HP to ship antispam software on new PCs

Saying it wants to protect children from inappropriate material and give customers a more "positive" computing experience, Hewlett-Packard will bundle antispam software with its new desktop PCs.

The company will preload interMute's SpamSubtract Pro product on new HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario PCs, according to a statement from interMute.

Customers who purchase the new PCs will be able to use the spam blocking software free for 30 days with the option to purchase a full license for the software for US$29.95 from the interMute Web site.

SpamSubtract Pro acts like a spam firewall, using a specialized algorithm and database of spam e-mail identifiers such as obscene words and offensive images, as well as commercial solicitations, according to a company spokesman.

Incoming e-mail messages are sorted into folders for confirmed spam, suspected spam and "friendly" messages, the spokesman said.

The product is also capable of masking offensive words in spam e-mail messages and preventing image attachments from being previewed, interMute said.

Customers who do not purchase a license will continue to be able to use the product to quarantine spam with obscene words and images. However, commercial solicitations would no longer be flagged, the spokesman said.

While bundling software on new PCs is a common practice, HP was interested in having some of the "family friendly" antispam features stay on even for customers who do not choose to purchase a SpamSubtract license, he said.

SpamSubtract runs on the Microsoft Windows platform and works with common e-mail clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express and Eudora, interMute said.

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