Microsoft has decided to stop the updates for SmartScreen spam filters used in Exchange Server 2016 and earlier versions including 2013, 2010 and 2007. The updates for Outlook 2016 (2013, 2010, 2007) for Windows and Outlook 2011 for Mac will also be stopped. However, this announcement is will not affect the SmartScreen Filter that is baked into Windows, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer.
For the uninitiated, SmartScreen is actually a spam control filter that scrutinizes the messages and returns a Spam Confidence Level score. The items marked as Spam will automatically send to Outlook’s junk folder.
Now while one might think that why Microsoft is retiring the SmartScreen support if it is indeed so useful. Well, the answer is that SmartScreen spam filters have become obsolete and are already replaced by Exchange Online Protection, a much more effective filtering option. Also, as spammers are using much more sophisticated and evolved techniques the SmartScreen filter falls short of breath. EOP, on the other hand, is backed by a much more modern spam filtering stack which involves lesser of content filters and more of Sending IP, domain reputation, authentication, campaign detection, authentication, and spammer hosting.
Here is what will happen to SmartScreen, Microsoft will stop the updates starting from November 1 but the existing SmartScreen filter will be left intact for some basic protection.
The deprecation of SmartScreen filter is not expected to impact the Outlook users on Exchange Servers and also customers who are not yet using the Spam protection services can buy the Exchange Online Protection for 41/user/month. Also, customers using other e-mail services like Yahoo and Gmail will be protected by the respective service providers Spam filtering systems.