MS Outlook Competitive Comparision


MS Outlook Competitive Comparision

Feature 
Disruptor OL
MS Outlook
2000-2002
MS Outlook
2003
Filter        
  realtime DNSBLs
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: detecting unknown typ of spam, automatic,
very low bandwidth, no firewall problems, no privacy problem (DNS chains act like ano-proxys)
  Simple Word Filters
Yes
Yes
Yes
  Benefit: ease of use
  Regular Expressions
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: powerfull options for experienced users
  Bayesian Believe Filter
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: detecting unknown typs of spam, automatic,
no bandwidth usage
  aging Bayesian Believe Filter
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: adapting to new types of spam, fading out of
old types of spam, faster usage than non-aging Bay.
  Score Rating System
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: powerfull options for experienced users
  Language Filter
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: ease of use combined with high effect
  Dupe Checking
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: ease of use
  Blacklist
Yes
Yes
Yes
  Benefit: almost none for most spam, because senders will
forge their addresses
  Auto-Update
No
No
Yes
  Benefit: updates filters.
But exposes your privacy and adds bandwidth usage
Address Management      
  Auto-Whitelist
Yes
No
Yes
  Benefit: reducing the number of false positives to almost zero
without any maintenance needs
 

Safe Sendes List
(new Outlook 2003 feature)

Yes
No
Yes
  done by auto-whitelist without the need of user interaction
  Blocked Senders List
("new" Outlook 2003 feature)
Yes
Yes
Yes
  done by blacklist
  Safe Recipients Lists
(new Outlook 2003 feature)
via filters
No
Yes
  done by filters
  Wildcards in White-
and Blacklists
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: ease of use, more condensed and failsafe usage
Security      
  Message Security
build in
via macros
unknown
  Benefit: It is just there, no need to fiddle about.
  Secure Links
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: Don't destroy the message, just secure the dangerous part.
  only remove clickable
dangerous html code
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: Don't destroy the message, just secure the dangerous part.
  only remove potential
dangerous html code
Yes
No
unknown
  Benefit: Don't destroy the message, just secure the dangerous part.
  convert RTF and HTML to Text
Yes
via macro
(not optimized output)
unknown
  Benefit: drop danger to zero
Privacy      
  Phone home
No
No
Yes
  Disadvantage: transfered content is unknown, possible exposure
of confidential data, might violate corporate rules of behavior
Various      
  easy diagnostic
Yes
No
No
  Benefit: adapting filters in case of false positives or false negatives
optimize rate of detection and missdetection
  organize incoming spam
Yes
No
No
  Benefit: ease of controlling
  delayed deletion of spam
Yes
No
No
  Benefit: don't lose important mails, review spam items
  easy toolbar
Yes
No
No
  Benefit: one click is enough, no hazzle
with nested menus and lots of dialogs
         


This is a condensed list of features collected to the best of my knowledge.
Wrong facts? Mail wrongfacts@hlembke.de now!

Outlook 2003 facts are from http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/editions/junkmail.asp, items with unknown are still unclear.

 


The new Outlook 2003 (as seen on 2003-08-20)

Facts? I don't know. The functions are very unclear, because Microsoft did not release any technical details about it. Only marketing statements. And don't we all believe them?

The statement

Junk E-Mail Filter: Outlook 2003 uses state-of-the-art technology developed by Microsoft Research to evaluate whether a message should be treated as a junk e-mail message based on several factors—such as the time the message was sent and the content and structure of the message. The filter does not single out any particular sender or type of e-mail message. Rather, it uses advanced analysis to determine how likely it is to be thought of by you as a junk e-mail message.

By default, this filter is set to a low setting designed to catch the most obvious junk e-mail messages. Messages caught by the filter are moved to a special Junk E-mail folder, where you can access them later. If you want, you can make the filter more aggressive (perhaps mistakenly catching more legitimate messages), or even set Outlook 2003 to permanently delete junk e-mail messages as they come in.

is more or less cryptic. No existing technologie can be identified. Some parts identify nonsense technologie ("time the message was send") or buzzy marketing bubbles ("content and structure of the message"). There is non statement about how the combination of filters is done. There is no statement about how to adjust the needed filter settings. There is no statement how the 'individual' part works.

"time the message was send": In a global acting environment there is no valid time of sending an email. Russion, American and Indian bussines partners will send messages any time... And even their daytime is irrelevant, I know people working very early in the morning and others very late at night. I have even heard about night shifts or such functions like 'setting the time when a message will be send'. So no working way.

And remember: all message items can be forged. Only thing you could do is to remove messages with 'broken' dates/times (like in the future, too old or simply defect).

"content and structure of the message": where else do you expect to get the knowledge about the type of message come from? Huhuhu...

Other features Microsoft mentions:

Safe Senders List: This is a feature Disruptor OL does automatically without any interaction, without any hazzle, quietly in the background with its auto-Whitelist feature. So manual interaction is a step backward.

The Microsoft idea to treat entire domains as 'white listed' is not very smart. Keep in mind that junk mail senders simply can invent new mail addresses and add your company domain. So it will soon be a usesless feature.

Blocked Senders List: More or less very useless. Junk senders tend to change their sender address every time. So honestly, this feature in Disruptor OL is almost useless, too. It can be used to stop annoying newsletters or auto-advertisments from services you signed up (like from bookshops, auction yards or automated status reports). Blocking entire domains? OK, we don't do business with someone mailing from yahoo.com, don't we?

Safe Recipients Lists: I'm not sure about this feature. It could kill the BCC-function, because you are not mentioned as a receiver in a BCC-message (only your post box is, but that is the box that receives *any* mail you get, so you can't block it.). And if the junk senders grab your mail address from somewhere they *have* your valid recipient address.

AutoUpdate: Something that really looks nice if you read it the first time. But without details it is featureless. As discussed before, getting new 'blocked senders' is quite useless. They probably change faster than you do your updates.

Information about junk messages? Most of these concepts don't work very well because the junk senders individualize junk by adding random parts or using different order of paragraphs.

On the other hand it raises traffic. And I have no idea about the individuality of auto updates. If done reguallary and individualized it might expose your privacy...

And what is 'periodic'? Junk senders have timeframes of two or less days. More active during week ends.

But again: all the details are too unclear to say anything substantial.