Gates: spam remains a threat

Gates: spam remains a threat

In an open letter posted on its website, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has said that despite advances having been made in recent months to combat spam, it remains a major problem.

"[It's] an invasion of privacy, a costly drain on time and resources and, as a carrier of worms and viruses, a significant threat to computer security," said Gates, who added that while new filtering technologies are blocking billions of spam emails every day, spammers have responded by cranking up the volume of email they send.

"The actions of the spammers over the past year have reinforced our conviction that current filtering technologies are not enough," added Gates.

Microsoft, in conjunction with AOL, Yahoo, Earthlink, Comcast and BT (known collectively as the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance), is currently developing a number of new technologies and strategies to combat the problem.

Meanwhile, having now departed from these shores after his flying visit to launch Microsoft's Unlimited Potential charity initiative in Australia, Gates is now in Malaysia, meeting with the country's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss how Microsoft can help boost the country's IT industry and the nation's computer literacy.

The visit has also been viewed as an opportunity for Gates to put forward the merits of Microsoft's software over the increasingly popular open source alternatives currently being examined by a number of countries in Asia and across the globe.

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