In his latest Executive email, Bill Gates says the following:

“Since Hotmail deployed it six months ago, SmartScreen has been blocking more than 95 percent of all incoming spam — an average of nearly 3 billion messages every day. Because we believe that SmartScreen is crucial to the war against spam, we recently began making it available free to all users of Exchange Server 2003, via a download of the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter from www.microsoft.com/exchange.”

Microsoft in the past has been a little shy about going into great detail about how the Hotmail servers are configured, how many mailboxes there are, and the amount of mail they get per day and I find it nice that we are acknowledging that we are truly learning a lot from Hotmail.  When Microsoft purchased Hotmail in January 1998, I questioned the value of it other than advertising revenue.  Boy, was I wrong.  Now, I do not personally provide support for Hotmail and I have never actually seen the servers, but I have read some of the architecture of the system.  Knowing the direction that we are moving in future versions of Exchange, I can see the correlation and what we have learned from Hotmail.  Good stuff.

If you have Exchange 2003 and haven't deployed the Intelligent Message Filter, please take a look into it.  You will not be disappointed.