Opera’s popular  e-mail feature is to be removed from the browser and released as a standalone application, developers have announced.

The decision to remove the feature, which was first added in 2000, is part of several major changes planned for Opera 15. The next generation version of the browser, currently available for testing as ‘Opera Next’, sees Opera swap out its Presto rendering engine in favour of Google’s new Webkit-fork ‘Blink’.

But rather than ditch with the integrated e-mail client, called M2, entirely Opera developers have decided to package it up and release it as a separate, standalone product.

Opera Mail - Now a Standalone App
Not on Linux Yet – Opera Mail RC on Mac OS X

“It’s almost ready, so today we want to introduce to you, the first release candidate of Opera Mail,’ the Opera’s Adam Minchinton writes on the desktop team blog‘So please download it and send us your feedback.”

Now for the not so good news. Downloads of Opera Mail’s Release Candidate are currently only available for Windows and Mac OS X, though – thankfully – Opera devs have confirmed that the app will be coming to Linux.

Mail Apps

Following Mozilla’s axing of direct development on Thunderbird, and the lightweight mail app Geary failing to get funding, some users may have felt that the future of the desktop e-mail client was looking doomed.

But this news, along with that of innovative app Inky’s plans for Linux, means mail app fans need not worry just yet…

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