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Mozilla has folded its Messaging subsidiary into the open source outfit's Lab division as it slowly backs away from the development of client-based email software.

The move, announced yesterday, means that Mozilla's Thunderbird email software failed to survive and thrive as an independent org as did its far more popular sibling, the Firefox browser.

Remnants of the Messaging subsidiary have been slotted into Mozilla Labs, which is the outfit's main software testbed arena.

As a result, the Mozilla Messaging moniker will be ditched and development of Thunderbird will continue at the organisation in a much more measured fashion.

"Email is a solid and foundational technology which retains immense value," said Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker in a blog post.

"We intend to continue our work with the Thunderbird email product to meet this need," she said.

A new online communications team will be led by David Ascher within Mozilla Labs.

"The innovations occurring today in online communications and social interaction are astonishing. It's a wildly vibrant time," said Baker. "Please join us as we put more concentrated focus on our efforts in these areas." ®

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