Thunderbird developers quit Mozilla

McGregor, Bienvenu leave after Mozilla spins off their open-source e-mail client

The split was also ordained by Mozilla's minimalistic approach to management, Baker claimed. To handle both Firefox and Thunderbird appropriately, the company would have needed to add another management layer. "We have managers and management in the Mozilla Foundation and Corporation, but generally we have as little as possible to get the job done."

Thunderbird users who read McGregor and Bienvenu's notices were supportive and disappointed simultaneously. Some wanted to know more. "Could you enable the verbose mode and tell us more about the reasons you and mscott are leaving MoCo despite the creation of a company dedicated to Thunderbird (aka 'MailCo')?" asked a user identified as LpSolit in a comment to Bienvenu's post. "Why so much mystery? All this generates is rumors ... and that's probably not good."

Others saw a possible nightmare in the making. "The way I see it, Mozilla is spinning off Thunderbird and tossing them a safe amount of money," said Joel. "They're safely removing all responsibility for the future of Thunderbird...and when MailCo flops they can shrug their shoulders and say market forces killed it."

McGregor and Bienvenu did not reply to messages requesting comment and/or an interview.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)

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