Mozilla Throws Lightning in Outlook's Direction

The Mozilla foundation has unveiled a new project called "Lightning" that will be tightly integrated into Mozilla's new Thunderbird e-mail client and sharpen the client's elbows against rival Microsoft's Outlook software. With Lightning, Thunderbird will have user features that may compete with Microsoft in the enterprise and thwart the software giant's size advantage by being free of cost.

Mozilla developer Mike Shaver announced the project saying, "The first Lightning release is planned for the middle of 2005. Lightning is a different project as the current calendar extension for Thunderbird and it is not planned to replace the current extension with Lightning. While the current extension only aims for a loose integration with Thunderbird, Lightning aims to integrate into the main Thunderbird UI and user interaction model as tightly as possible."

Although the projects will share significant portions of their code, Lightning is a separate endeavor from Mozilla Calendar and Sunbird, a standalone organizer. Mozilla Calendar is an extension to Thundbird that works as a launcher for the Sunbird application window.

The Mozilla Foundation has a growing track record vouching for the popularity of its products. Downloads for another Mozilla undertaking called Firefox, an open source browser, have surpassed 10 million.

Statistics compiled by WebSideStory have revealed that Internet Explorer's U.S. market share slipped from 93.2 percent in October to 91.8 percent in early December. Meanwhile, Firefox inched its way up from 2.7 percent to approximately 4 percent.

For more information on Lightning visit its corresponding wiki Web page.

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