One of the projects I will be working on going forward is helping out with some of the filtering with outlook.com.
In case you haven’t heard, over the past few months Microsoft has merged together the spam filtering units responsible for protecting Office 365 (also known as Exchange Online Protection (EOP), formerly known as Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE), previously known as Frontbridge) and outlook.com (formerly known as Hotmail). Instead of two different teams with some data sharing, it will be one team with lots of data sharing although not necessarily the same filters – consumer email and enterprise email are different.
To that end, I will be taking over some duties for Hotmail that also show up in Office 365. For example, Hotmail supports both DKIM and DMARC, so the equivalent feature in Office 365 will be the same one Hotmail uses once it moves over to the Office 365 infrastructure (I am working on the Office 365 version of DKIM and DMARC). Similarly, the Boomerang feature in Office 365 is the same one that Hotmail currently uses and will use.
The main piece I will be inheriting is some of the Safety UX (user experience) for both systems’ web interfaces. You may have noticed that Hotmail shows a green shield next to trusted users in its webmail:
We are looking to ensure both Office 365 and outlook.com – on both web, mobile and tablet – all show the same thing for both trusted senders and spoofed messages. Thus, if you’re an outlook.com user and you’re used to seeing a red line when a message is spoofed, when your business goes to Office 365 you’ll see the same thing (this does not necessarily mean that the Outlook client will show the same thing, that’s not decided yet; I don’t know if my scope of responsibilities includes it).
So, my component is figuring out how it looks in some of the web clients and how (if?) we can make it better than it is today; what criteria to use to show these properties; and how it all ties together with spam, phishing, and authentication.
Before you get too excited that “Finally! Someone I know works in Hotmail and I can get them to change Feature X so I can deliver to Customer Y!” let me say this – I don’t work on the general spam filter in Hotmail, nor work with their deliverability team. I know people there but don’t have that much input. So, I can’t help you much in that regard.
But at least you know what I’ll be working on for the next little while.