When I was a kid, I had the good fortune of frequently fishing with my dad in the bayous of southern Louisiana, one of the world's most fertile littoral ecosystems. We didn't always catch anything, but I enjoyed the attempt. However, for the last year or so, I've been more concerned with phishing than with fishing.

Antispam/Client. Whether you work on a laptop, home-office PC, or corporate workstation, you're constantly fending off spam. And, as in last year's Readers' Choice awards, our readers' favorite client-based antispam product is Sunbelt Software's iHateSpam. iHateSpam filters incoming email on most Outlook clients and lets users create "friends" and "enemies" mail lists. The ability to retrieve quarantined messages rounds out the tool's functionality. At $19.95, the product is priced right for small business and home-office users looking for a straightforward way to fight spam on the desktop.

Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) is a useful tool for giving remote or mobile users access to their Outlook mailboxes. Although OWA lacks some of Outlook's features, the overall user experience is similar to that of Outlook and is a reasonable alternative.

Even though Microsoft Office 2007 isn't due for release for several months (late 2006 to volume license customers; early 2007 for retail and OEM customers), Microsoft is already documenting key changes to the product to help with the transition.

The topic of hardware virtualization has generated much inter- est in the Windows community recently. Hardware platforms have become more accommodating of the demands of software that’s running in a virtual server, and virtualization software has become more mature and functional.

We have an Exchange Server 2003 environment with a front-end and back-end infrastructure. There are dedicated bridgehead servers for incoming and outgoing email traffic. Symantec Mail Security 4.6 for Microsoft Exchange is installed on all our Exchange servers. Recently, I was troubleshooting another problem and discovered that one bridgehead server was holding numerous emails in the SMTP mailbox temporary tables.

Not many people know about Lookout, a free personal search engine for Outlook. I’ve used other Outlook search engines such as Google Desktop, and in my eyes, Lookout beats them all. Lookout is easy to install, is intuitive to use, doesn’t soak up system resources, and doesn’t annoy you with obnoxious prompts wanting you to install items.