Microsoft's Smart Tags Threaten the User Experience

Mark Hurst talks about Microsoft's Smart Tags on Good Experience: Microsoft's upcoming release of Windows XP contains a feature that attempts to suck all meaningful experience out of every page on the Web. The feature, called Smart Tags, has brought about a loud discussion on many websites -- Web developers everywhere screaming for Microsoft to stop, and Microsoft arrogantly defending itself. Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg describes Smart Tags: Smart Tags allow Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser -- included in Windows XP -- to turn any word on any Web site into a link to Microsoft's own Web sites and services, or to any other sites Microsoft favors. In effect, Microsoft will be able, through the browser, to re-edit anybody's site, without the owner's knowledge or permission, in a way that tempts users to leave and go to a Microsoft-chosen site -- whether or not that site offers better information.