Company brings hyperlinks to new level

An Israeli firm is releasing software this week that could change the way people get instant information on the Internet.

Israel's Gurunet software lets people hyperlink to instant facts and figures by holding down the Alt key while right-clicking their mouse on any word on a Web page. It saves users from having to wade through search engine-generated information by bringing the facts directly to the desktop.

For example, Alt-right-clicking on the word "Indonesia" will bring up a small box in the foreground of the Web page containing a dictionary or encyclopaedia entry of the word. Clicking on the word "Intel" will bring up information about the company along with links to stock quotes, company background and recent news. And if users click on the word "Bruce Willis" a little bio of the star will pop up, plus links to information about his movies.

The software works with nearly every word in the English language -- from either the Internet or a Windows program. The company plans to make it available on other operating systems and in 15 different languages in the future. Gurunet founder Bob Rosenschein said he's been working on the software for about 15 years. He got the idea to start the company after showing his software to ICQ founder Yossi Vardi. "The point is convenience," he said. "It's about user empowerment."

Right now, Guru gets its dictionary content from the American Heritage Dictionary. Quotes and business information come from Stockpoint and Marketguide. It's in the process of hammering out agreements with other content providers.

The company also has deals with major e-tailer such as Amazon.com, so users can link to the sites from the information box. In the future, the service may offer music, videos and DVDs, in addition to books. Guru also has the support from Apple evangelist-turned venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki, who's helping to get the fledgling company off the ground.

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