How Microsoft plans to exploit spam hysteria
One reason why spam thrives is because the original Internet email protocols do not insist on authenticating senders. So a lot of effort has been focussed by Internet standards bodies on closing this loophole. But now it turns out that any authentication technology that uses the Caller ID system developed by Microsoft will have to pay royalties. This means that open source software will have to avoid that way of doing authentication (not necessarily because people don’t want to pay royalties but because open source licensing terms preclude the inclusion of proprietary products) — which means that open source email systems might come to be perceived as inferior to proprietary products. Which would suit Microsoft nicely. Very good column by Bill Thompson exploring the ramifications of all this.