Bill Gates gets 4 million emails a day
David Teather in New York
Friday November 19, 2004
The next time you're sifting through the mortgage offers, cheap Rolex
watches or dubious business proposals from Nigeria, spare a thought for
Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder is the most spammed man in the world,
with 4m emails arriving in his inbox each day.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, told a conference in
Singapore that being the world's best-known software billionaire has
its down side: "Bill receives 4m pieces of email per day, most of it
The upside of the Microsoft founder's bulging inbox is that it appears
to have focused his mind on the problem.
Spam is regarded as perhaps the biggest threat to the internet, with
some experts putting it as high as 80% of the world's online traffic.
The company is working on a number of solutions, including software
that replies automatically to email messages from users not known to
that computer, and the idea of "postage" on emails. Microsoft is also
working with internet firms AOL, Yahoo and EarthLink to verify the
identity of the sender of an email message.
A North Carolina man who raked in $24m (£13m) from peddling junk
products and pornography under a false name this month became the first
felony conviction under under a United States anti-spam law, and faces
up to nine years in prison.
Unlike ordinary people though, Mr Gates doesn't get a sore finger from
deleting unwanted missives. The company has a team of people dedicated
to ensuring he only gets mail that he wants to read.