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Microsoft Gaze gadget offered to website owners

Rolling over highlighted links displays pop-ups

Microsoft has unveiled a beta version of a gadget that displays a small window of information when users hover over or click on an underlined word on a web page.

A link to Microsoft Gaze, which is similar to a feature on Yahoo's web pages, can be embedded by website owners into their pages. Visitors to the page will know that a word has a link because either it is underlined or accompanied by a small icon that sits next to the word.

If a user clicks on the link, a small box pops up that includes information about the word and an advertisement or an offer.

Mario Esposito, a developer in Microsoft's AdCenter Labs, said in a blog that end-users can either hover over or click on the link. It's unclear if that means that a link could work both ways or if site publishers have the option to make the links require a click or open when users hover over them.

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In an example on the blog post, 'Madonna' is underlined and, in perhaps an odd error on the blog, a small box with information and links about Jennifer Lopez appears. The feature looks much like one that Yahoo uses on its own web pages.

Esposito added that the technology will be officially unveiled on April 15.

Microsoft's AdCenter Labs is a research group that develops new advertising technologies. The team designed the algorithms behind Microsoft AdCenter products such as Paid Search, Content Ads and Behavioral Targeting.

See also: Microsoft dismisses UAC security hole


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