Mozilla tries Firefox recipe with Thunderbird

Firefox has been an unbridled success, and Mozilla wants to repeat history by trying the same formula on its open-source email client, Thunderbird.

In 2005, the Mozilla Foundation set up a corporation to run elements of the Firefox Web browser operation. Now it's doing the same with Thunderbird, providing the as-yet-unnamed subsidiary with $3 million and beginning plans to significantly expand its programming staff, said Mozilla Chief Executive Mitchell Baker.

"We're increasing Mozilla's focus with people and money, and we're hoping to use that to create something better, much as we do in the Firefox space...for everyone interested in Internet and e-mail communications," Baker said.

If they could produce the same results, that would be fantastic.  Honestly, however, it's not the same as with a web browser.  An email client would have to succeed not just in the POP3 world of personal email, but in the Exchange and Domino world of corporate email, a far more dicey proposition.