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Microsoft Launches SNARF Email organizer

Microsoft Research has launched SNARF that extends Microsoft Outlook email notification and message organizing capabilities. SNARF sorts email messages in order of 'social' importance.

The tool runs simultaneously next to an e-mail client and allows a user to look at unread e-mail in three views: Unread To/CC Me, Unread Mail, and Unread Lists. The default sort mechanism ranks e-mail messages in those categories based on how many times a user e-mails an address or person on the list.

SNARF can help you find the right ordering of email messages for maximum productivity. Each person in their inbox is assigned a set of meta-information: "number of emails sent in the last month," for example. These metrics can, in turn, be combined to create an ordering across all contacts. Each person or list has a count of messages associated with them and a a blue bar under indicates the magnitude (on a log scale, and relative to the other people in the same pane) of the number of messages for that person.

The software requires Microsoft Outlook 2002 or 2003 as a MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface) source, but also has been tested with Exchange and MAPI servers, Hotmail, and e-mail clients using POP (Post Office Protocol), IMAP, and the OL Connector (for Lotus Notes).

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