Lightning Project

This is seriously big news. I’ve blogged about this before. This is great news. As I’ve said before, this is the missing link to penetrating the market. Going against commercial heavyweight Outlook.

One thing I didn’t see mentioned was Address Book Integration/enhancement. As I’ve suggested before, the Address Book has a nice feel to it, but it misses some features. And a key part of any PIM is the address book. For Calendar to really rock with Thunderbird, it’s going to need to integrate nicely with the address book. IMHO Address Book 2.0 reloaded should be included with this.

Hopefully Palm/PDA/Cell phone synchronization methods will follow shortly. I think #1 is getting Palm Sync going. Especially since Thunderbird already supports it for addresses and email. That way Palm users are 100% covered at this point.

I’ve started working in iPod support for Thunderbird, and do plan for Sunbird to be supported as well.

2005 Year of the PIM

2004 was without question the year of the browser. A year ago, for many people IE was the only browser they knew of. Now with tons of mainstream press, it’s becoming all too common to see Firefox everywhere. Even before 1.0 there were amazing, glowing reviews. Now with 1.0 out, the press is becoming hard to track. It used to take me a few seconds each day to round up all the Mozilla press and read. Now it’s becoming a tougher task. It’s quite a bit of reading. Next year, this growth needs (and I believe will) continue to grow. But it’s time to open up a second front in the war to take back the web.

The PIM is the heart and sole of the modern man. It organizes, tracks, coordinates, and communicates for the user. It’s no longer something for an executive, but even a humble college student. Our lives are busy, and they are only getting busier. 2005 is the year of the PIM.

Thunderbird is the core of the PIM, and already looking great. It’s a solid email client that keeps the spam out. It’s great at organizing, sorting, sifting through email. It’s quick and reliable. What we need is to get Sunbird up to speed and included. Things such as invites to meetings (outlook style), synchronization with popular products (Palm, Windows PDA’s, etc.) are still needed. Not to mention Thunderbird needs somewhat of an Address Book Overhaul. There’s quite a bit of work that needs to be done, but there’s quite a solid foundation already. Sunbird, while very quiet and low key is actually a pretty impressive. It’s just lacking polish and integration.

I think it’s time for people to start looking at PIM’s a bit more seriously. There is a giant desire for the perfect PIM, and really not many competitors. Most businesses use Outlook, which itself isn’t the greatest product. But there isn’t much competition. Personal use is even worse. I think it’s time for Thunderbird to pair up with Sunbird and help people take back their lives.

2005 is the year of the PIM. It’s a big market, and it’s about time we take it.