Microsoft Smart Tags Abandoned

Microsoft has given up on its plan to add "Smart Tags" to web pages viewed by those using Internet Explorer and Windows XP, following bad publicity over the system.

Microsoft is readying its next version of Windows for release in October. Called Windows XP, it will also have a new version of Internet Explorer that was to support Smart Tags.

With Smart Tags, Internet Explorer would turn certain words on a web page into links, if it believed Microsoft had content available for them. Click on the link, and you'd be taken to Microsoft content. Add-ons were to allow others besides Microsoft to establish Smart Tags.

Microsoft had planned to let webmasters opposed to Smart Tags block the links by inserting meta tags into their web pages, and the feature was also going to be switched off, by default.

Following a negative Wall Street Journal article on the system, further bad press has apparently caused Microsoft to drop Smart Tags from Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Scraps Smart Tags Plan, June 28, 2001,,10_793261,00.html

Microsoft's Smart Tags threaten Web
San Jose Mercury News, June 14, 2001

Columnist Dan Gillmor takes issue with Smart Tags.

Microsoft Smart Tags: Changing the Nature of Hyperlinks?
BrowserWatch, June 11, 2001 stories2001/news-20010611-1.html

Summary details on Smart Tags.

New Windows XP FeatureCan Re-Edit Others' Sites
Wall St. Journal, June 7, 2001 id=SB991862595554629527.djm

This article from the Wall St. Journal started the revolt against Smart Tags. It's only available to those with WSJ subscriptions.