It could get a little ugly out there in the anti-spam world and, as is so often the case, the uglifier of record is Microsoft which on Thursday announced that it would start "enforcing" the use of its Sender ID sender authentication protocol for senders of e-mail messages to Hotmail and MSN Mail systems. In a less avaricious world, that might be a good thing, but last year Microsoft made its desire to co-opt sender authentication by enforcing a patent it has on a part of the way DNS records have to be modified to comply with the protocol. The logical next step is for Microsoft to charge for its use.
Some months ago, about the time Microsoft announced Office Communicator, I had a conversation with IBM's Ed Brill in which I urged him to push IBM Lotus Notes forward into the new world of presence information and the use of presence technology. "We're working on it," he said, "trust me." I never believe in the promises of any software company, so I just sort of shoveled those words into the back of my mind, and didn't think more about it. But it's beginning to look as if Mr. Brill wasn't kidding.