I've heard about Microsoft's Smart Tag technology and the possibility that the technology could "poach" visitors off our Web site. Can you tell me whether it's possible to disable Smart Tags?

In mid-2001, Microsoft announced a new technology called Smart Tags, which the company said would ship with Windows XP, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0, and Microsoft Office XP and would let HTML reader applications generate hyperlinks next to certain words on a page. The problem is that Microsoft predetermines which words will generate links and to which locations these Smart Tags will take the user--locations that will almost certainly be away from your Web site. Visitor poaching is why Smart Tag technology has generated so many negative reactions from users, industry analysts, and the press. Microsoft shipped Smart Tags in Office XP (although the feature is turned off by default) but didn't include the technology in XP because the company couldn't complete the implementation by XP's October 2001 ship date. Microsoft still plans to include the technology in a future version of Windows.

If Smart Tags do become more pervasive in the future, you can disable the ability of IE and other Smart Tag—capable applications to insert Smart Tags when reading HTML pages on your Web site. Simply insert the following tag anywhere between the <head> and </head> tags of each page's heading:

<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing"
 content="TRUE">

This tag will prevent Smart Tag—generated links from appearing on your Web site's pages and protect you from visitor poaching.