Subject: MSIE "Smart Tags" -- what's the real deal?
From: Seth Gordon <>
Date: 12 Jun 2001 14:51:46 -0000

There's been a lot of noise on Slashdot et al. about the new "Smart
Tags" in the version of Internet Explorer that comes with Windows XP.

Inspired by Frank's analysis of Hailstorm, I want to ask: what is the
*real* goal of this system, and how (if at all) does it threaten FSBs?

Most of the people complaining about Smart Tags are focusing on how it
subverts the relationship between a Web surfer and a Web author when
they are working for separate organizations.  I don't think Microsoft
really cares about this, though, because their real software revenue
comes from institutional purchases, where one salesman can convince
one CEO to buy hundreds of Windows or Office licenses at a time.

So how do corporate customers (ostensibly) benefit from Smart Tags?
And by providing them with that benefit, what competitors is Microsoft
trying to block, or what other products and services is it trying to

Or is it just that three years ago, some Microsoft developer noticed
Third Voice and other Web annotation services, said "this is so
trivial to implement that if anyone's going to make money off of this,
it might as well be us", and implemented Smart Tags over a long

"Rav would never cross a bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Maybe he
will be judged and I will be taken with him.'  Shmuel would only cross a
bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Satan cannot rule two nations [at
once].'  Rabbi Yannai would examine [the bridge] and cross."  --Shabbat 32a
== Seth Gordon == == == std. disclaimer ==