The latest Thunderbird dailies have just got powerful instant messaging capabilities, thanks to a major code check-in which integrates Instantbird capabilities to Thunderbird’s.
Instantbird is a Mozilla technologies powered instant messaging application that integrates ICQ, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN Live, Google Talks and other Jabber based networks, Twitter and Facebook Chat, all in the same application
On Thunderbird, integration is coming in a new tab where all your accounts come together. Not all services are supported yet. Only Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk and IRC are supported, and it is not clear if other services will follow.
In my short tests, I got IRC and Google Talk working but couldn’t get Facebook or Twitter to jump aboard.
So it is the beginning of some very important work, that, surprisingly, comes before Lightning (Mozilla-based calendar application) integration, an event announced several years ago and that would definitely position Thunderbird as a stronger competitor in the productivity market.
Daily is the development unstable branch of Thunderbird, but if you are feeling risky, go for it.