@Brett and AC
Why are cars different from computers? Well, if cars go out of control, people die. If computers are compromised, the worst-case scenario is that your hard drive gets wiped - a scenario you should already be prepared for with backups, because hard drives have a finite lifespan. The less-worse scenario is that your machine becomes a zombie - no files are affected, but it'll hit your bandwidth usage and inflict spam on others. Either way, there's no loss of life and limited loss of money (unless zombies are used for DDoS, and this article is about spam, not DDoS).
In other words - get some friggin' perspective, guys!
And let's consider the case where this impractical suggestion was put into action. Letting a user shoot themselves in the foot would now result in lawsuits against the PC vendor. Every PC would therefore have to be fully locked down at sale time. You would be allowed the email clients pre-installed by the seller and no other client would be allowed to send email. Nor would you be allowed any other browser or IM client. File-sharing would be right out. Even downloading files would probably be blocked, because that's a potential route in. And of course you'd have to allow your PC vendor to remotely install updates on your machine whenever *they* saw fit, regardless of whether you wanted that update or whether you really wanted your bandwidth at that particular moment in your CS game.
In other words - you didn't think about the consequences before you suggested this idea.
Your post advocates a
approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
(maybe) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(X) Users of email will not put up with it
(X) Microsoft will not put up with it
(X) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(X) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
(X) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business
Specifically, your plan fails to account for
(X) Jurisdictional problems
(X) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
and the following philosophical objections may also apply:
(X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(X) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
(X) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
(X) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
(X) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
(X) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
Furthermore, this is what I think about you:
(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
(maybe) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.