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Gartner: Microsoft's Anti-Spam Plans Will Take Years

Microsoft's recently announced efforts to stem spam will take years to take effect, a research firm said Tuesday.

According to Gartner analyst Arabella Hallawell, Microsoft's proposed e-mail authentication plan, announced last week by Chief Software Architect Bill Gates at the RSA Conference, will "have limited impact, at least in the short term."

Microsoft's proposed Caller ID for E-mail plan, which when implemented will allow enterprises to identify senders and determine whether they're legit, isn't the first message authentication put forward. Others include Yahoo's DomainKeys and SPF (Sender Permitted From), an open-standard extension to SMTP protocols.

But the variety of proposed protocols will slow adoption of a standard e-mail authentication system, said Hallawell. "Gartner expects fewer than 25 percent of enterprises will adopt any of these e-mail authentication standards through 2005," she said.

Although authentication may stem the flood of scams and offensive content from illegitimate spammers, it won't stop unwanted e-mails from legitimate domains and companies, she said.

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