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Outlook or Thunderbird: The Search for the Best Desktop Email Client

Over the years there have been many email clients that have attracted users’ interest due to their unique features and productive email services. Out of these many have become obsolete whereas some have managed to establish their dominance among email users.

Two such email services have been Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird. Both have captivated people from all fields of interest such as IT professionals as well as non-IT users.

Both these email client applications have a set of features which make them a preferred choice for communication over emails.

The question is which desktop email client is the better one. In the forthcoming article, we will try to analyse both the applications on the basis of their features.
Thunderbird

Let us study and compare these email client services and try to reach a conclusion about which one out of the two is a better performer.

 

COST INVOLVED

• Thunderbird gains an upper hand if we consider the parameters as it is available completely free & open-source software. You can download it from the Thunderbird website free of charge and hence there are no licences to be purchased.

• Outlook comes with a fixed licence cost and is available as a paid email desktop client.This also makes it very clear that Thunderbird, being free will not have all the functionalities that MS Outlook provides. However, some of the functions can be availed through Plug-ins.

If you have no use of the Microsoft Exchange Server that is associated with Outlook, it is advised that you should go for Thunderbird.

MULTI-PLATFORM SUPPORT

• Being a product of Microsoft, Outlook will only be supported on Windows OS versions such as Window 2007, 2008,8.1. 2010.

• While on the other hand, Thunderbird can be used with Windows OS, Mac OS, or Linux.This makes it available to a greater number of users globally than Outlook.

FULL CALENDAR SUPPORT

• MS Outlook comprises of a Calendar facility which is integrated with Email and Contacts. You can create appointments very easily by just clicking on the day, week or month section. Each appointment can be connected to reminders which are highly useful for remembering important events such as birthdays and anniversaries.

 

• Thunderbird does not include a Calendar by default, but a calendar can be added through Plug-in called Lightning.

• Users can create their own calendars, get a subscription to calendars available on the web and efficiently manage schedule using the Thunderbird Lightning Extension.

OPEN SOURCE

• Thunderbird is an open source desktop email client, which means its source code is freely available to anyone who wishes to obtain it. This helps in the development of Thunderbird into a better application as it can be altered and made more efficient by the thousands of developers, security experts and programmers present worldwide. Thunderbird became open source after its parent organisation- the Mozilla Corporation made an announcement about stopping its further development. As of today, Mozilla only releases updates for maintenance and security. The responsibility of addition of new features has been taken up by the entire open source community since then.

 

• Outlook, on the other hand, is a proprietary software of the Microsoft Corporation. Its source code is therefore not made public by the company on the Internet

Updates for maintenance, security or the addition of new features and GUI is the sole responsibility of Microsoft developer team.

PORTABLE SERVICES

• Outlook is not only available as a desktop client but you can also carry your Outlook data with you wherever you go. This is made possible by the Outlook Android app which works with Microsoft Exchange, Office 365,Outlook.com, Gmail and Yahoo Mail. So users can sync their Outlook data to their portable devices and access it from anywhere.

 

• Thunderbird is not present on the Android platform and hence it fails to provide portable services to users. This is a major disadvantage that comes along with using Thunderbird over Outlook.

Our verdict

If you want to use a desktop app that is free, has basic, simple features and works on any desktop platform then you should go for Thunderbird.

On the other hand, if you are on the lookout for an advanced set of features, along with an intuitive GUI and high availability of services, you should opt for Microsoft Outlook.

 

Recommended: For those users who are currently using Thunderbird and want to shift to Outlook, they need to know that it is possible without any loss of data items.

For migrating from data from Thunderbird EML to Outlook PST you can follow various manual methods of conversion. Alternatively, there are automated, third party solutions that are also available for this purpose like the EML to PST Converter that makes the migration very easy to achieve.

Article is written by James Smith

He is a data recovery expert who works as freelancer technical blogger. He has been in the Data recovery industry for 10+years and specialized in data recovery solutions & data management techniques. He researched on various email client issues & now willing to share information among people through the Web.