Microsoft promoted adoption of the Sender ID e-mail specification to help Internet service providers protect the integrity of e-mail messages.
The announcement at the E-mail Authentication Summit in Chicago last week, supported research figures from MarkMonitor that show Sender ID use among Fortune 500 companies has tripled from 7% in July 2005 to 21% now. About 32% of all e-mail sent is now Sender ID compliant.
Sender ID was originally developed by Microsoft, SendMail, and other companies as a type of Caller ID system for e-mail messages. The Internet Engineering Task Force is now currently working to develop the Sender ID specification, the first draft of which was released in June 2004.
Sender ID allows companies to attach information to an Internet domain that tells e-mail recipients what addresses are authorised to send mail from that domain. This allows the system that receives the message to recognise if it is legitimate or is being spoofed by another domain.
Microsoft also launched a new offering, MSN Postmaster Services, aimed at providing information, best practices and tools for helping Internet service providers better manage their e-mail infrastructures for serving MSN and Windows Live mail users. The tool can also be used to find and stop computers that are sending spam.
Anything that makes ISPs lives easier – and cuts the level of spam – has to be welcomed. The surveys suggest the amount of spam is gradually being controlled. But for most users wading through their inboxes, that control still seems a long way off.