Comparison of Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook

Emailing is the most popular way of sending messages using a corporate email account instead of relying on Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and etc. Most of the time if you want to provide use safely to your own security setting, then a business email software is more useful than using a personal email account. This will prevent you from receiving spam/junk mail in your inbox. It will help you protect your email system and alerts you before opening the message. Today, I will be explaining the differences between the Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook.

What is Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager from Microsoft, available both as a separate application as well as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Most people may still have Microsoft Outlook 2007. The latest current version is Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows and Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. It’s mainly an email application which includes a calender, task manager, contact manager, note taking, a journal, and web browsing. Microsoft Outlook 2010 was release on June 15, 2010 only for Window users, and Microsoft Outlook 2011 was also release on October 27 2010 only for Mac users. The programming language C++ is used for Microsoft Visual Studio. Its operating system for Microsoft Outlook is Microsoft Windows and for Microsoft Outlook for Mac is Mac OS X.1

Microsoft Outlook can be used as a stand-alone application or can work with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server for multiple users in an organization, such as shared mailboxes and calendars. In addition, Window Mobile devices can synchronize almost all Outlook data to Outlook Mobile.1

Pros for Microsoft 2010 Review:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server1
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server1
  • Supports POP, IMAP, MSN, and Hotmail accounts
  • Outlook comes with solid and effective spam filtering and blocks phishing attempts3
  • Flexible search, virtual folders, conversations and mail grouping help you organize mail3
  • Outlook integrates email messages, to-do lists, scheduling and social networking updates well3


  • Outlook is a bit confusing to set up3
  • Outlook doesn’t allow you to create folders, flags, or rules that learn by example3
  • It lacks useful message templates, and its RSS feed reader flexibility3
  • Outlook is not flexible and doesn’t give you a choice to anti-spam engine full of security features5
  • Not free to download because you have to purchase Microsoft Office 2010 Suite to learn more click on this link here

What is Mozilla Thunderbird?

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free open source, cross platform email, and news clients developed by the Mozilla Foundation. The project strategy is modeled after Mozilla Firefox, a project aimed at creating a web browser. Thunderbird was originally release on July 28, 2003 containing 53 languages. The operating system is Cross-platform and has a programming language C++.  On December 7 2004, Mozilla Thunderbird version 1.0 was released and received over 500,000 downloads in its first three days of release, and 1,000,000 in 10 days.2

Thunderbird is an email, newsgroup, and news feed client. It can manage multiple email accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Features like quick search, saved search folders (“virtual folders”), advanced message filtering, message grouping, and labels help manage and find messages. Thunderbird supports POP and IMAP. It also supports LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) address completion. Thunderbird supports the S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) standard, extensions such as Enigmail and support for the OpenPGP standard.2 List of supported IMAP extensions can be found on 

For more information on IMAP and POP, check out the previous article on Email Hosting: POP3 vs. IMAP.

Pros for Mozilla Thunderbird Review:

  • Supports POP, IMAP, and SMTP2
  • Contains vast collection of themes and extensions available2
  • More flexible than MS Outlook5
  • It available for both Mac and Window users
  • Thunderbird can be used for any operating system
  • Lets you reads RSS feeds like streams of email with filter, search and labeling4
  • Thunderbird gets rid of junk mail precisely using Bayesian filtering and detects scams4
  • Thunderbird views, tags, filters, fast search, and smart folders help you manage mail in Mozilla Thunderbird4
  • Provides security protection firewalls, spam filters, and anti virus properties5
  • Mozilla Thunderbird is free to download on any operating system


  • Mozilla Thunderbird does not show related messages, sites documents, posts, etc.4
  • RSS feed reader could be integrated better and offer more power for Thunderbird4
  • Mozilla Thunderbird could be more helpful by suggesting tags or reply text4
  • Not so easy to include configuration of a number of security features5


Overall, most people would prefer Mozilla Thunderbird because it provides so many features such as security protection firewall, privacy, and etc.  Although both Outlook and Thunderbird support multiple types of email accounts; however, Thunderbird allows you to find and filter messages faster by date, contact, and more. Also, Mozilla Thunderbird provides many extensions in terms of expanding your feature set than Microsoft Outlook.

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