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It was a team effort. Over the last three weeks since the story first broke, there have been nearly 3000 pages views from Microsoft domains here. I don't know how much we had to do with it, but it is clear they were listening.
But Smart Tags inclusion in Office XP is the first overt Web tie within Office. Microsoft's market dominance in desktop business software roughly equals its command in the operating system market. The focus on removing Smart Tags from Internet Explorer 6 could deflect competitive concerns about the technology's use in Office.
It would be nice to see SmartTags removed wholesale. :) I see very little difference in altering my web sites linking and adding (potentially misleading) linking within my Office documents, as well.
Cullinan added that Microsoft intends to continue to develop Smart Tags and that it was likely a version would be included in a future release of the operating system, although he declined to give any specific timeframe.
Because MS got all the bad press about Smart Tags now, they are going to slide in the same "feature" under a new name and without saying a word to the press.
This is not the end of this. Smart Tags will be back.
<later>DOH! I missed your post, Drastic. But we are on the same wavelength on this one.</later>
if smart tags were done as a user configured optional add in that allowed a site to override their use on web pages, then I can see it being OK...I just have NO faith in MS working that way...it's not user-patronising enough
Luckily, on following the link, I found [stacks.msnbc.com] the advertised and downloadable tags relevant only to those using Office XP – I think.
Nonetheless, their succinctly described attributes engendered in me a distinct sense of déjà vu:
MSNBC.com provides local news, weather and sports for Microsoft Office XP Smart Tags. With MSNBC Smart Tags you can type in the name of a particular city- such as Austin or Philadelphia- and Smart Tag technology will provide a link to the latest local news, sports and weather. This helpful feature works when using any Word, Excel or Word-enabled Outlook document. MSNBC Smart Tags recognize 190 U.S. cities from MSNBC.com’s network of affiliate Web sites, providing complete details from the nearest city and provide weather forecasts from 190 international locations.
I dunno, call me a sentimental old fool (p'rhaps I just miss the little b*star*s) but I've a distinct feeling it's not going to be too long before this form of insidious promotion sees hordes of corporate Windows XP users demanding that their webmasters ensure that these cute and helpful little critters are deployed on their - and later, others' - Web sites.
And who will be in a position to oblige them and meet consumer demand? Why, our friend Uncle Bill, of course.
The nut of it is that until clarity in terms of copyright is forthcoming, Smart Tags remain a threat. Does anybody know if there have been any developments in this particular area of copyright law since MS did a sideways shuffle on these things? Or has the world reverted to its normal state of myopic complacency?
We need to know what’s going on because – aided by scuzzy, low-rent media outfits and toadies like MSNBC - these little devils will continue to gnaw at the basal ganglia of unthinking consumers everywhere. And, as Redmond knows, nothing is as powerful as consumer demand - it feeds on itself as voraciously as it will feed on our copy.
When they come to fill my site with handfuls of maggots, I want to be ready for them.