Hotmail aims to cut spam off at the pass

Microsoft Network (MSN) Hotmail users may see a decrease in spam clogging up their in-boxes in coming weeks, Microsoft Corp. said yesterday, as it announced a deal with Brightmail Inc. to incorporate the company's spam-filter technology in its free e-mail service.

Microsoft said it will deploy Brightmail's Solution Suite to filter spam at the incoming Simple Mail Transfer Protocol gateway, before it's delivered to Hotmail users' in-boxes.

The spam guard will be fully deployed later this year, Microsoft said, to serve Hotmail's 110 million worldwide users.

The company's spam-stymieing move is nothing new for free e-mail services, many of which have already adopted spam-fighting measures. Yahoo Inc., for example, routes unsolicited e-mail to a bulk e-mail folder in users' in-boxes.

The Brightmail solution works by leveraging a collection of more than 200 million e-mail addresses designed to attract spam, allowing Brightmail to identify and eliminate spam before it reaches users' in-boxes. San Francisco-based Brightmail claims to have a significant foothold on the antispam market, boasting clients such as Earthlink Inc., AT&T WorldNet and now MSN.

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