09 May 2008

Has Thunderbird Finally Taken Off?

There's an interesting set of data on TechCrunch derived from the consolidated activity of users of the RescueTime service. This shows you exactly how long you are spending on each app; the aggregrate results therefore provide fascinating insights into what people in general - or at least RescueTime users - are doing

One caveat is that the service seems to be aimed mostly at Windows and Mac users (although a GNU/Linux version is available), and so results are necessarily skewed. Despite this, there's an amazing result amongst the data: the ninth most-used app is Thunderbird.

Now, its usage (2.26%) may only be around a sixth of Outlook's (12.44%) but that still seems to me to be astonishing. It also suggests that Thunderbird is doing rather better than many - myself included - assumed. The received wisdom is that Firefox is storming away (unfortunately, there's no breakdown by browser in the RescueTime set: things are shown by site, rather), Thunderbird is miles behind. That seems not to be the case if these figures are at all representative of the wider world. And even if they're not, it suggests early adopters are, well, adopting Thunderbird in significant numbers.


Anonymous said...

Hey, that's an interesting bit of data you found there. Very useful to see, thanks.

-- David Ascher, Thunderbird team.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Thunderbird "finally" taking off. I think it, and its predecessor, Mozilla Mail, have enjoyed pretty solid use among certain groups, for example software developers, for a long time.

In my case it's been my primary mail client since the Milestone builds of 2000. It's always offered a better, faster and more robust interface than Outlook, especially when dealing with huge amounts of email, something that is common for software developers to deal with.

Glyn Moody said...

@david: Yes, rather good news. And I'm sure there'll be lots more of it under your leadership (belated congratulations, BTW).

Glyn Moody said...

@john: I agree that Mozilla was popular among cognoscenti, but I don't think anyone would claim that it was exactly mainstream.

The interesting thing about this latest figure is that it suggests that Thunderbird is *precisely* that (among this group, at least).