I interviewed Steve Ballmer last night and we got to talking about spam and I was surprised when he asked me my experience.
I noted that it was bad and getting worse and, like any geek. the Microsoft CEO and 11th richest man in America ($12.6 billion) said "let me take a look at it." So he did. Freep photog Amy Leang took the photo of my top level tech support session. (click it to see it full-sized)
Ballmer believes existing technology should be able to zap 80 percent of all spam before it reaches the consumer's inbox and offered to hook me up with some Microsoft anti-spam gurus to learn how to maximize filtering. If he does, I'll pass along everything I learn so you can benefit from this, too.
Meanwhile, Ballmer said he misspoke last week when he was quoted as saying Microsoft chairman Bill Gates gets about 4 million spam messages a day. "I should have said year." he told me. "It's 4 million a year he gets."
For the record, Ballmer says he gets a lot of spam, too, including 25,000 sent one day last week by some disgruntled guy who copied his e-mail address after it was flashed on the screen during a network TV report. Only about 10 spam e-mails a day slip through into his inbox, Ballmer said, because of filters.
"I don't use anything that isn't commercially available to anyone or standard with our sofware," he said. "Anyone should be able to do the same thing."
By the way, Ballmer was visibly excited to see me using a Tablet PC.
"Honestly," he asked, "after using a tablet, do you have any doubts that every notebook one day is going to have tablet functions?"
He had me there. Tablets really do rock.