Retirement News

Postini Retires to Make Room for Google Apps


We can no longer offer Postini SPAM testing, as our Postini services have been migrated to the “Google Apps” filter. Google purchased Postini in 2007, and stopped renewing contracts for Postini in 2012. Now most companies that used Postini are transitioning to Google Apps or one of the alternative SPAM filters. You’ll now see “Google Apps” in our SPAM testing suite instead of Postini.

How is Google Apps different from Postini?

First of all, Google Apps returns a lot less information than Postini did. It’s no secret that web-based spam filters are tight-lipped about why they block emails. And rightfully so! After all, by giving away this information they help spammers to evade their filters. We have a whole blog about the header information that Postini gave, and how to use it to diagnose problems with that filter. Google Apps, on the other hand, gives very little information to users. If your email fails this filter, we can really only return the following information:

  • “Failed Google Apps SPAM filter” or
  • “Failed Google Apps SPAM and PHISHY filters.” (An email that fails the “phishy” filter is also always marked as SPAM)

Google Apps is more likely to allow “bulk mail” material through its filter. If it would go into Gmail’s “promotions” tab, then it will probably be allowed through.

Like Gmail, it will block all messages that contain executables (even if they are in a zipped file) as well as other file types.

Google Apps scans attachments automatically for viruses, and blocks them if any are found. It also has increased protection against phishing, and blocks any emails that link to sites known to be malicious.

The Google Apps filter learns very quickly, like Gmail. Users who are using Google Apps with a Gmail system can click “report SPAM” when an incoming message looks like SPAM to them, thus training the system. If you’re using a non-Gmail service, you won’t be able to mark messages as SPAM. Instead, users will get a “Quarantine Summary” email that contains a list of all the messages that were quarantined by the filter. If a user sees a message on this list that they recognize as non-SPAM, they can click a link in the Quarantine Summary to have the filtered message delivered to them.

Is Postini the first victim of Google’s SPAM Filter empire?

Why did Google purchase Postini if not to monopolize? In 2007, Google paid 625 million dollars in cash to acquire Postini, only to deprecate the service seven years later. Why do you think Google purchased Postini? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

1 thought on “Postini Retires to Make Room for Google Apps”

  1. Google acquired Postini for the “3 R’s”: Reputation, Rolodex, and Revenue stream. In early 2007, Google Enterprise was a fledgling organization with very little traction. They closed a couple of deals with Postini as a partner, and saw acquiring Postini as a way to kickstart growth of Google Apps. The offer Google made was far more attractive than what Postini could have made going public, so Postini’s management went for it.

    That Google got a whole bunch of technology and people along the way was an incidental detail, at best. It was always and only about driving business to Google Apps. No thought was given about where to go with the Postini product after it was acquired.

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