Plaxo for Thunderbird is finally here!

July 25, 2005

Plaxo Toolbar for Thunderbird I know there are a lot of folks out there that have been waiting for this and today, all of their feedback has finally been answered. To get started, head over to 🙂

Yes, it took a while, but we wanted to do it right. Yup, it’s written in JavaScript to make sure it’s runs wherever Thunderbird runs. We also have a bunch of smarts in our syncing engine to make sure your contacts can flow between Thunderbird, Outlook, Yahoo! and any other address books we support in the future. Lastly, it’s open source under the Mozilla Public License – after all, it’s an XPI file which you can unpack and play with to your heart’s content.

Shout out to Dru, Wendy, Par, Christian, Bill and Adam for a job well done!

If you have any feedback or questions about this release, I’m the producer on the project so feel free to contact me or leave a comment. We’ll be actively listening to you guys and gals out there, let us know what you think!


No Responses Yet to “Plaxo for Thunderbird is finally here!”

  1. Fortino Says:

    Great news! Thanks for thinking about the minority.

  2. […] |
    Tagged with: Technology, Linky

    Plaxo finally released their anticipated Plaxo for Thunderbird.

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  3. Dossy Says:

    Hey, Mark — clicking on the “contact me” link brings up Plaxo’s web view of your contact card, but the “Add Mark Jen to your address book” starts a .vcf download.

    Needs improvement: there needs to be a way to add you to my Plaxo Online address book, instead — pre-filled with all your published contact info that would be in the .vcf but directly into my Plaxo Online address book. Optional should be to request an update/etc. Plaxo-style so that your record stays current whenever you change it.

  4. […] that has just changed with the release of Plaxo for Thunderbird (Beta) – first noticed on Mark Jen’s blog. I’ve already tested it and it does work well although not perfectly. The Plaxo toolba […]

  5. markjen Says:

    Hi Dossy – Yup, that experience should definitely be better. When we have some time, we’ll be re-doing that entire page.

    In the meantime, if you want to connect to me on Plaxo, just add my e-mail address in your address book or you can login to Plaxo Online and “QuickConnect” to my e-mail address. Thanks!

  6. Mark,

    I posted some questions here, but never heard back.

    Was this built using the Plaxo API? Will the source code be released to the community so that many more people can start building toolbars and interfaces for many more apps?

    I’m surprised you’re building and supporting the Thunderbird plugin in-house. How big of a market share does Thunderbird have? Well, whatever the share, I’m certain you’ll get some great press out of this!

    Great job!

  7. markjen Says:

    Hi Adam – Sorry for the delay, I’ve posted a response to your previous questions in the previous post.

    The Thunderbird client is indeed hooked up to our REST API in the backend. It’s been released under the Mozilla Public License and it’s an XPI file (which is pretty much a zip file under a different name). To get source code access, all you need to do is unzip the XPI file.

    I don’t think Thunderbird currently has a large market share, but it was widely requested by our users and we’ve definitely been listening to their feedback.

    Stay tuned for other great things to come 🙂

  8. Susan Says:

    I know this is off topic for this thread, but I was reading this weeks People and there you were! Your 15 minutes of fame isn’t over yet. I know the article was very short, but I am sure you will have more hits on your blog this next week. I think you are an amazing, intelligent young man and have a very bright future. One word of advice, don’t get into shouting matches with 50 yr old women over job interviews! LOL Sometimes it is best to just ignore negative essays. Women always have to have the last word, whether you ever hear it or not!
    Best of luck to you!

  9. […] tp://,19736,1087900,00.html”>As Susan mentioned in the comments of my Plaxo for Thunderbird post, I was featured in an article about getting dooced in this week […]

  10. mario Says:


    I’m quite with my nose on top of the Thunderbird Plugin and asked myself why it took so long for you guys to come up with a beta. I have so my doubts of course, as seen the fact that Plaxo is a commercial app, and the Thunderbird thing is not I’m suspecting you guys of holding off as long as possible fast improvements and coming out of Beta. It is written already on several blogs people suspecting to get a app rolling and when the time is right to sell the whole thing to AOL, Google, Microsoft… even maybe Trump who knows. Now the plug for Thunderbird is far from oh oh oh changing te Universe. A very annoying plug actually requesting all the time to get connected with the (very very slow) database. You guys in the USA talking about the 2.0 dot com thing but missing completey out the Asian market which (India, Indonesia, Vietnam and some more countries) still for 90% have to rely on a dialup modem and Internet Cafees, and just a few are able to pay over US$ 150 a month for a 64Kbps line… So we’re not having a huge bandwidth as you guys. Now in this case your plug is one of the most anoying apps you can imagine. In combination with a very low bandwidth from your side I would suggest to have a eye on Asia. plop plop connecting to the server… Try it yourself and you would get rid of your own plugin within a day! Besides i really don’t understand why people are talking about 2.0 not even knowing that if you want a big new dotcom boom again to concentrate better on this part of the world (wel our ‘good’ old MS is doing that actually already in China).
    Now I know it is maybe not that easy to get all rights etc. in the way you want with Thunderbird as with MS Outlook and I know your plug is in Beta but why the hell your waiting so long to get a simple app as yours lifted to higer and better grounds?

    Rgrds Mario Bali Indonesia

  11. mario Says:

    I smell by the way a hidden agenda in your words saying “Lastly, it’s open source under the Mozilla Public License – after all, it’s an XPI file which you can unpack and play with to your heart’s content.” It looks like Plaxo is not really happy with the whole open source thing (it doesn’t bring right away the big bucks)however marketing wise It could be (I would go that way as commercial man) a nice trick to get people like me anoyed with the Thunderbird plugin and to switch back to a payed account and Outlook and having some open source nerds in the between time to improve (for free) your plugin. I have to say people are quite fast amazed about how simple it is to keep their address book updated with the latest information (in that case I give you a big thumb up) downside side again that you could trick the whole community and just having your plug to build a databse for near feauture sale of Plaxo…

  12. markjen Says:

    Hi Mario – Thanks for the comments, but I think you might’ve misunderstood the tone of my post.

    Plaxo is very excited about opening up an API to the community. We believe that by connecting with other services and allowing developers to create new applications on top of our services, everyone wins – developers, us, and customers.

    I’m sorry the plug-in is currently slow for you, we’re working to fix that as fast as possible. Currently, we have a SyncML-ish protocol that isn’t 100% optimized. Hopefully, we’ll be able to speed it up in the coming months.

    As far as your mention of Web 2.0, I believe you are mistaken in your understanding of the term Web 2.0. It does not mean a second dot-com boom. Web 2.0 is the next generation of web services and platforms that are interconnected and use the power of the network to enhance the user experience.

    There was a hidden agenda in my words when I said “Lastly, it’s open source under the Mozilla Public License – after all, it’s an XPI file which you can unpack and play with to your heart’s content” but it’s not the one you perceive. What I was saying was, since we don’t currently provide any documentation for our REST API, you can unpack our Thunderbird client and figure out how to make calls to our API 🙂

    Finally, I’m not sure if you are aware that a Plaxo account is free regardless of whether you use Thunderbird, Outlook, Outlook Express, IE, or Plaxo Online. We don’t have a hidden agenda to ruin people’s Thunderbird experiences so they run back to Outlook – that doesn’t make any sense. We don’t gain a dime if people switch from Thunderbird to Outlook or vice versa…

    Hope this helps clear things up. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks!

  13. mario Says:

    I do understand the 2.0 no doubt tough lot’s of guys here talking and hoping for a dot-boom with 2.0 as basic to get it happening again. What’s a 2.0 if your not able yet to serve a huge market and sure the ‘power of the network’ in Asia. Ok ok things also moving here of course and let’s hope that at least the G3 or G4 networks will come out faster as planned and to get some better bandwidth.

    As for Plaxo you have to understand that a consumer now those days is overwelmed with all kinds of apps going around at the internet, good apps but often with one thing in mind, to sell in no time to the big players on the market. And there you go, your forced to step in someone elses kitchen, someone elses ideas how to ‘improve’ the software and to finish up with a bulky piece of software completely out of range with the original one. Good example is Skype which in the early days worked very well on a modem tough now those days not even worth anymore to try. I better stock with Yahoo in this case.
    Now I’m maybe giving ‘negative’ input here but it is just like that at the market and lot’s of consumers get sick and tired of this and walk away. Sure you guys offering a free entrance to Plaxo, but also sure your not working at your double monitors to save money only and waiting for a sponsor to keep you and your company running. Thunderbird versus Outlook is of course a big deal in my opinion, from Thunderbird commercial wise there is not much to earn right now as the market share wouldn’t pass that quickly the 25%. Outlook however is wide spreaded with a big market share. So why is it that strange to suspect that Plaxo is trying to get Thunderbird users installing your beta plugin in the hope to switch back to Outlook as I am almost forced to do so will I go on with your service. It would be strange to say not being interested in a huge Outlook users database, paid account or not. It is like the old days the more email addresses in your database the more dollars to ask for in case you wanna sell. It is just strange to me why so long is waited to get a Thunderbird PlugIn and now in Beta with half of the functions as within Outlook and requesting over and over again to get a connection with your server.
    By the way I am using Mozilla products because they produce data much faster (sure the output) at a low bandwidth connection, Outlook and IE a far behind in this. Plaxo is a great thing to have, to use and easy to understand, even for the new 55+ generation a new and fast growing market, I almost can say your at a level with Plaxo not able anymore to work without. Let’s hope you will speed up some things in regards to Thunderbird. Maybe 3 screens at your desk to work with instead of two?

  14. Mario Says:

    And the problem isn’t soved at all.. yet… soon soon soon when is soon. You have to come over to Indonesia and try for yourself! Even your secure web pages takes for ever to get on the screen…

  15. Хм… А мне сдается, что минусы в данном случае прилично превосходят плюсы.

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