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Boeing's antispam spinoff takes flight

The aerospace giant launches its antispam spinoff, MessageGate, a commercialized version of the software the company uses internally to fight unsolicited e-mail.

Aerospace giant Boeing officially launched its antispam spinoff late Wednesday. Dubbed MessageGate, the company will offer a commercialized version of the software Boeing uses internally to fight unsolicited e-mail.

The first product offered by the company, MessageGate Security Edition, aims to provide protection for corporate e-mail systems by filtering and securing inbound, outbound and internal messages. MessageGate claims that the application is capable of handling millions of e-mails per day and can be tailored to suit the needs of companies of varying sizes.

MessageGate reported that it is also preparing the commercial launch of a Compliance Edition and has plans to deliver a range of additional e-mail management applications.

"MessageGate is launching at a time when spam and e-mail security and compliance are major issues for corporations," Miller Adams, vice president of Boeing Ventures, said in a statement. "We believe this technology will prove to be an excellent solution for large enterprises dealing with these challenges."

Backed by an investment from Polaris Venture Partners, the company was created under Boeing's Chairman?s Innovation Initiative (CII), a program within the giant manufacturer that targets new business opportunities using internally developed technologies. Earlier this year, Boeing launched a wireless technology subsidiary, Connexion By Boeing, which is developing in-flight Internet services.

"The formation of MessageGate is a significant achievement for Boeing, because it is a concrete example of how we are fostering a culture of innovation and generating new business opportunities through the entrepreneurial ideas of our people," said Miller, who also manages Boeing Phantom Works Technology Planning and Acquisition, the unit which oversees the CII program.

Boeing reported that since the inception of the CII effort in September 2000, it has considered more than 800 technology business concepts pitched by employees. The company said it has plans to spin off several more ventures, referred to as "Baby Boeings" by some industry observers. Other new initiatives have been applied within the company's existing business units.