Microsoft's new Information Rights Management
software in Office 2003 will only let approved users open Outlook email messages which are "IRMed" and allow users to set an expiry date after which their messages will die.
Effectively, this is congruous to having an "auto shredder" service for email. Rather handy for business use, but if you read the fine print
you find out that:
- This is a subscription-based service, so if you use it you will be locked into paying Microsoft for ever after.
- The only email software that will be able to read "IRMed" messaged so far will be Outlook 2003 - and there are not even plans to make rights management work on the Mac.
What do you think might happen if this proves popular? For one thing, it might result in a situation where it's a lot of hassle for non-Outlook email users to receive Outlook email and/or where people using Outlook end up having to remember who in their address book has Outlook and who doesn't.
For another, even for people who DO use Outlook but do not have IRM capabiilties installed (given that they are not free to begin with) it may be a problem to receive "IRMed" email. There is a fix though, if you use Office download the update from Office Update website