Microsoft and US Gov Teaming Up To Monopolize New "Certified E-Mail" Postmark
- According to a Nov. 21, 2002 Seattle Times article:
...at the Comdex technology trade show this week, ... a mundane product quietly unveiled at Microsoft's booth may have more of an impact on the average computer user.
On display was an electronic stamp the U.S. Postal Service plans to sell to certify authenticity and delivery time of e-mail.
[...] The plan is to have e-mail-postage software available in the next 30 to 45 days At first, it would be an add-on to Microsoft's popular Outlook e-mail-management software.
Later, it would be bundled into the new version of Microsoft's Office suite, due around summer. When loaded, it would appear as several buttons on the Outlook control panel.
Users would pay the Postal Service anywhere from a penny to $2, depending on the volume of use, to add an official stamp of authenticity. The stamp would be applied with a click, not a lick.
[...] Several attempts by companies to charge per e-mail for authentication services have failed, noted analysts at IDC, a research company in Framingham, Mass.
[...] A key reason is people still don't trust the technology enough, IDC's research shows.
[AuthentiDate Chief Executive Rob] Van Naarden said electronic postmarks will succeed because they have federal authority. He said the stamps would provide legal force to electronic documents, and the Postal Service can prosecute people who circumvent the system.
So now it becomes clear why the Bush administration has gone easy on Microsoft -- it planned to become its business partner.