Microsoft Tag Announces One-Stop-Shop for Marketers: Tag, QR and NFC

Aaron Getz, General Manager, Microsoft Tag
Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Microsoft Tag came out of beta about 18 months ago, and since then mobile barcodes have become more mainstream and adoption is growing at an impressive clip. Marketers are just beginning to harness the power of Tag for all its qualities: a high-quality reader, Tag customization, advanced analytics, extensibility via our SDK and more.

QR image

However, based on feedback we’ve heard in the industry, marketers wanted an easy way to use a full suite of recognition technologies all in one place. And with so many formats and readers on the market, there is increasing frustration among consumers over not knowing which reader to use for which code.

NFC image

To help simplify the growing fragmentation currently taking place in the barcode/reader market, today Microsoft Tag is providing support for the two commonly used 2D barcode formats (Tag and QR Codes) and for Near Field Communications (NFC) capabilities. With this extension, brands have the freedom to choose the format most appropriate for their campaigns and give consumers the ease of one reader to use.

Tag image

We’ve already seen a lot of enthusiasm for these Tag updates among leading media and marketing companies like Meredith. “One of the strategic reasons we standardized on Tag was to unify the 2D barcode experience for the audience of 80 million women who consume our content,” said Liz Schimel, EVP/Chief Digital Officer, Meredith. “Microsoft Tag gives us the creative freedom to match the right recognition technology to the appropriate mobile experience, and erases customer confusion about which app is needed to launch that experience.”

We are excited about the explosion of interest in Tag and believe these industry-leading innovations help marketers engage more deeply and easily with their target audiences. And by providing a one-stop shop for both brands and users alike, Microsoft Tag will be the obvious choice for your campaign.

For more details on choosing which format makes sense for your next campaign, check out the grid here.

Recent Comments
  • Francesco

    12/13/2011 , 1:48 PM
    When will the Windows Phone Tag App be updated to read QR codes? The marketplace does not currently have a good QR code reader, and the addition of this functionality to the Tag app would be greatly received. While on the subject, would also be a great experience improvement if the tag was 'live read' as the camera moves over it instead of having to take a picture of it like in every other Code reading application besides this one.
  • Alex

    12/13/2011 , 3:54 PM
    @Francesco - If you have WP7, just hit the search button, then the Bing Vision button, and hold it over it. No need to press a button. No need to do anything, it will auto find. Works like a charm every time.
  • Seansjohnson

    12/13/2011 , 3:54 PM
    Fantastic news! The Windows Tag app needed an overhaul. :) Now I can remove the other QR readers!
  • Josh

    12/13/2011 , 3:54 PM
    @Francesco If you have a windows phone (I have the HTC Arrive on Sprint) all you have to do is press the search button on the phone, then when it opens up Bing search, select the Bing Vision icon at the bottom (eye icon) and it does a "live read". If I understood your comment correctly that's what you're looking for.
  • JJ

    12/13/2011 , 4:00 PM
    Windows Phone 7.5 can read any QR code, MS Tag, or UPC quickly and easily by using the search button on lower right corner of your device. I just did a vision search and it found it before I even pressed the "scan text" button. In other words there is no need for an app when using Windows Phone, and it appears that it does have the "live read" that you mentioned.
  • Nick

    12/13/2011 , 4:08 PM
    Francesco, if you are using Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) you can use Bing Vision to real all popular types of codes+. I know UPC, QR, MS Tag, OCR as well as image recognition are all features. When you push the Bing button, select the little eye icon from the bottom of the screen and it will bring up the scanner, play with it and have fun!
  • Borut

    12/13/2011 , 4:32 PM
    Use Bing Vision! 1. Search button 2. Bing Vision (eye icon) 3. ... 4. Profit!
  • Joe

    12/13/2011 , 4:50 PM
    Visual Bing search works great to look up QR codes. I have yet to find one it can't recognize. Loving what MSFT is doing here.
  • daedalus

    12/13/2011 , 4:54 PM
    @Francesco if you update to mango and use visual search with the Bing button you won't need any apps to 'live read' Bing does it :D
  • Curtis

    12/13/2011 , 5:02 PM
    Francesco, it sounds like you haven't updated your phone to Mango/Windows Phone 7.5. Very much recommend doing so! The scanning capability (QR, TAG, barcode, images like book covers, etc) is built into the OS. No app is needed.
  • Jeremy

    12/13/2011 , 5:20 PM
    @Francesco - With the Mango update on Windows Phone, you can scan QR codes and Microsoft Tags through Bing Visual Search. You do not need to use the separate Microsoft Tag app.
  • Jeff

    12/13/2011 , 7:45 PM
    Francesco, Just try using Bing on your phone and click the "eye" icon there to capture the image. QR Codes work fine on my Windows Phone (with Mango 7.5 update). No need for a separate app.
  • KWierso

    12/13/2011 , 9:26 PM
    Francesco, WP7.5 already has built-in visual search that can read QR codes. Hit the dedicated search button, then the button that's a symbol of an eye, and you're ready to go. (And it does it live)
  • Ewan

    12/13/2011 , 9:58 PM
    Francesco - you know that with Windows Phone 7.5, you can live scan both Tags and QR Codes using the Bing Search application...? See http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/web/scan-codes-tags-and-text.aspx
  • Android

    12/13/2011 , 11:52 PM
    What's up with an Android-App?
  • Baker

    12/14/2011 , 2:38 AM
    Does not read QR codes. Period. In case it is still an old version on the iTunes App Store, why not say so?
  • peSHIr

    12/14/2011 , 4:44 AM
    You don't need an app on Windows Phone to scan Tags, QR Codes, or EAN barcodes: this is part of Bing Vision Search starting from Mango: press the Search button (to the right of the Windows button below the display) and tap the App Bar button with the little eye on it.
  • TheCyberKnight

    12/14/2011 , 7:01 AM
    @Francesco I don't know what you're talking about. Windows Phone "Bing Vision" can read anything (Microsoft Tag, QR codes, UPC) without having to revert to an external application. It can even recognize CD, DVD and book covers. It is there natively with every "Mango" phone.
  • jose

    12/14/2011 , 7:29 AM
    Francesco, you should take a look to mango update, it have all you mentioned
  • Frank

    12/14/2011 , 7:29 AM
    On Windows Phone, the bing search app actually took over of the tag reader app: simply click on the hardware search button, and on the bing page click on the eye-icon. Than point your camera on the appropriate tag (QR, ms-tag, barcode...) or the object itself (depends on the country setting for your search, if you change this to US it works worldwide) and that`s it. No need for an app in Windows Phone 7.5, it`s already there ...
  • Andras

    12/14/2011 , 7:38 AM
    Just update to mango and use integrated Bing vision search. It reads both tag codes from live camera stream.
  • SQLGuru

    12/14/2011 , 8:11 AM
    I'm curious whether Windows Phone 7 Tag App actually adds any functionality over the Bing vision search (which already reads QR Codes and MS Tags). And NFC isn't a feature of my phone, so I won't need that aspect. I've uninstalled all of my other code readers because I like the integrated aspect of Bing vision search (plus it gives me quick access with the Search button).
  • Seansjohnson

    12/14/2011 , 8:13 AM
    Note: Our new Android app which can also scan QR Codes and NFC touchpoints is now available. Our Windows Phone 7.5 and iPhone apps which can scan QR Codes are coming soon!
  • Jackie

    12/14/2011 , 9:55 AM
    @Baker The iPhone update has not yet been released, but is coming very soon.
  • Nathan

    12/14/2011 , 6:12 PM
    Are all platform versions capable of reading QR codes? I have Nokia's xpressmusic 5800 and created a text "hello world" QR code on this site, downloaded as GIF and it wouldn't read it. I then created it as a TAG and downloaded as png and that worked. QR would not for my symbian platform.
  • Yori

    12/15/2011 , 7:33 AM
    It would be helpful if the reader could also read 1D barcodes too - regardless of the phone’s OS, as well as a being a standalone PC tool/application for usage with webcams


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