Mozilla has rolled out a beta version of its upcoming Thunderbird 2.0 email program. The free client is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms and includes cosmetic enhancements along with keyword tagging of emails. Color-code keywords can now be added to emails which can then be sorted into virtual folders.
You can assign a set of default keyword and color tags to emails or you can make your own tags. Tagged emails can then be sorted into virtual folders called Smart Folders. Why not just make a regular folder? Often emails can belong in many categories and may not neatly sit in a single folder. An email from a sales representative at Seagate could go in Sales or Seagate, but with Smart Folders you could make a virtual folder just for Sales related mail. In addition, Smart Folders are effectively saved searches that last until you delete them.
You could say the free Thunderbird email client competes with Microsoft's Outlook email program. While both do a decent job at basic email functions, Outlook includes a calendar feature while Thunderbird does not. Outlook users looking for an alternative can try out the beta by importing their settings and emails during Thunderbird's installation.
Thunderbird 2.0 beta is available as a 6.3 MB Windows .exe download and as a universal binary for Mac OS X. Linux users can also download the program.