I heard about this recently on PBS, and did just a bit of research and discovered Microsoft's Penny Black charged-email idea, geared toward discouraging spam email by charging for every email sent. The idea is that regular people will be able to still send email to friends and family for free, but email sent from porn companies or "get rich quick" companies will cost about a penny. That way, when 100million emails are sent, it will cost them more than a pretty-penny. No pun intended. Many people think that this is MS's way of helping the spam problem, while others think its just another way to line MS's pockets. Thing is, I rarely if ever get spam email anymore, and I even use hotmail. I used to use the Apple Mail program (and will soon be again, as soon as I get my website up...), and remember it having awesome spam protection. Therefore, I think charging for email is simply just Microsoft trying to fix a problem, but only so they can make some money. USA Today Article This article however says that Microsofts idea is to include a complex math problem with every email, which will take about 10 seconds for your computer to do. Sounds like a better idea to me. I'm not sure which idea is the most current (1cent per email, or CPU cycles per email), but the processor-intense one seems the best. The reason I dont know which one is most current is because the 1cent per email idea was on the news today..