Microsoft made quite a few announcements a few months ago about beefing up its anti-spam technology,but today took its legal side of the fight to another continent by suing one of the biggest spammers in Israel.

Microsoft is convinced that Amir Gans, head of New Approach a marketing firm, has sent around 10 million junk emails and could be sending as much as half of all Israeli spam.

"By filing this lawsuit, we want to deter individuals, especially high-profile spammers such as Mr Gans, and persuade them to discontinue their spam activities," said Horacio Gutierrez, associate general counsel for Microsoft in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in a statement.

Microsoft said it had filed complaints about 10 alleged spammers with European public authorities: "We have sent nearly 70 cease and desist letters to as many spammers, and our experience tells us that in Europe spammers do stop once they are sued or under the threat of being sued."

Of course, there may be a replacement for Mr Gans the day after he stops- if he goes quietly, but the Redmond giant has the time and money to continue the direct approach until its own-branded privacy/antivirus suite is ready.