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Thunderbird 12 beta continues Mozilla’s rapid release schedule with minor updates

16 March 2012, Software Publisher

The house of Mozilla is pumping out application updates faster than ever, and while we have now become used to the accelerated release schedule of Firefox – and indeed other browsers – this is not the only app to be given the fast-track treatment. Mozilla’s email client, Thunderbird has also been moved onto the same rapid release cycle and this means that there are new alphas and betas to look forward to more frequently. Whether you’re only interested in running the most stable version of the software, or you’d prefer to try out the latest and greatest features as soon as possible, there is a version of the application for you.

It is not very long since the main release branch hit version 11 and this meant that the beta channel was also due for a refresh. Thunderbird 12.0b1 has now been released, but despite the jump from version 11 to 12, there really isn’t all that much that has changed on the surface. The only new feature to speak of comes into play when performing global searches, and you will now see message extracts in your search results.

The beta version of Thunderbird is fairly stable, but has few new features

There have been some minor changes to the way in which newsgroup and RSS subscriptions are handled, but apart from this the latest beta is really a bug fixing release – you can see a full list of fixes in the changelog. The minor nature of the update means that this beta seems stable enough for day to day use, but it’s worth remembering that if you already have Thunderbird 11 installed, this will replace it.

Just as Firefox has a somewhat more experiment Aurora version which will be welcomed by anyone keen to try out the very latest features – albeit in software that is not necessarily completely stable – so Thunderbird has an alpha version called Earlybird. This can be installed alongside your current version of Thunderbird, so you can test out the latest version without compromising stability.

You can find out more and download a free copy of the email client beta by paying a visit to the Thunderbird 12.0 Beta review page.

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