Microsoft considering charging for Email

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by agreenster, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. agreenster macrumors 68000


    Dec 6, 2001
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    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..
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    i love that they try and distinguish between personal use and spam... but they didn't exempt corporate communications. Our company alone must send/receive millions of emails alone, and we're not even that huge... but there'd be no way to distinguish it from spam, so big businesses would have to tithe to Microsoft.

    i dislike any idea of attaching value to emails. even for spam.

    i do like the calculation one... but i don't think the execution would go over well. it'd be quite annoying if individual users had to deal with it, and i'm sure dedicated spammers would find a patch that disabled it or something... really, and restriction on email would wind up being overthrown by spammers, leaving consumers with extra hassle...

  3. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    What a waste of time.

    Even charging the sender one cent for every mail sent isn't going to stop spammers. I already get enough spam in my real mail box that people already have to pay to send. Remember, the added cost to send out something could easily be offset by the number of suckers/coupon users (not saying coupons and suckers together) that buy products that are offered by spammers.

    The only thing that will end with that plan is crappy - anonymous spam. Expect to see what you see in your real mail already IMHO.
  4. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I use Entourage an get a lot of spam everyday. The only problem I see with charging for E-mail is that it may be a Pandora's Box. The first problem is why should Microsoft profit form this venture. If another entity were to be charging, once they begin then there is no reason why it won move onto private also. It's just like taxes. :(
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    or....spammers could use a provider other than microsoft....
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I see no problem with a penny per an email, as long as it was not profit for some corporate entity.
  7. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    I like any idea for spam reduction is good.

    Expect the ones that cost me money.

    This costs me money.

    e-mail should be free.

    Spammers should pay.

    Probably like DDOS'ing their computers.
  8. zamyatin macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2003

    This reminds me of the hoax email forwards of a few years ago which stated the US Postal Service was about to initiate a fee per email message sent because it was losing too much business to email communications. Of course that sounded ridiculous to those who knew a little about how email worked, but many others fell for it! And many grew angry with the Post Office.

    If this is more widely circulated, perhaps a similar anger will be directed at Microsoft. Though in this case, the recipient would deserve the animosity.
  9. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    The overhead cost of implimenting such a system would be enormous and the spammer would find ways around it anyways.

    Sadly, the best way to fight spam is through filters...and it might always be the best way...
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Because it's their proprietary system. You don't have to use it. And a competitor could set up shop as well. In fact, I thought someone had, where basically any email to you sent an automated response requesting a personal code or payment of some sort.
  11. mangoduck macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2002
    lost at sea
    i concur with fukui, what a waste of time.

    a large percentage of spam these days is porn-related. start charging for email and that percentage will only go up. i dare say that porn sites make more money than the majority of the scemes, so they'll able to afford it.

    why waste people's cpu cycles? that would get old so fast. and who says 10 secs of math is the same for everyone's machine? while we're at it, we could just make every email 50MB regardless of content to slow things down some more.

    did anyone ever think of going to the source and making addresses harder to acquire to begin with? verify that people/companies are who they say they are, if they need more accounts they must give a reasonable explanation, and if they are found to be a known spammer the address is suspended or revoked. anyone using email for legitimate purposes would have no restrictions and no problem aside from a small one time hassle with verification, but a fair price to pay in light of proposed alternatives.
  12. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Re: Microsoft considering charging for Email

    If windows wasn't slow enough already, I don't want to have to wait an extra 10 seconds to open each of my e-mails!!

    That is such a terrible idea!
  13. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    The 909
    How, exactly, are they planning on accomplishing this? The protocol is open, and doesn't even require a real sending address. No matter what they do to the software (or even the email services), unless they fundamentaly change the way email works (thus locking out any existing users), anybody can set up a server on their own computer and send out as much email as they want for free...
  14. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    damn microsoft, trying to take my porn email away from me, i cant understand how they could do that to me.

  15. Golem macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2003
    Essentially you would be no longer using email. You would be a using a trusted? program running a new mail system. Call it mmail. This would talk to mmail servers and send mmail to mmail readers on. Of course since its microsoft it would be all proprietery and would probably need to run on their trusted platfrom to be absolutely sure of not being hacked.

    So it would be just macintosh,linux and the spammers still using the old email and microsoft owns everything else.
  16. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    Well, that sounds all good and such, but how many of the mail servers are running Microsoft OSes? The majority of the servers out there are actually Linux, Unix and a couple of Mac's. I think Microsoft is going to have a hard time making Linux users use this software. MS may dominate the workstation market and personal market, but when it comes to servers they don't have the complete domination that they need to do a project like this.


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