Smart Tags : LUSENET : WebDevelopers : One Thread

This is an email I sent to GranneNotes this afternoon (instructions for subscribing at bottom). It directly relates to all of us on this list. I hope it makes all of you very, very angry.


Folks, I told you I was mad the other day. Now I'm boiling.

The other day I wrote to you about Microsoft's new "feature" in Internet Explorer 6 - "Smart Tags" - that will allow Microsoft and other companies to create links on your Web pages, links that the Webmaster never intended or created!

Let me review - if you don't need a review, skip to the next paragraph, where it gets worse. A lot worse. Many of you know about the feature in Word and other word processing programs that put a red squiggley line under a mis-spelled word. When you're using IE6, a purple squiggley line will appear under words that IE thinks should be links. Use the word "Microsoft" on your Web page? IE will thoughtfully turn that word into a link to Microsoft's Web site - EVEN IF YOU NEVER WANTED IT TO BE A LINK. In other words, Microsoft is going to rewrite all the Web pages you make, and all the Web pages you visit.

Now, that's bad enough. But now it gets really bad. When MSFT announced this "feature", they promised that Webmasters could insert some code, called a META tag, into their Web pages that would turn Smart Tags off for visitors coming to the Web site. So if I don't want MSFT rewriting my Web pages, I simply insert a META tag into all 10,000 Web pages I've done, and voila! Smart Tags don't work on my Web site.

Guess what? MSFT has thoughtfully inserted a setting into IE that disables my ability to disable Smart Tags on my Web site! I CAN'T TURN SMART TAGS OFF FOR MY WEB SITES. To see this setting, go to and there it is: "Always have Web pages display available smart tags".

There you have it. MSFT has now made it impossible for me to control my own Web sites. If any of you are creating Web pages out there, or work in a company that creates Web pages, you now are in the same situation - you no longer control your own content on your Web sites. MSFT owns it all.

Tell me what you think.

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2001


If you went to the Office XP roll out, you would see that Smart Tags are in EVERYTHING! They will even be in the Windows XP this fall!

Have fun,

Dennis Beard

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2001

>Remember, you heard it here first.

Well, maybe not. 2F1250207&cid=&pid=0&startat=&threshold=2&mode=nested%eŽS

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2001

Simple. Configure your webserver to send all MSIE6 clients to a bland page that recommends "Optimal viewing in ANY browser EXCEPT MSIE6" and blatant links to Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, Lynx, Konquerer, HotJava, Amaya, Galeon.

Also include in your web pages licensing terms that do not give permission for rendering software (browsers) to deface your content or create "derivitive works" by displaying additional content not present in your original work. Copyright violation is a *big* deal in the US. File enough lawsuits against Microsoft (they have deep pockets and scads of cash, remember) and I'm sure the DMCA, Copyright, and Patent law have plenty of nooks and crannies that can be exploited by a greedy lawyer looking for fame and money to take up your cause. Who knows, they might win and take Microsoft to the cleaners. Won't the shareholders be sooooo happy with Bill's egomania for that "business decision".

Remember, you heard it here first. Mike808/ --

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2001

Oh, we need to discuss a lot more than Smart Tags. That's the tip of the iceberg.

How about:

* Windows XP - Single sign-on to the Net through Passport. Support for "raw sockets" that will make XP boxes a wonderful tool for hackers.

* Office XP - Setting the default in Outlook to Word-based email.

* Product Activation - A new tool to force us to upgrade our operating systems, again and again, whether we want to or not.

* Forcing corporations to upgrade - Changing licensing schemes as a way to force corp's to upgrade, whether they want to or not.

* Hailstorm - Centralizing our data on MSFT servers. Claiming to be open when they're not. Creating the world's greatest hacking target.

* Gnu Public License - Why are top MSFT officials distorting the truth about the GPL?

Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

-- Anonymous, June 15, 2001

so, to avoid all this - we should use flash... no html.


-- Anonymous, June 15, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ