Mimecast to Mark 20th Anniversary of Internet Email Attachments

    MIME Protocol enabled general public to share text, photos, and sound files

    WALTHAM, Mass. -  Mimecast®, the leading supplier of cloud-based email archiving, continuity and security for Microsoft Exchange and Office 365, today marked the 20th anniversary of the first standardized email attachment successfully being sent via the Internet on March 11, 1992. One of the technology’s inventors and Chief Scientist at Mimecast, Dr. Nathaniel Borenstein, delivered a keynote presentation earlier this week at an event marking the significance of the occasion and discussed the evolution of its innovation, impact and influence on today’s technology.

    Email has quickly become one of the most universally utilized business tools and is often the primary store for critical business information. As such, it has also become one of the most complex and fragmented areas within today’s organizations. Mimecast’s Unified Email Management solution makes it easy to manage and protect the growing amount of data within corporate email.

    Having the ability to effectively manage email is a critical piece of any successful business, requiring an effective strategy that is low risk, future proof, immediately affordable, easy to implement and manage, and has a predictable cost structure. Companies rely on Mimecast to provide email management as a single service in the cloud that allows users to reduce on-premise email storage requirements while ensuring complete email availability, email security and email compliance. The invention of Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) proved to be a critical moment within the history of email. With MIME, email has been able to mature from its original form of text-only messages, to what it has evolved into today – possibly the most important business tool of our time.

    Creating and sending an email used to be quite simple. Users would create a text message and then send it to someone else. However, as email became more widespread, the function of email required an evolution and begged for an innovation such as MIME. People wanted to send files such as data files or documents or spreadsheets to other people. The method called MIME was developed for embedding attachments and other information in email messages which?/that until then, could not be sent between users on different e-mail systems because the few systems that supported attachments had proprietary ways of handling them. As the Internet’s popularity grew and the public started using different service providers in the 1990s, the need for a standardized way to attach files to e-mails became necessary and  MIME quickly became that standard.

    Co-designers, Dr. Borenstein and Ned Freed, led the specification of MIME and were instrumental in its worldwide adoption, enabling email users to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via Internet mail systems and support messages in various character sets. MIME is now the official Internet standard that defines the way in which multimedia objects are labeled, compounded, and encoded for transport over the Internet.

     “From its inception in the late 1960s, it became clear that email’s incompatibilities – be they in language or file type – would be prohibitive for its evolution and long-term success. We set out to solve that complexity, and from the moment of its release, we realized its innovation would become a mainstay in the future of email technology,” said Nathaniel Borenstein, Chief Scientist at Mimecast. “The idea behind MIME was quite simple – make it easy for users to embrace email and be successful. Today, twenty years later, it is that same intent and dedication that allows Mimecast to focus on the evolving needs of businesses to ensure they are successful when tackling today’s email challenges.  I’m thrilled to celebrate the anniversary of this innovation and look forward to its continued evolution.”

    It is estimated that today, the MIME standard is used billions – if not a trillion – times each day either in emails or on embedded in web pages.

    View the history of MIME infographic
     

    About Mimecast

    Mimecast delivers cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange, including email archiving, continuity and security. By unifying disparate and fragmented email environments into one holistic solution that is always available from the cloud, Mimecast minimizes risk and reduces cost and complexity, while providing total end-to-end control of email. Founded in the United Kingdom in 2003, Mimecast serves over 5,000 customers worldwide and has offices in Europe, North America, Africa and the Channel Islands. 

    For more information on partnering with Mimecast, please visit:http://www.mimecast.com/Partners/

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    North America 
    Timothy Hamilton
    Public Relations Manager, North America
    +1 (617) 393 7122
    thamilton@mimecast.com

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    Laura Barnes 
    Senior PR & Communications Manager
    +44 (0)207 847 8700
    lbarnes@mimecast.com

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    Laura Rapson
    PR & Communications Manager
    +27 11 722 3700
    lrapson@mimecast.com

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