Friday, November 19, 2004 Article - Microsoft's e-mail policy at issue in legal fight

In a article, "Microsoft's e-mail policy at issue in legal fight", alleges Microsoft instructs its employees to routinely destroy internal e-mail every 30 days.

The article states:

A representative for the software giant, however, said that while the company does have a guideline that suggests deleting e-mails after 30 days, the policy is not a strict requirement and that correspondence related to lawsuits is not included.

Hmm, first it states it is a guideline, then it refers to it as a policy. I see those as two totally different things. It seems that companies often get into trouble when they have policies that are in place and routinely not followed, especially if the company comes out and openly admits it.

I also wonder how employees determine what to keep. I would guess they simply go through their mailbox and ask themselves, "Could this e-mail ever possibly be related to a lawsuit?", Nah, delete.

They probably cover the determination guideline/policy in New Employee Orientation.

Microsoft, however, says its e-mail policy is necessary given the company's size and the need for efficiency.

I imagine MS employees get a lot of mail, and considering the return MS gets on average for each of its employees work I would think they could afford to store more than 30 days worth of mail per employee and it would give the company better insight into what the corporate world using their products has to deal with. Of course I pay for it, but even my MSN account has 2GB of storage with the opportunity for 10 additional accounts at 250MB each.

If even Microsoft can't produce e-mail in question in a lawsuit how can any of the rest of us be expected to.

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