Feeds

Smart Tags due in Win-XP browser

Welcome to the Microsoft Web

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft will be able to subvert the content of any Web page with Smart Tags, which will act much like hyperlinks to Web content which Redmond either recommends, or is paid to recommend, if the company integrates the technology with its Windows-XP browser, as predicted in an article from Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

Smart Tags are already included in Office-XP, enabling users to implant a hyperlink-esque reference into data files using XML (Extensible Markup Language), and may be rather handy at that; but integrating them into the XP version of Internet Explorer opens up an entire new realm of on-line commercial perversions.

Assuming the Journal's prediction holds true, we can imagine, for example, that if this page were being viewed with a Smart-Tag-enabled browser, our reference to XML above could be highlighted automatically, inviting readers to pop over to Microsoft's own PR output, cheerfully burbling about its miraculous benefits.

On the other hand, we might prefer to refer our readers to a Web page denouncing XML; but whether we would or not, it ought to be our own editorial judgment which determines what links will and won't appear on our pages.

Furthermore, a reference, say, to a certain popular, white crystalline nose-rotting powder might inspire a Smart-Tag link to an advertisement for a certain carbonated water, sugar and caramel-color tooth-rotting drink known by the same name.

We're not sure we like the idea of generating copy that can be automatically converted into advertising for which we're not getting paid. And we don't imagine our venerable advertisers are going to be especially thrilled about it either.

The Smart Tag browser feature will be turned off by default in the XP final release, and MS will provide a meta tag that site owners can use to prevent Smart Tags from appearing on their sites, the Journal says.

And it will of course be possible for MS' competitors to create their own Smart Tags, but we wonder what that really means when the vast majority of surfers are going to be taken for a ride around the Web on Microsoft's virtual conveyances.

In all, this sounds like a grotesquely tasteless bit of consumerist schlock of the sort MS just adores; and we haven't begun to contemplate the security implications of Smart Tags in combination with maliciously-crafted Web pages.

But we know our beloved readers will rise to the challenge and propose a plethora of devious mis-uses for Redmond's most recent on-line marketing toy. ®

Related Story

Smart tagging in Office XP -- what Melissa did next?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.