Our customers have often wondered as to which is a better choice of desktop client -Microsoft Outlook, or the open-source Mozilla Thunderbird. Making a choice can be difficult. But here are 6 reasons to consider while making the choice especially if you are using or considering using Connect Xf as your mail & collaboration server.
1. Cost: If you’re looking at reducing the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for your email and collaboration infrastructure and have considered Mithi Connect Xf as the mail server, then choosing a desktop client like Thunderbird has a clear advantage as it is absolutely free! It helps you further reduce the cost of ownership.
A single user Outlook license could cost as much as $109.95 as a standalone pack, or it can be purchased as a part of Microsoft Office for about $499 for the 2007 Edition on Windows.
2. Features/Flexibility: Perhaps the biggest advantage of using Mozilla (Thunderbird + Lightning) with Mithi Connect Xf server is the tight integration that it offers for Calendar using CalDAV and Shared address books (Corporate directories, addresses from other domains etc) to sync data.
It adds calendar and task management capabilities to Thunderbird and allows you to manage your daily schedule all within Thunderbird.
Outlook on the other hand uses a proprietary protocols like MAPI which allows data sync only with MAPI compliant servers like MS Exchange, which means Outlook calendars cannot be shared across users or synced with the serve if you’re using OSS based servers like Mithi’s Connect Xf .
Also, the fact that Thunderbird supports extensions like Lightning, Adblock Plus, Contacts Sidebar, LookOut, Image Zoom, Foxy Tunes et al from third parties makes its feature repertoire virtually unlimited.
3. Speed: In all of our experience with these programs and the vast majority of users amongst our customers, we have found Thunderbird to be more responsive. Several independent surveys too confirm this.
4. Security: Because Outlook has a a larger install base in the business environment, it is more frequently targeted by hackers. And is therefore perhaps more vulnerable. Besides, Thunderbird is open-source, which usually gives it a big advantage in the development and release of security patches at a faster rate.
5. IMAP Support: If you are running an Exchange server, using Outlook as the client is the best option. However using Outlook’s support for IMAP to connect to Connect Xf mail server is not all together trouble free. Thunderbird on the other had has some settings to make it sync entirely with Mithi Connect Xf over standard protocols such as POP & IMAP. This will generally make your experience with Thunderbird as a mail client for Connect Xf, much better.
6. Customization: Thunderbird is also better in case you enjoy customizing your Email client. There is a vast collection of themes and extensions available. These will also cover up for most features that are not integrated into Thunderbird by default.
Conclusion: Thunderbird combines better with Connect Xf offering you better capability, security and TCO.
Ashok is working on both, the channel program and the direct-to-customer sales at Mithi. Instrumental in building partnerships with large system integrators and ISPs such as HCL, Wipro, CMC etc. Ashok still loves selling directly to customers.