12.13.2011

Microsoft Tag Now Supporting QR Codes

First, it was JAGTAG. Now, it's Microsoft Tag.

This morning, Microsoft Tag announced that it's supporting QR Codes all in an effort to reduce "the increasing frustration among consumers over not knowing which reader to use for which code (i.e., code reader app fragmentation, as others would term it)." Please. Microsoft's actions, in my opinion, have far less to do with simplifying things for advertisers and consumers and probably more to do with the fact that QR Codes have been eating Tag's lunch for the past 18 months or so.

JAGTAG, which is now owned by Augme Technologies, made the same realization several months ago (see article), and rolled out their own version of a QR Code. Now, the proprietary JAGTAG code is hardly ever seen in the marketplace.

What will this strategic change mean for Microsoft, let alone the 2D barcode industry as a whole? It's too early to tell, but it's sure to ruffle some feathers and have advertisers and code providers alike take notice. Stay tuned.

4 comments:

  1. Joseph PaganoDecember 13, 2011

    I view this as great news for mobile tagging.

    When talking with customers and prospects, we always have to address--and often go way off point discussing--the issue of reader penetration, either on its own or in conjunction with the QR codes vs. Tags topic. My company doesn't care--we are agnostic and have long waited for a reader that handled both. Microsoft just gave us that.

    Now whether this benefits Microsoft or not, I don't know. But I'm inclined to speculate that this is a market-responsive tactical retreat and not a defeat: Microsoft is no JAGTAG. And while only Microsoft knows what their goals are, they are clearly able/willing to play the long game to achieve them.

    So come what may, I consider this excellent news and I applaud Microsoft for their decision.

    Thank you as always, Roger!

    Joseph

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  2. Hmph, well, I downloaded it and it does okay on regular QR codes, it didn't recognize any designer QR's I have around, that the Xing scanner, i-Nnigma, Quickmark, or Scanlife had zero problem reading.

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  3. I find this quite amusing after having had a number of discussions with MS Tag staff (or as they like to say 'evangelists') over the past year with regards Tag vs QR. It sounds like the code they have included is very basic though. We'll do some testing and see what we find.

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