Microsoft has beefed up the security on Outlook 2002 for its release this week, but is strangely reticent to discuss the changes. A press release about the new features fails to mention anything about security.
"I'll bet their legal department has said that the less said about security the better," said Giga Information Group analyst Rob Enderle.
Outlook has come under continual criticism for allowing viruses, such as LoveLetter and Homepage, to distribute themselves as an attachment to an email message.
Although Microsoft did not return calls for this article, it is known that the new upgrade includes attachment-blocking default settings which will alert users if any malicious code tries to run and execute commands with the email software.
It will also not allow object model programming to run from email messages or attachments.
Rather than tout these upgrades, which will no doubt be welcomed by users, Microsoft's press release highlighted improvements in usability, productivity and performance.
Outlook 2002, which will be included in all Office XP suites, also offers Exchange 2000 customers the ability to use Exchange's instant messaging service, as well as access to better email maintenance.
"Microsoft has lost so much marketing talent over the last few years, it shouldn't be surprising that they really don't seem to be able to articulate the core values of the product," said Enderle.
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