As part of its spam fighting efforts, Microsoft yesterday announced a pair of new services to help users and ISPs fight the deluge.
MSN Postmaster is a new online resource that Microsoft is making available globally in 10 different languages to help users and ISPs understand when and why MSN's popular Hotmail service considers an Email to be spam.
The Postmaster service provides a variety of tools and information resources that will help streamline the reporting of Email abuse, as well as improve the delivery of legitimate commercial Email messages.
Microsoft claims that its MSN Hotmail service has over 200 million user accounts worldwide and, as such, can provide a wealth of Email activity data.
The other new service announced today by Microsoft is Smart Network Data Services, which is currently just a preview release and only available in English.
The service is geared toward ISPs and reports on Email traffic characteristics sent from the ISP's IP range to Hotmail. The characteristics will help ISPs determine the volume of Email coming from under their auspices that is considered spam by the Hotmail service.
The intention for ISPs, with the spam information in hand, to take whatever remedial action necessary to limit the volume of spam coming from their IP range.
"MSN Postmaster and Smart Data Network Services represent a move by Microsoft toward broader, more comprehensive and transparent Information sharing with ISPs and Email senders to help protect Email and ensure that it continues to be an essential and valuable communications tool," said Kevin Doerr, product unit manager for MSN Hotmail at Microsoft, in a statement.
Microsoft also used the new services launch as an opportunity to remind users about their Sender ID initiative, which helps verify the authenticity of an Email.
Hotmail has been implementing Sender ID since January, and it currently redirects potentially "spoofed" Emails to users' junk Email folders. Microsoft expects to enhance the feature at some point this year with new "warning alert" notifications that will be viewed in the upcoming safety bar feature planned for Hotmail.
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