To 1.5, and beyond!

Scott MacGregor, one of the leading Thunderbird developers, has updated the Thunderbird roadmap, and currently the estimated arrival date for 1.5 is January 2006, assuming that everything goes according to schedule. Another release candidate, 1.5 RC 2 is planned for end-December 2005 to iron out any last-minute bugs in the last release candidate. A comprehensive 1.5 changelog will be published when 1.5 is out, similar to the one for Firefox 1.5 in The Burning Edge.

The next major release of Thunderbird will be version 2.0, in which small-scale UI improvements will be the key improvement. It is hopefully due by mid-2006 and based on Gecko 1.8, similar to 1.5. The highly-anticipated revision of the Gecko core, 1.9, will make its entrance in version 3.0 in the first half of 2007. This comes in lieu of the strategy modification by the Mozilla Foundation regarding the length of time between major releases, shortening to several months instead of the current twelve months or so which would separate 1.0 and the soon-to-arrive 1.5.

Do take note that all ideas and dates in the roadmaps are tentative and can be changed as and when necessary.