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James Senior at Microsoft: Like a kid in a candy store

Cut down on your SPAM

Cut down on your SPAM

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I recently moved my personal website and email hosting from a third party host to Office Live.  The reason why I did this was because of the literally hundreds of spam emails I received every day.  The host claimed to have recently upgraded their spam filters on the mail server but I certainly hadn't seen any improvement and I thought to myself it was time to go elsewhere.  With reduction of spam a key motivation for moving my host I wanted to choose a host who could deal with all the unsolicited junk I receive. 

I knew that the Live Hotmail engine was pretty good because I knew that they've been combating spam for quite a while now and they use information about Outlook usage to determine the characteristics of spam emails.  Given that Office Live uses the Live Hotmail engine for email and the fact that Office Live basics gives me a website and email for free I thought I didn't have anything to lose.

I signed up, transferred my domain by pointing the nameservers to Office Live, waited 24 hours and I was done.  A download of the Outlook Connector meant that I could sync my personal emails within Outlook alongside my work ones - neat!  After using it for a week I've seen my spam intake cut to around 1 per day - and that is caught by my Junk Email folder - I can't believe the difference!

What I didn't know was that we use the same spam filtering technology across all our email products;

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
MSN Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail Desktop
Windows Mail

(I know what you thinking, but confusing product names is a conversation for another day :-) )

The technology behind the spam filtering is called Microsoft SmartScreen and from my experience it works a treat!  They claim that it protects you from around 95% of spam, happy days!  I read up a bit more on SmartScreen and I found out it was actually developed by Microsoft research and is based upon machine learning (that's Artificial Intelligence to you and me). We've got some other interesting technologies in place to combat the spam; Sender ID Framework, Office Outlook 2007 E-Mail Postmark, Intelligent Message Filter etc...

There's a good article on protecting yourself and doing the basics right over here on Microsoft.com.

Anyway, I'm just about to quit the office for the day - have a good (spam free) weekend!

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Comments
  • Hi James,

    Do you have any information on what SP1 for Vista will contain?

    Have a great weekend

    Jas

  • Hey Jas

    That's the $64 million question at the moment.  Based on history (omitting XP SP2) all service packs have contained new device drivers, security patches and bug fixes released between RTM and the date of the service pack.  

    Think of it as a rollup of all things that come down over Windows Update over a period of time.

    James

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