There are a multitude of reasons to use Thunderbird as your email application. Here are a few reasons, all of which will be discussed in depth in subsequent chapters.
Thunderbird also contains a number of other desirable security features, such as message encryption, support for certificates (both personal certificates as well as certificate authorities), and digital signing. You can also manage security devices such as smart cards by using the Thunderbird preferences.
It's a Time-Saver
Thunderbird features accurate junk mail management. When trained, Thunderbird's adaptive filter is amazingly accurate and can save you time by identifying messages that are most likely to be spam. Thunderbird employs what is known as "Bayesian filtering," which essentially means that the user "trains" the mail client to identify messages that are spam. Chapter 11, "Protecting Your Privacy and Blocking Spam," explains more about how you can use Thunderbird's junk mail controls to keep your inbox free from spam.
It Has a Robust Set of Features
Thunderbird offers a wealth of features, including an integrated spell checker that was developed by the Mozdev Project. It also features an integrated RSS reader, saved searches, message grouping, message filtering, and powerful overall search capabilities. If you want to manage your mail using POP, Thunderbird offers a handy Global Inbox feature that makes managing your mail a breeze. If you need to manage multiple email accounts (or perhaps you are having a personality crisis), Thunderbird serves up a tasty Manage Multiple Identities feature that helps you control all your accounts and leaves you time for fun things like trying to figure out where Alice really went when she fell down the rabbit hole.
You Can Customize and Personalize to Your Heart's Content
Thunderbird gives you the ability to install extensions to make the client serve your individual needs. Chapter 13, "Customizing the Look and Feel of Mozilla Thunderbird," shows you some extensions that can extend Thunderbird's already powerful capabilities. Thunderbird also lets you choose numerous mail window layout options. Finally, if you think Thunderbird needs a makeover, themes are available to add a whimsical touch to your inbox. A number of helpful extensions and themes are easily accessible through a search mechanism that can be launched from the Thunderbird Extension Manager.
It Encourages Dynamic Development
Thousands of users across the world are giving the development team feedback on Thunderbird every day. End users are filing bugs in the Bugzilla bug system (https://www.bugzilla.mozilla.org) and also are making requests for enhancements to the product. This collaborative process produces dynamic software that is never stale and always forward-thinking. Not every request for an enhancement can be implemented in Thunderbird, but the mere fact that end users have a mechanism for suggesting improvements is a quantum leap forward from the way other software is typically developed. Bugzilla also has a voting mechanism that allows users to vote for the bugs that are most important to them.