The Mozilla Foundation has officially released Thunderbird 8.0 and Lightning 1.0, their full-featured email and calendar clients, respectively. Mozilla added Thunderbird to their rapid release schedule awhile back, so users will continue to get frequent, periodic updates.

While Firefox 8.0 will probably be enjoying most of the spotlight, Thunderbird 8.0 is a substantial upgrade from its previous iteration.

Download: Thunderbird 8.0, Lightning 1.0, Firefox 8.0

Thunderbird 8.0 highlights (more)

  • Improved speed and responsiveness!
  • Thunderbird is based on the new Mozilla Gecko 8 engine
  • Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default
  • New Search and Find Shortcuts
  • Improved accessibility of the attachment list
  • Folder switching pane widget removed
  • Numerous platform fixes to stability
  • Fixed several security issues

There is currently a known issue with using Thunderbird 8.0, Lightning 1.0 and RSS feeds together. Keep that in mind if you experience any similar issues. Users are also encouraged to remove their previous add-ons and manually install up-to-date versions. 

Lightning, which has been in beta for a few years now, is now primed, polished and ready for its official release. Lightning 1.0 is only compatible with Thunderbird 8, so you will need to upgrade. If you're stuck using an older version of Thunderbird, you may still use Lightning 1.0 Beta 7 or 1.0 Beta 5.

Noteworthy changes in this release of Lightning:

  • Full offline support, when the "Cache" is enabled for a calendar
  • Improve diagnostics for the ICS provider
  • Fix the top startup crash. Please give Lightning another try if you previously had issues
  • Some fixes for the alarm system, specifically related to snoozing and recurring events
  • Allow opening events already accepted via invitation
  • Fresh new UI style for all calendar views