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Microsoft "SNARFs" Gmail


By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft will be releasing a new feature to their e-mail called SNARF (anyone? Thundercats?). As described by Microsoft, SNARF is:

The SNARF interface will allow a user to order their unread mail in the way that makes the most sense to them. "People use a variety of strategies to handle triage; there is no single 'best' ordering of email messages to produce an optimal outcome," Microsoft says.

A user can select a certain quality to order their mail using a series of panes. For example, messages could be separated by the date they were sent, or if they were sent directly to the user or as part of a mailing list.

The SNARF download is available now and interfaces with Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003 only (no Oulook Express support and no implementation into Hotmail yet). Personally, this sounds like a reaction to the success of Gmail's labeling system which effectively groups messages together in conversations either automtically or by the user manually assigning a label to a message. It's still a great inoovation, but Micorosft should look to implement this into their Hotmail service to play "catch up" in the web based e-mail competition.