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Flyby PC

OT Thunderbird Email

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I've just learned that Mozilla is stopping development of the Thunderbird Email server. I've just got used to using it!!!

 

Any more information to be had with the more computer orientated people out there?

 

Should I be hunting for an alternative to Thunderbird or is Hotmail/Outlook Express/MSN the place to be?

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A lot of people seem to like Gmail (Google). I have to admit, I don't use T-bird myself much anymore...my phone and tablet usually get my email for me.

 

FC

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At the moment I use two accounts on Hotmail, and none has degenerated, spams are rare, almost nonexistent. By against me Outlook Express has long bothered with problems of sending and receptions, but it dates from long ago, they shurely have the remedy to these problems since.

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I have Gmail for my Cellphone but I prefer Hotmail as I have been using it for 10 years and am comfortable with it... no issues with Spam etc...

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Don't worry, Flyby PC, they'll still continue security updates and such. The issue is there's really nothing left to develop in terms of a standalone email client--what new exciting email features are there to add? Web email clients get updated a lot because they suck (no support for right-click context-menus and other basic UI features).

 

That and there's just no way they can make a Metro version of some actual complex software like Thunderbird. Windows 8 will kill development of a lot of software.

 

So stick with Thunderbird, you'll be fine.

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Don't worry, Flyby PC, they'll still continue security updates and such. The issue is there's really nothing left to develop in terms of a standalone email client--what new exciting email features are there to add? Web email clients get updated a lot because they suck (no support for right-click context-menus and other basic UI features).

 

That and there's just no way they can make a Metro version of some actual complex software like Thunderbird. Windows 8 will kill development of a lot of software.

 

So stick with Thunderbird, you'll be fine.

+1

I was just going to say basically the same Flyby.

I'm using it as my email client for two years, and plan to still going on using it, with or without updates.

To be honest I don't need any more updates, as long it receives my mail. I like it as it's now. Much better than M$ client Live mail, IMO.

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If you want to know why development of Thunderbird is dead, check out Ars Technica's preview of the MS's new Metro email client. The most basic of things are difficult or impossible under Metro, the result being fewer features than the email client I was using 15 years ago.

 

One reader asked if Windows 8 Mail lets you view your inbox while composing a new message or replying to a message. The answer seems to be no—composing a new e-mail brings up a window that covers the rest of the application.

Who needs multitasking any more? Everything's full screen under Metro, aside from a side-bar of fixed proportions that's most often wasted blank space. Application development for Windows is dead. Long live pretty but useless "apps" that can only be sold through an online app store with approval from your corporate overlords.

 

Did MS reanimate Steve Jobs' fascist corpse? How did Apple go from like 5% of the PC market to completely ruining the desktop computer?

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In order to make things more streamlined they cripple the software.

The idea is: A "monkey" should be able to operate a computer. So things will be scaled down to the power of the monkeys.

People don't mind, in fact they like it. The simpler the best.

And why we really need to use the brains, at all?

 

There's always hope that this will backfire them, like with Vista and Millennium.

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The idea is: A "monkey" should be able to operate a computer. So things will be scaled down to the power of the monkeys.

Now the idea is that an Apple customer should be able to operate a computer. Even worse!

Edited by Lothar of the Hill People

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Okay, has anyone here actually USED Windows 8?

 

I'm not seeing these 'lack of multitasking' restrictions folks keep talking about. I've got the current RC running on some extremely modest hardware and it flies. In addition, it seems to multi task just fine...zipping files while watching Netflix. Or listening to an MP3 while playing a flight sim.

 

Yes, maybe the 'tiles' interface doesn't let you do multi tasking like a phone, but the desktop interface doesn't seem to have changed radically at all.

 

FC

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Okay, has anyone here actually USED Windows 8?

I played with the RC a bit on a virtual machine. That's as close as it's getting to my actual hardware. Don't get me wrong; I'm not against progress. I was a big supporter of getting people off the mess that XP had become onto Vista. But Windows 8 is a huge step backwards.

 

Yes, maybe the 'tiles' interface doesn't let you do multi tasking like a phone, but the desktop interface doesn't seem to have changed radically at all.

But I'm not on a phreaking phone with a tiny touch screen, I'm on a powerful workstation with a giant monitor. The full-screening of all apps is completely ridiculous on a real monitor, with scores of square inches of blank space everywhere, making the inability to look at more than one thing at a time feel even more retarded. There's a reason "windows" was the big innovation of Windows (of course others such as Amiga and Mac already had gui interfaces with windows, which hardly made sense on the Mac since it couldn't multi-task).

 

To make matters worse, you can't even alt-tab between all these full-screen apps and your desktop applications either. You have to first switch to the desktop, which is now just a separate full-screen pseudo-app, and then you can switch between applications. And no getting around the horror that is the new Metro start screen.

 

The whole point is to make using desktop applications a cumbersome pain in the arse to use--in order to drag users and developers into Metro. No thanks, I'm Hetero.

Edited by Lothar of the Hill People

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To make matters worse, you can't even alt-tab between all these full-screen apps and your desktop applications either. You have to first switch to the desktop, which is now just a separate full-screen pseudo-app, and then you can switch between applications. And no getting around the horror that is the new Metro start screen.

 

Or you run your applications directly from the desktop. Still not seeing what the fuss is about. You can run your apps in windows like you always could just fine. Explorer, Opera, Netflix, etc, all operate in a window...all run in window. I use Windows 8 from the desktop...I don't use the Metro interface at all except to click on the 'Desktop' button.

 

FC

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Lothar,

 

In fairness, I decided to explore the UI of Win8 a bit more to see if there are some concerns that people should be aware of.

 

First, for the desktop...overall, the interface has not changed with one exception. I'll get to the exception in a minute. Icons, taskbar, notification area, right clicking, customization...as far as I can tell, none of that has changed from Windows 7. I went pretty deep into the desktop and could not find anything that prevented me from running the desktop like I do in Win7. Icons, how programs behave when starting up and shutting down, even Alt-Tab work exactly like Win7.

 

But there is one exception. As far as I can tell, the Start Menu does not exist as you remember it...it is the Metro interface. But before anyone freaks out, let me give you a few things I was able to glean from it.

 

One, the interface works like the Start Menu of old...in other words, if a program adds a shortcut to the old style Start Menu, it will do the same thing to the Metro menu. Also, you can Alt-Tab in the Metro menu just fine...and as soon as you select an open window with Alt-Tab, it switches right back to the desktop...no other clicking required. Also, programs that were added to the Metro menu, if you click on them, they will NOT default to full screen...File Manager and Paint.NET both defaulted to a windowed view in the desktop...yep, just like Win7. Also, if you don't like big buttons in the Metro menu, there is an option to make the buttons much smaller, almost the same size as the default Start Menu icon size.

 

In conclusion, the biggest thing I take away from this is that the Start Menu is fullscreen (ie the Metro interface). That is it in terms of the UI. If you are a Taskbar or Desktop person who hardly uses the Start Menu, you won't notice a difference because you will never see it after the initial bootup. If you select an application that does not default to full screen in Win7, it won't default to full screen in Win8, even if you select it from the Metro interface.

 

What this means is that it will be the developer's choice to make apps that force you to run fullscreen. MS native programs might, but even that's not completely true either. File Manager (ie Windows Explorer)didn't open full screen, and it's a MS native app.

 

Oh, and still not liking the Metro menu? Wish you had your old style Start Menu? Yeah, there's an app for that!

 

http://lee-soft.com/news/windows-8-start-menu/

 

That's just one example of several that are out there...all free.

 

Hey, if you don't want to upgrade, that's not a problem...it's your money and time and computer. But if you're going to hate something...hate it for the right reason and hate it knowing the full story.

 

A full screen Start Menu (that only appears when you select it and goes away as soon as you select your program) is a small price to pay for having a computer that boots and runs faster now than it did under Windows XP.

 

FC

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FastCargo,

 

We seem to be talking past each other a little bit. I know old desktop is there and functions pretty much as in Win7, and have said as much. The problem is it's being deprecated, and right off the bad doesn't integrate with newer Metro apps. When you're in the desktop everything seems fine, but say you're using a Metro browser (soon they'll all be Metro browsers) and a desktop text editor, and you want to paste some text from the web into a document. You first have to switch to the desktop, then you can alt-tab or use the task bar to switch to your editor. It builds a wall between Metro apps and desktop applications that is purposefully designed to make it cumbersome to use both, in order to pressure users just to stay in Metro.

 

On the other side, MS is making it more difficult for developers to produce software for the desktop. MS even dropped all support for producing desktop applications from the free version of it's developer kit, meaning you'd have to pay $400-$500 bucks to MS to write software for the desktop while anyone can write for Metro for "free" (but more on that below). The goal: no more free Windows software for the desktop. Period. From ArsTechnica:

Just to make doubly sure that nobody will dare try to produce desktop applications without paying Redmond for the privilege, Microsoft has gone a step further than crippling Visual Studio Express. The Windows SDK for Windows 7 includes a C++ compiler and all the requisite bits and pieces to develop Windows applications. You'd have to do a bit more work to get things set up than you do with Visual Studio, as it's a little barebones, but it's enough. But that won't be the case for Windows 8: the Windows SDK for windows 8 will not include a compiler toolchain at all, lest any sneaky developers try to cheat the system and use it to write desktop apps.

After much outcry MS relented a bit, but you can see what Win8 is all about: killing the desktop.

 

As for the software itself, I'm glad there's a 3rd-party hack that makes a "replica" of the Win7 start menu (* while it lasts, see below). A full screen start menu is retarded--makes it impossible for example to type something into the search field while looking at another window, from simple things like getting the spelling right to calling a command-line program while reading arguments from a manual page, etc.

 

But is the solution really to buy and install Win 8, hack it a bit, cross your fingers, and try to avoid Metro applications entirely? Why not just stick with Win7 that doesn't require such hacks, won't run Metro applications at all (thankfully), already boots and runs faster than XP, has proper development support, lets me install the software I want, and I've already paid for?

 

So I "know the full story." Which is why I'm pissed. There's absolutely no reason to upgrade to Win8 unless you want to run Metro apps. There are almost no new desktop features in Win8*, and Metro intrudes as much as it can through the full-screen Metro start window and a number of control panel applications and other bits of the interface being reskinned to look like Metro on the desktop (in a horrid clash with your regular desktop appearance).

 

 

* The new backup system just replaces the old "previous versions" system which works just fine. More info in the task manager is nice I suppose. I don't use windows explorer anyway (Directory Opus) so I don't care that explorer's getting a 'ribbon' interface but this'll probably just annoy most people anyway.

 

And don't tell me buying software through a fascist "Windows Store" is a "feature." The Windows Store is the only way you'll be able to distribute Win8 software, and everything has to be approved by MS. What's more, you have to pay MS for the privilege of letting other people download your "free" software, and if you want to sell it MS gets a %30 cut!

 

Try if you even can to take inventory of all the free software you've installed for Windows. How many of those developers are going to suddenly be willing to pay Microsoft to keep giving away software for free? Thunderbird's just the tip of the iceberg. That "free" start menu replacement for Win8 you linked is only "free" to download install because MS hasn't locked in the Windows Store yet, soon they'll have to pay MS (if MS approves) and you won't just be able to download and install it off a web page, or any other software that supports Win8.

 

This also means modding communities like have developed here for OFF are impossible for future games built for Win8 and beyond. Imagine if we'd had no choice but to play OFF through xbox live all these years with the experience completely controlled by MS!!! None of the programs in my OFFice incomplete campaign editor for OFF--my OFFset settings manager, OFFramp mod manager, and the big OFFbase role-playing simulation game--will support Windows 8. I can't afford to!

 

Every copy of Windows 8 you buy is a nail in the coffin of desktop software development and PC gaming, as MS tries to turn our PCs into locked-up ipad/xbox-like appliances for idiots, pinging their piggy bank every time a user installs software, "free" or otherwise.

 

In short, if you're going to like Windows 8, please do so "knowing the full story".

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Oh just read on DailyTech that MS has already stripped out the code that allows 3rd-party hacks to bring the start menu back onto the desktop. So it may work in the Release Candidate, but won't in the release version, even if you could download and install it.

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Lothar,

 

Thanks for the info...it seems there is more going on behind the scenes than I thought.

 

I fully support the idea of a simpler interface for those who primarily use their computers for light applications. It makes perfect sense for a PC, tablet, and phone to have a similar interface, in that folks will want to buy into the ecosystem. That's why Apple continues to gain ground...its simple, straightforward, mostly common across its platforms and it works.

 

However, I find it very hard to believe that MS would let the flexibility go that previous versions of Windows would give you. It may be about the money, but you would think someone would realize that if you take away that flexibility (and lack of expense to end users who use open source or other kinds of freeware apps) that there is very little difference between a MAC and PC at that point. And more people will bail to Apple...not less.

 

I'm not fully convinced it will stay that way once Win8 is in the wild. Otherwise, why support software that wasn't written for Windows 8 at all?

 

FC

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