Thunderbird 8 arrives--with Lightning 1.0 calendar

The new Thunderbird e-mail program, now on the rapid-release schedule of sister software Firefox, gets a calendar add-on.

The Lightning calendar add-on, now released in version 1.0, brings a lot of new abilities to Mozilla's Thunderbird e-mail software.

Thunderbird 8 arrived today, a new version of Mozilla's e-mail software that now is linked with the Firefox rapid-release program.

Thunderbird 8 is built using the same Gecko 8 browser engine that's used in Firefox 8, also released today. Notably, the new version is accompanied by Lightning 1.0, an add-on under development for years that gives Thunderbird a calendar module, too.

Thunderbird 8 also includes "improvements to attachment handling and accessibility, updated Search and Find shortcuts, and several security, and stability fixes," according to a blog post by Mozilla's Rafael Ebron.

The Lightning add-on makes Thunderbird a more capable replacement for Outlook for those opting for an open-source approach to sending, receiving, searching, and archiving e-mail. It's built to work with Thunderbird 8, but also supports older versions.

The Lightning add-on lets people add calendar entries, subscribe to online calendars, manage a to-do list, and more. For details, check the Lightning 1.0 release notes or FAQ.