0

FAQ

triangleQuestions – and answers – about using Microsoft Tag. If you can't find your answer here, please visit the Tag Support page or email the Tag Support team.

If you want to use Tag for your business and can't find the information you need here, email your questions to TagInfo or contact your Microsoft sales rep.

Tag Announcement FAQ

Tag Service Termination Announcement

Q. Why is Microsoft no longer supporting its Tag services and licensing Tag to Scanbuy?

Microsoft is constantly reviewing its core business objectives and realigning its efforts to match those objectives. Microsoft still believes that Tag is an important digital technology. Running Microsoft Tag as a service, however, does not align with our other initiatives. The opportunity to transition to Scanbuy’s Tag service gives our clients immediate access to more advanced features, great support, and ongoing innovation in the mobile engagement space.

Q. Does Microsoft believe there is value in using Tags?

Microsoft continues to believe technologies like Tag are critical to connect the physical and digital worlds for both consumers and marketers. Licensing the Tag technology to Scanbuy ensures current customers and partners can continue using the Tag technology and have access to even more from Scanbuy’s world-class product offering, customer service and support.

Q. Does this mean Microsoft is abandoning mobile engagement solutions?

No. Microsoft believes that mobile engagement solutions continue to, and will for the foreseeable future, play a very important role in marketing strategies.

Q. What is the contract value between Microsoft and Scanbuy?

The monetary value of the services Scanbuy is providing is confidential and cannot be disclosed.

Q. What other companies did Microsoft consider during its due diligence?

The due diligence information cannot be disclosed.

Q. Why do you feel Scanbuy is the right company to handle this business?

Scanbuy has been in the mobile engagement business for over 10 years, with tremendous amounts of knowledge, experience and processing power. Earlier this year the company successfully took over the operation and management of the AT&T mobile barcode service.

Q. Is Microsoft getting out of the 2D barcode business?

Microsoft will no longer operate the Microsoft Tag service as of August 19, 2015. We still believe there is value in the technology, so Scanbuywill offer their own Tag service —ensuring current customers and partners can continue using the Tag technology. Scanbuy runs the ScanLife platform, a world-class product offering with customer service and support. Scanbuy has many value-added services and is a worldwide leader mobile engagement services from QR Codes to NFC, and now Microsoft Tags. A Tag customer may open a ScanLife account at any time to have optional access to these advanced services.

Q. Why did Microsoft choose Scanbuy?

As the most popular mobile engagement platform in the industry, Scanbuy is a great choice for Microsoft Tag customers to continue to grow their mobile consumer engagement programs. Scanbuy is a proven industry leader with the expertise to help businesses such as Coca-Cola, Taco-bell and HP create highly compelling mobile experiences for their customers that secures long-term brand relationships.

Q. What is the exact date of the shutdown of the Microsoft Tag Service?

August 19, 2015.

Q. How will Scanbuy benefit Microsoft Tag customers?

Microsoft Tag customers will be assured they can continue using the basic features of the Tag service, or create more comprehensive campaigns and programs by leveraging the additional capabilities available from the ScanLife mobile engagement platform.

Q. Will current Microsoft customers be able to open another Microsoft Tag account?

No. Beginning August 19, 2013 no new accounts will be allowed. If you want to create a new account, please register via ScanLife account.

Q. Will new customers be able to create new Microsoft Tags?

Yes. When Scanbuy begins offering their own Tag service, new customers can open ScanLife accounts where Microsoft Tags, QR Codes and other triggers can be created. Enterprise clients opening a ScanLife account may send an email to mstag@scanbuy.com for personal assistance.

Q. Will the Microsoft Tag mobile app continue to be offered in app stores?

Yes. The Microsoft Tag mobile app will continue to be offered in app stores, and anyone with that app can scan Tags. At a future date, the ScanLife mobile app will also offer Tag reading capability.

Current Tag Customers

Q. What will happen to my Microsoft Tag Account?

Over the next two years, through August 19, 2015, existing Microsoft Tag account owners will experience uninterrupted service of basic features as outlined in the terms and conditions. This includes the ability to log into your account to create/edit Tags and view basic analytics. Current Microsoft Tag account owners may choose to transition to the ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform, but you may open a ScanLife account as of today. You will also be offered an option to transition your Microsoft Tag content and analytics over to the ScanLife platform. That service will be announced at a later date on the main Microsoft Tag website www.tag.microsoft.com, on the ScanLife website www.scanlife.com, and through email notification.

Q. What will happen to my Microsoft Tag, QR format and NFC URL’s when Microsoft service shuts down?

All current Microsoft Tag, NFC and QR Codes will continue to work without any service interruption until August 19, 2015. You may choose to begin the migration process by opening a ScanLife account and creating new QR Codes or Tags (when available) from there.

You will also be offered an option to transition your existing Microsoft Tag content and analytics over to the ScanLife platform, and that service will be announced at a later date on the main Microsoft Tag website www.tag.microsoft.com, on the ScanLife website www.scanlife.com, and through email notification.

Q. Will I be able to create new Microsoft Tags?

Yes. Current Microsoft Tag users will be able to create new Microsoft Tags. However, you may choose to open a ScanLife account now, and create new codes from there so all of your data is available moving forward. You will be offered the option to transition your old data over to ScanLife in the future.

Q. Why should I consider opening a new account with ScanLife now?

While all current Microsoft Tags, NFC and QR Codes will continue to work without any service interruption, the ScanLife platform offers more advanced features, better support, more frequent innovation, and much more. You can start with a free account that includes all of the same features as your current Tag account.

You will also be offered an option to transition your existing Microsoft Tag content and analytics over to the ScanLife platform, and that service will be announced at a later date on the main Microsoft Tag website www.tag.microsoft.com, on the ScanLife website www.scanlife.com, and through email notification.

Q. Who will provide account support?

Through August 19, 2015, Microsoft will continue to provide Microsoft Tag account support. All submissions to Microsoft Tag support will be address by a Microsoft customer support team member that is knowledgeable and experienced in mobile engagement.

Q. Will I continue to have access to the analytics and history of my Tags and codes?

Yes. Microsoft Tag account owners will continue to log into current accounts to view analytics and historical information until August 19, 2015. At a future date, you may choose to transition your Microsoft Tag accounts to the ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform. Instructions on how to transition Microsoft Tags over to the ScanLife platform will be announced at a later date on the main Microsoft Tag website www.tag.microsoft.com, on the ScanLife website www.scanlife.com, and through email notification.

Q. Will there be changes in costs?

The basic Microsoft Tag service as outlined here will remain free for current Microsoft Tags. A free plan will also be offered from ScanLife with the same basic features. There may be costs if you choose more advanced feature options or services that import your existing data into ScanLife. To learn more click here.

Q. Must I open a ScanLife account?

No. Microsoft Tag account owners can continue to manage campaigns and account information within their existing Microsoft Tag account. However, the Microsoft Tag service will not be available after August 19, 2015, so you may choose to open a ScanLife account now to have access to more data over time.

Q. Can I move all of my Microsoft Tag account data and content over to ScanLife?

To transition Microsoft Tag accounts to the ScanLife platform please send an email to mstag@scanbuy.com. A Scanbuy expert will provide you with the current services available.

Q. I don’t have a Microsoft Tag or ScanLife account, but am interested in creating QR Codes for my marketing project. How do I open an Account?

Scanbuy welcomes your interest – please visit www.scanlife.com to learn more. If you are an Enterprise and would like to speak with a Scanbuy representative please send an email to mstag@scanbuy.com.

Current API/SDK Customers

Q. Currently we use the Microsoft API, will Scanbuy continue to support my integration?

Yes. Current Microsoft API clients will continue to be supported; however, the original terms and conditions still apply, which may include rate limits on code creation. Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com for support and information on ScanLife API services.

Q. I’m interested in the Microsoft Tag API or Tag Reader SDK for a project. Will they be available?

The Microsoft Tag API/SDK will no longer be available for download beginning August 18, 2013. Instead the ScanLife API/SDK will be made available. Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com to discuss ScanLife API availability.

Q. Will new customers be able to access the Microsoft Tag API?

The Microsoft Tag API/SDK will no longer be available for download beginning August 18, 2013. Instead, the ScanLife API/SDK will be made available. Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com to discuss ScanLife API availability.

Q. If I need a QR Code or Tag creation/analytics API, who do I speak to about our project?

Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com to discuss a full range of ScanLife API solutions.

Current Mobile App Customers

Q. Will the Microsoft Tag mobile app continue to be supported?

Yes. The Microsoft Tag mobile app will continue to be offered in app stores.

Q. How will clients read my Microsoft Tag codes?

The Microsoft Tag mobile app will continue to be offered in app stores.

Scanbuy

Q. How long has Scanbuy been in the QR Code business?

Scanbuy was founded in 2000, focused on developing, managing and supporting the most advanced mobile engagement platform in the industry.

Q. What is the difference between ScanLife and Scanbuy?

Scanbuy is the global leader in providing cloud-based mobile engagement solutions that bring products and information to life. ScanLife is the company’s cloud-based Mobile Engagement Platform that creates personalized, uniquely tailored experiences for consumers who wish to engage digitally with brands in their everyday surroundings -- such as stores and restaurants, products, print advertising and more -- through their smartphones.

Q. What does Scanbuy do?

Scanbuy is the global leader in developing mobile engagement solutions that power intelligent connections between the physical and digital world. The ScanLife suite of mobile barcode products consists of a cloud-based platform used by a wide variety of industries including retail, CPG and media to create, manage and monitor dynamic mobile barcode, mobile urlr and NFC barcode campaigns. The ScanLife mobile app is used by millions of people around the world.

Q. Where is the Scanbuy headquarters based, and where do you have other offices?

Scanbuy headquarters are located in New York. Scanbuy has local offices located in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, Spain and the UK.

Q. Who are your customers and do you have any case studies you can share?

ScanLife customers include Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Staples, Samsonite, Panasonic, HP, Taco Bell, and dozens of other Fortune 1000 companies. Scanbuy’s carrier-class technology is also used by leading tier-one international carriers, including Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Vodafone, Telefonica, America Movil, and Orange.

Q. How does Scanbuy see the future of mobile engagement?

Scanbuy believes the connection between the physical and digital worlds will only be expanding over the next few years (as many studies have shown), and believes that we are the company best positioned to meet that demand for organizations and consumers.

Q. Why should I keep my account with Scanbuy?

By transitioning to Scanbuy’s ScanLife platform, current Microsoft Tag customers will be able to create more comprehensive consumer campaigns and programs by leveraging the additional capabilities available from the ScanLife mobile engagement platform. You can expect advanced features, better service, more innovation, customer support improvements and much more.

Q. How will the ScanLife platform improve my marketing goals?

Leading brands, agencies and retailers take advantage of the ScanLife platform to enhance customer engagement, increase sales, extend advertising and marketing campaigns, and develop greater loyalty among mobile consumers. Through ScanLife, companies can examine up to 40 customer data points with each scan such as previous interest, age, gender, and scan location with the user’s prior consent, as well as device type, and operating system and more. Firms can use that information to deliver highly customized mobile experiences instantaneously and evaluate the effectiveness of promotional campaigns in near real-time.

Q. What type of support do you offer clients?

Scanbuy offers several different support levels to include online, email, and enterprise support with dedicated account manager. For online assistance for Microsoft Tag, visit Microsoft Tag support For online assistance for the ScanLife platform visit ScanLife Community Support and review the ScanLife knowledge center.

Q. Do you have mobile engagement experts that could help my company with our mobile marketing strategies?

Yes. Enterprises looking to speak with a Scanbuy representative should email us at mstag@scanbuy.com.

Q. We are very excited about using Tags, QR Codes and NFC in our marketing efforts— would Scanbuy be interested in creating a case study around our use?

Yes. Scanbuy’s philosophy on sharing insights and experiences helps to build a knowledge base of case studies that help benefit customers to better build business. Please send us an email at marketing@scanbuy.com to discuss.

Q. I would like to learn more about your company and how to better use mobile engagement, may I schedule a meeting with Scanbuy?

Yes. We look forward to speaking with you. To schedule a meeting with a Scanbuy representative please email us at mstag@scanbuy.com.

ScanLife Platform

Q. Will ScanLife provide me with the same features and functionalities as my Microsoft Tag Account?

Yes, we will offer a free plan that has the same features as the basic Microsoft Tag service. The ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform also offers a number of other features that can help you launch your mobile marketing campaign including easy to build mobile landing pages, actions that dynamically change based on context, advanced insights on your traffic and much more.

Q. ScanLife cloud-based just like Microsoft Tag, so that I may access remotely?

Yes. The ScanLife Mobile Engagement is a cloud-based service that is available to globally.

Q. Will I be able to create QR Codes within ScanLife?

Yes. The ScanLife platform is the world’s largest provider of QR Codes and mobile engagement campaign support to the Enterprise marketer. To open a ScanLife account click here.

Q. When will I be able to create Microsoft Tags within ScanLife?

Tag support on the ScanLife platform will be announced at a later date.

Q. Does ScanLife support NFC?

Yes. ScanLife supports a variety of engagement triggers.

Q. What type of analytics/reporting does ScanLife provide?

Through ScanLife, companies can view analytics on each scan such as number of scans on your campaigns, age, gender, and scan location, as well as device type, operating system and more. Firms can use that information to deliver highly customized mobile experiences instantaneously and evaluate the effectiveness of promotional campaigns in near real-time.

Q. Are there any limitations to how many codes and scans can be generated with a single ScanLife Account?

ScanLife has several flexible packages available. You can review these packages here.

Q. Where do I go for support?

All submissions to Microsoft Tag support will be managed by Microsoft. For the ScanLife platform, Scanbuy offers several different support levels to include online, email, and enterprise support with dedicated account manager. For online assistance for Microsoft Tag, visit Microsoft Tag support. For Scanbuy’s ScanLife platform, visit ScanLife Community Support and review the ScanLife knowledge center.

Q. May I demo the ScanLife platform?

Yes. The ScanLife platform is available for a free 14-day trial, where the features and benefits of the entire ScanLife suite can be experienced. Click here to start your 14-day trial today. You can also signup for a more limited free plan that reflects the features of the basic Microsoft Tag account.

ScanLife Mobile App

Q. Does the ScanLife mobile app read Microsoft Tags and Microsoft QR Codes?

Today the ScanLife mobile app reads Microsoft QR Codes only. At a future date the ScanLife mobile app will read the Tag format. Upon availability, Scanbuy will notify current Microsoft Tag account owners. The app also reads UPC barcodes on products and other 2D code formats.

Q. Where can I go to download the ScanLife mobile app?

The ScanLife mobile app is available in app stores of leading smartphone app stores such as the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, or visit www.getscanlife.com on your mobile device to download today.

Q. What phones does the ScanLife mobile app support?

The ScanLife mobile app is available on millions of leading handset models and major mobile operating systems around the world. Visit www.getscanlife.com to download today.

ScanLife API/SDK

Q. Currently we use the Microsoft API. Does the ScanLife platform have an API/SDK available for download?

Yes. Current Microsoft API clients will continue to be supported; however, the original terms and conditions still apply which may include rate limits on code creation. Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com for support and information on ScanLife API services.

Q. I’m a current customer of Microsoft Tag and would like the Microsoft API for a project—will the API/SDK be available?

The Microsoft Tag API/SDK will no longer be available for download beginning August 18, 2013. Instead, the ScanLife API/SDK will be made available. Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com to discuss ScanLife API availability.

Q. Will new customers be able to download the current Microsoft API?

The Microsoft Tag API/SDK will no longer be available for download beginning Augus18, 2013. Instead the ScanLife API/SDK will be made available. Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com to discuss ScanLife API availability.

Q. If I need an API, who do I speak to about our project?

Please send an email to apitag@scanbuy.com to discuss ScanLife API availability.


General Tag FAQ

Understanding Tag: Basic Concepts

Q. What is Microsoft Tag, and how does a tag work?

Microsoft Tag is an end-to-end marketing solution that allows you to make your offline materials interactive. It includes support for several mobile recognition technologies, including Tag barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC. Each recognition technology allows you to automatically launch experiences using your smartphone. Tags can be printed or displayed on almost any physical object and link to information, entertainment, and interactive experiences in the digital world.

You scan Tag barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC touchpoints with a free mobile application called the Microsoft Tag app, which is available for most smartphones (capabilities vary by phone platform, see supported devices). The Tag app seamlessly connects to the internet to retrieve and display the associated content. It can take you to a website, show a video, download another app, add contacts to your address book, or dial a phone number. You don’t need to type a long URL, send a text message, or search the web; scanning Tag barcodes, QR Codes, or an NFC touchpoint instantly displays all the relevant information on your mobile phone.

On some phones, you just point your camera at the Tag barcode or QR Code and the Tag app automatically recognizes and scans the barcode. On other phones, you focus the camera on the Tag barcode or QR Code and then click. With NFC, you merely tap your NFC-enabled phone to the NFC touchpoint to open the mobile experience. The Tag app requires an internet connection and your phone’s normal data charges apply.

Q. What are each of Tag’s recognition technologies and how do they work?

The Tag solution supports Tag barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC technology. All will allow you to link to a website, download another app, add contacts to your address book, dial a phone number, or display a free message.

Tag barcodes offer an attractive, customizable, and flexible 2D barcode solution for your marketing campaigns. They can be customized to match your brand and blend smoothly into your packaging and campaign materials. Tag barcodes also offer extremely reliable scanning under adverse conditions.

In addition, we also offer the ability to create QR Codes using the Tag Manager. The benefits of Tags over QR Codes – including customization, robust analytics, (generally) smaller size, and more reliable scanning – are still true; however, QR Codes are a popular 2D barcoding solution in market today and we understand there may be instances where brands have made a commitment to using them.

Near field communication (NFC) allows for transactions, data exchange and wireless connections between two devices. NFC is comprised of a sensor that is placed on a physical object. Users are able to connect to your mobile content just by tapping the NFC touchpoint with their phone. Microsoft Tag added NFC to their suite of recognition technologies to give brands more options when implementing campaigns and to offer consumers one single app that allows for several different experiences.

Q. Does it cost money to use Microsoft Tag?

Tag's basic services are free and will remain free throughout the life of the product. These include:

  • Creating standard and custom color and black-and-white Tags.
  • Linking a Tag to a URL, vCard, phone number, or text message when scanned by the Tag app on supported mobile devices.
  • Use of the Creation API to access the Tag-related features listed above.
  • Generating Tags in a variety of formats, such as .pdf, .wmf, .jpeg, .png, .gif, and .tiff.
  • Identifying each unique device that scans your Tag.
  • Viewing limited online reports that show the total number of scans for each Tag.

In the future, we may charge for certain enhanced features, but these basic features will remain free. Please see the Microsoft Tag Service and Tag Creation API Agreement for more details.

While there are no charges to install or use the Microsoft Tag app, note that the Tag app uses the phone’s data plan, and customers may want to dial phone numbers or send emails or text messages while using the Tag app; standard carrier rates for their mobile phone plan will apply to these actions.

Q. How does Microsoft get paid for this? What services will be made available when a premium version is released?

Currently, all Tag services are available at no cost, and creating basic Tags will always be free for the life of the service. While we are not announcing specifics at this time, there will be both free and revenue-generating options for participants in the future.

Q. When you release your premium version what happens to the basic service?

Tag's basic services as described in our Terms of Use will remain free for as long as we operate the Microsoft Tag service. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to make these basic features available until at least January 1, 2015, and provide two years’ prior notice before we terminate the basic features or the entire Microsoft Tag service.

Q. What uptime do you guarantee on your service?

We provide the service as-is and cannot guarantee an uptime. However, we can tell you that our average uptime is 99.5%. Our operations team provides 24x7x365 support of the environment, with expected response times within 30 minutes and typically less than 10-15 minutes.

Q. Where is your service hosted, and how scalable is it?

We host our platform infrastructure at a highly secure Microsoft data center in the United States. This data center allows us to scale as needed, and offers both redundancy and mirroring of our platform worldwide.

Q. How secure is the Tag Manager system? How do you protect my account information?

We make use of the Windows Live ID (WLID) system, which follows Microsoft's industry-leading privacy policy. Microsoft does not share your personal information with others without explicit consent.

Q. Do you encrypt the data stream from your mobile application to your servers?

When Tag gathers any location or scanning history data, Tag uses the Secure Sockets Layer protocol. Any data collected is encrypted in Tag storage with the highest form of encryption available to help further protect data.

Q. Where can I view the Tag app Terms of Use?

You can view the Microsoft Tag Terms of Use here. Please check this link for any future updates to the Agreement, which governs the use of the Microsoft Tag app.

Scanning

Q. What types of phones will Tag app work with?

The Microsoft Tag app is available for most smartphones and many feature phones. It is supported on Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, J2ME, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone 7 phones. Your phone needs a camera and it must have internet access. View the list of supported devices. New phones will be added over time.

Tag barcodes and QR Codes can be scanned using the updated Tag app for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7.5. NFC will be initially available on NFC-enabled Android devices.

Q. Does the Tag app now read QR Codes?

The updated Tag app for iPhones, Androids, and Windows Phone 7.5 reads all QR Codes created on the Tag platform using Tag Manager and virtually all standard QR Codes created by third parties.

Q. Why is Tag adding QR Codes to its recognition technologies?

Microsoft Tag is adding QR Code support to address consumer feedback that they want one reader for both formats. The benefits of Tag barcodes over QR Codes – including customization, smaller size, and more reliable scanning – are still true; however, now we are giving Tag users the ability to scan the two commonly used 2D barcode formats from one reader.

Q. How well does the Tag app read a QR Code?

Barring adverse environmental conditions and depending on the model of your mobile device, QR Codes created on the Tag platform will reliably scan with the Tag app. These same codes are also designed to be read when scanned with third-party apps.

Q. Does the Tag app work on tablets?

Yes, the Tag app is available in the iPhone and Android marketplaces and is compatible with tablets, including iPads.

Q. How do I get started scanning Tags?

You just have to download the free Tag app on your web-enabled camera phone. The Tag app is available for download to your mobile device at http://gettag.mobi. You can also visit the Tag app download page or your smartphone’s mobile marketplace for other download options.

After you’ve downloaded the Tag app, you can scan any Tag you see to interact with the world around you in new ways. If you have trouble obtaining the Tag app or experience any problems when downloading, please email tagsupp@microsoft.com.

Q. What type of recognition technologies does the Tag app now recognize?

The Tag app for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7.5 now recognizes and reads Microsoft Tags, QR Codes, and NFC on supported devices.

The Tag app for Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, and J2ME will continue to read Tag barcodes.

Q. How does the Tag app work with each recognition technology?

The Tag app will continue to provide the same great experience of scanning Tag barcodes that we’ve had in the past. Simply open the Tag app, touch the Scan button, hover your mobile phone’s camera over the Tag, and it will resolve to the mobile experience.

QR Codes will be scanned in much of the same way, whether they are QR Codes created using our Tag Manager or by other third-party generators.

NFC is even easier. When using your NFC-enabled Android device, simply tap your phone to the NFC touchpoint and the mobile experience will open. The Tag app will open automatically once it determines the Tag NFC URL, linking you to the intended mobile content.

Q. Why is the option to text a short code to receive a download link for the Tag App no longer available?

That option was removed due to low volume usage and shifting priorities to meet customer requests; however, the free Tag app can easily be downloaded by visiting http://gettag.mobi on your mobile phone browser, or by searching for “Tag Reader” or “Tag app” in your mobile app store.

Q. How can I update an older version of Tag app?

If you have an older version of the Tag app installed on your phone, you can obtain the updated version by visiting http://gettag.mobi on your device that will have the most recent bits available for download. You can also find the most recent version in the Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone 7 marketplaces. Windows Phone 7.5 users can scan Tag barcodes and QR Codes using the Bing Visual Search functionality that is built into their operating system. If you have trouble obtaining the Tag app or experience any problems when downloading, please email tagsupp@microsoft.com.

Q. Is the Tag app available in my language?

The Tag app is currently available for download in the following languages: English, French, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish. In addition, the Tag app is available in Korean for iPhones only. We may have the Tag app available in other languages in future releases.

Q. How much space does the Tag app take on my phone?

The storage size is different for each phone, but the Tag app is small, typically occupying 300-600 KB of storage space.

Q. Where can I use Tag?

You can scan Tags anywhere using internet-enabled mobile devices that have the Tag app installed. Tag publishers should use Tags in accordance with their specific country’s law and regulations per the Microsoft Tag Terms of Use Agreement.

Q. When I scan a Tag, what information does Microsoft collect?

The Tag service does not collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) when you scan a Tag. It collects scan data, including location information, mobile device model and OS information, number of times the Tag is scanned, and the date of the scan. You have the option of disabling the real-time location data transfer through the Tag app settings.

Q. Will retailers and other businesses have access to my personal data once I scan a Tag? Do I have to worry about being added to mailing lists?

The Microsoft Tag system does not transmit personal data to Tag creators. Tag creators will only get your personal information if you later choose to give it to them. Scanning Tag barcodes, QR Codes, or tapping an NFC touchpoint does not send your mobile telephone number, your name, or your email address to Microsoft or to the creator of the Tag recognition technology. Companies or organizations using Tag may separately ask you for this contact or other identifying information. If you choose to provide this information, Tag creators may be able to identify you when you scan any of their other Tag barcodes, QR Codes, or NFC URLs.

When you scan a Tag barcode, QR Code, or tap an NFC touchpoint, you have the option (on some phones) of allowing the location where you scanned the Tag to be sent to Microsoft. This information might be shared with the Tag creator so that the Tag creator may use it to customize the data you see.

For more information about how Tag handles your personal data, see the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement and the Microsoft Tag App (Tag Reader) Privacy Supplement.

Q. Do you offer a scanning SDK to allow third parties to utilize Tag scanning technology in their mobile apps?

Yes, we are proud to offer the Tag Scanning SDK that allows partners to embed the Tag scanning technology into their own mobile apps. The SDK will read Tag barcodes. The SDK is available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7.5. The SDK is free to use, but does require the acquisition of a test key to start. To learn more about our SDK program and to apply for your test key, please visit Scanning SDK

Creating Tags

Q. What can I do with Microsoft Tag?

Videos, contests, and special offers are the most popular uses, but the possibilities are endless. Every Tag is an invitation to try, discover, share, save, and do more. In advertisements, signage, magazine articles, retail shelving, product packaging, and storefronts, Tag opens up new opportunities to engage your customers on their smartphones and bridge the divide between the physical and digital worlds. For example, you can create Tags that instantly link customers to your website, provide timely information on products or services you're selling, offer coupons and exclusive discounts at the time of purchase, and much more.

Q. How can I use Tags for my business?

Tag makes it easy for you and your customers to take action “in the moment,” when they are most interested. Put Tags on your packaging, your storefront, your print ads. Add them to product shelving, coupons, concert posters, or museum exhibits. Microsoft Tag helps you build connections with your customers, and lets you reach more people, more frequently, using the one thing they carry everywhere: their mobile phone.

Check out our IdeaBook and Success Stories for more inspiration.

Q. How does Tag make my offline marketing more effective?

Microsoft Tag connects your offline marketing to digital experiences that make it more engaging, more measurable, and more fun. Tag provides analytics that make it easy to measure the effectiveness of your campaign, informing your marketing strategies and helping you make smart decisions about your marketing strategy. And Tag barcodes work with all media, from newspaper ads to billboards to video.

Q. How do I get started creating my own Tags?

It’s quick and easy. We suggest you begin by reviewing the Tag Manager Help and the Tag Implementation Guide for detailed instructions on creating and using Tags. Then sign into Tag Manager and try making your own. The Tag Manager online service is completely self-service, and enables you to create and manage standard or custom Tags in just a few minutes.

Q. Can I create my own Tags or will I need third party help?

Tags are quick and easy to create on your own. The Tag Manager is an online service that is completely self-service. It takes just a minute or two to create your own standard or custom Tags. However, if you would like help creating and managing Tags and creating mobile sites, contact one of our solution providers who specialize in mobile tagging.

Q. Is your website including the Tag Manager offered in any other languages?

At this time http://tag.microsoft.com is offered in an English UI only. We have no current plans for adding additional languages.

Q. Why should I use the Microsoft Tag platform to create 2D barcodes?

There are many reasons. Tag, for starters, allows you to dynamically change your data source behind Tag barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC URLs that are created using the Tag Manager – unlike other 2D barcodes that are associated with a single, permanent URL and can’t be modified once they're created. This means that the content behind any of Tag’s recognition technologies can be updated as frequently as you like, allowing you to fine-tune and refresh campaign materials without having to change the printed Tag barcode, QR Code, or NFC touchpoint in any way.

Our testing shows, too, that Tags can be reproduced at much smaller sizes than third-party QR Codes without any loss in readability, so you can display Tag barcodes created with Tag Manager in situations where QR Codes simply won't fit. In addition, free reporting and analytics tools built in to Tag Manager give you insight into where and how frequently all of Tag’s recognition technologies are being scanned.

The Tag app is the main 2D barcode reader in market that reads the most popular 2D barcode formats, giving your customers the ability to consume all of your mobile content with the ease of a single reader. Our SDK partners are also able to provide Tag barcode scanning within their apps.

Q. If a Tag app scans a QR Code will I be able to access the analytics?

Analytics are available for all QR Codes that are created on the Tag platform and scanned with the Tag app. We will also show scan counts for QR Codes created on the Tag platform that are scanned with the Tag app. However, not all data will be available for QR Codes created by third parties that are scanned by the Tag app.

Q. Can I use your Real Time Location and Device ID features with QR Codes and NFC?

Our Real Time Location and Device ID features will work for QR Codes and NFC URLs that are created using Tag Manager and scanned using the Tag app. If your QR Code is scanned using a third-party app, we cannot guarantee that these features will work. For this reason, if you have a mobile experience that is dependent on Real Time Location or Device ID data, we recommend that you use a Tag barcode, which will return the expected result. Users on Windows Phone 7.5 devices may not get the expected Real Time Location or Device ID experience.

Q. How much data can each Tag barcode hold?

The Tag technology doesn’t code data in the Tag itself. Instead, scanning a Tag opens the mobile phone’s browser and connects to the experience you’ve created, which is stored on the Microsoft servers. We encrypt the content to ensure the security of your information.

Q. How much data can QR Codes created in Tag Manager hold?

A QR Code created on the Tag platform can hold as much data as a Tag barcode.

Q. How do I build customized Tag barcodes? Is there a fee?

You can create custom Tag barcodes for free. You can customize Tags by incorporating your logo, photographs, maps, drawings, or other images. See our detailed instructions for creating custom Tags in the Tag Implementation Guide.

Q. Can I update the content behind Tag’s QR Codes and NFC URLs like I can with Tag barcodes?

Yes, all of Tag’s recognition technologies, Tag barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC URLs, can be updated at any time without impacting the code or NFC touchpoint. This allows you to update content on the fly to respond to campaign performance, or update information to keep evergreen materials fresh.

To modify your Tag barcode, QR Code, or NFC URL, log into Tag Manager, select which item you would like to edit, modify the content, and select save. The content is updated immediately, letting you manage your campaign in near real-time.

Q. What content is stored on your servers?

The content we store is dependent on the type of Tag:

  • URL Tag: we store the URL address
  • Free Text Tag: we store the text content
  • Dialer Tag: we store the phone number
  • vCard Tag: we store the contact information
  • App Download Tag: we store the URL location for the app in the appropriate mobile marketplace(s)

We also store the specified start and end dates for all Tags.

Q. When a user scans one of the Tag recognition technologies, what information can I obtain about him or her?

The Tag service does not collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) when you scan a Tag barcode, QR Code, or tap an NFC touchpoint. It collects scan data, including location information, mobile device model and OS information, number of times the item is scanned, and the date of the scan. The consumer has the option to disable the real-time-location data transfer through the Tag app settings.

Q. How do I create destination URLs to each of the app stores for the App Download?

The process is different for each marketplace or app store; see our App Download Tag documentation for complete details. Once you've created links for your application in the app stores, you can enter those destination URLs into Tag Manager.

Q. Can I use Tag to connect my print campaign with my in-store execution?

Absolutely. Check out our IdeaBook and Success Stories for ideas that can help you make the most of your print and in-store marketing campaigns with Microsoft Tag.

Q. Can Tag’s recognition technologies be used on video displays?

Definitely! Microsoft Tag barcodes and QR Codes are optimized for both print and flat-panel displays. However, depending on the phone used, Tag barcodes and QR Codes may not scan reliably from CRT-based displays.

NFC touchpoints cannot be used on electronic displays.

Q. Can Tag barcodes and QR Codes be scanned from billboards or other outdoor advertisements?

Yes, provided the Tag barcode or QR Code is large enough and adequately lit to be scanned from a distance.

Q. Will Microsoft cover the cost of back-end development?

Microsoft Tag service does not include the digital experience the Tag points to, but we have strong relationships with several solution providers that we can recommend.

Q. Are the Tag reporting analytics made available to me in real time or do I need help from a third party?

Analytics are updated in near real time and the self-serve Tag Manager Reports can show you where and how many times your Tag has been scanned, allowing you to gain valuable insights into how and where your customers are engaging with your physical materials. The reports are simple to use without third-party assistance. See Use Reports in Tag Manager Help for details on using the full range of available reports.

Q. Can I create my own reports by accessing a reporting API service?

Yes, we offer the Scan Data API that allows you to export all your reporting data to easily see the results of your campaign. The API also provides more metrics than what is available using the Tag Manager reports for even deeper insights. Use of the API is free, but does require a key to access it. For more information on the Scan Data API and to request a key, please visit Scan Data API.

Q. I don’t have a reporting system to review the API data, but still want to see the metrics. Can you help?

We do offer the Microsoft Tag Dashboard, which is an Excel add in and provides a series of canned reports on the top metrics from our API. The Dashboard is free to use and just requires that you have Excel and an API key to get started. Read more about the Dashboard at Tag Dashboard.

Q. How do I build large quantities of Tag’s recognition technologies at the same time?

You can request a free Tag API access key using our Key Manager. Simply log into our Key Manager with your Windows Live ID to obtain your API key. Review sample code and other documentation at our Using the Microsoft Tag Web Services API page.

The Creation API key initially allows you to create 5,000 Tag barcodes, QR Codes, or NFC URLs at one time. If you would like to create more than 5,000 please email a request to Tag Support at tagsupp@microsoft.com along with a business reason.

Q. How can I access the Tag Beta terms of use for the Tag web service or API?

As part of Microsoft Tag ending the "Beta" program, we have made updates to the Microsoft Tag Terms of Use for both the web service and API. Users who created Tags during the "Beta" program have the option to govern their Tags under either the Microsoft Tag Beta Terms of Use or the new Microsoft Tag Terms of Use.

Press Relations

Q. I’m a member of the media. Who may I contact for more information?

Please send your press inquiries and interview requests to tagpress@microsoft.com. More information about Tag can also be found on our Press page.

Q. I’d like to include images of Microsoft Tag in an article I’m working on. Where can I find some?

Please send your image request, along with a description of your article, to taginfo@microsoft.com.

Q. Where can I find the latest facts and statistics about Microsoft Tag?

You can find news, facts, and our latest statistics on our Press page. For additional press questions, you can email tagpress@microsoft.com.

Q. What is your installed base?

We do not disclose this information.