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Microsoft is capping the amount of email punters can send using their Hotmail accounts in a bid to crack down on spam.

In a statement, the company said: "In an effort to prevent spammers from using MSN Hotmail to spread spam, MSN Hotmail recently began further limiting the number of outgoing messages a user can send each day.

"MSN is strongly committed to helping stop the widespread problem of spam and this change is one way we are preventing spammers from using Hotmail to spread spam."

No one is more shocked by this announcement than El Reg. Ten days ago, following an enquiry from one of our readers, we asked Microsoft specifically about whether it was limiting the amount of email that can be sent via its Hotmail service.

An official spokesperson for the company denied it had introduced any new limits and insisted that the only limit in place was an existing cap of 500 a day, which, we were told, had been in place for some time. There was no story.

Now, Microsoft has come clean and admitted that its new anti-spam email-limiting policy has been in place since the middle of the month.

Microsoft has apologised for any misunderstanding and denies it deliberately misled us. Whatever.

So, what is the new limit it's imposed? A Reuters report quotes MSN's lead product manager, Lisa Gurry, as saying that punters will be barred from sending emails to more than 100 e-mail addresses in a 24-hour period.

In contrast, the MSN spokesperson on this side of the pond has declined repeatedly to put a figure on the limit, except so say that it would not affect "99.9 per cent of its users". ®

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