anyone who's had to use web mail on vacation to deal with dozens of e-mails can testify to how tedious it can be.
WN: What advantages does Thunderbird offer that a web-based app like Gmail doesn't?
MacGregor: Some users want to have their data local for privacy and control. Furthermore, you can integrate data from different applications on the desktop in ways that you can't do with web-based solutions, unless you stick to web solutions from a single provider. For example, you can use your Outlook address book with Thunderbird. We'd like to continue to expand the kinds of data you can share between Thunderbird and other apps (both web and desktop applications).