MS’s rewritten Sender ID spec ‘needs more work’

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In a bid to revive the moribund Sender ID specification, Microsoft has rewritten it to answer concerns over its previous incarnation.

Last month, a lack of consensus had brought work on the project to a standstill as objections were raised over the framework's patent issues and lack of backwards compatibility with Sender Permitted Form (SPF). Sender ID is a technology designed to limit the ability of spammers to hide their identities by spoofing their email address.

The Redmond giant has reworked some of the language in its pending patents for Sender ID, removing parts that included claims to SPF, which is widely used for email authentication. The open source community complained that Microsoft would use the claims to cream off royalties from use of the specification. There are still lingering doubts from that community over other pending patents that prevent users of the specification from sub-licensing it.

The changes have persuaded AOL to begin testing the specification again, a month after it had abandoned the process. AOL said that it applauded the efforts of Microsoft and the new specification was proof that "the standards process can work well".

However, it warned that more progress could be made on the project and "much more work was to be done".

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