Comet Turns Cursors Into Reference Tools

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Rich media cursor company Comet Systems said yesterday that its Smart Cursors are now available at its Web site, allowing users to learn more about any word on any Web page by clicking on it.


"Essentially, every word is a hyperlink," said Ben Austin, director of marketing at Comet Systems, New York.


This is the follow up to Comet Cursor, which has attracted 60 million downloads by giving users the novelty of turning their cursors into cartoon characters and other animations.


Three Smart Cursors -- the Encyclopedia Cursor, the Dictionary Cursor and the Search Cursor -- were created through partnerships with Britannica.com; The American Heritage Dictionary; and portals Yahoo, Google, AOL, MSN, AltaVista, NBCi and Lycos.


Comet will depend on cost-per-click deals with SportingNews.com, InfoSpace.com, RollingStone.com and SmartMoney.com to make the service profitable.


"If we can get 5 million of our current users to upgrade, and if they were to click to our partners' pages once per week, at two pennies per click, that's $100,000 per week," Austin said.


"Over the coming months, someone using the Comet Cursor might see a pop-up window offering them the new software on an opt-in basis," Austin said. "If 10 percent of our user base accepts the upgrade, that will mean significant numbers."


Comet reports that 2 million to 3 million users per month download the Comet Cursor at www.cometsystems.com.
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