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Microsoft Tags: A Compelling Alternative To QR Code Hyperlinks

ET by Mark Sprague

Search marketers are interested in print-based hyperlinks: traffic to my QR Codes: Are You Ready For Paper-Based Hyperlinks? post remains strong. So here’s an in-depth look at Microsoft’s entry into the 2D code wars, called Microsoft Tags. Microsoft Tags is based on a homegrown technology known as high-capacity color barcode (HCCB). The Microsoft Tag is definitely distinctive in nature, and has an American southwestern look about it. The platform allows you to use two, four or eight colored triangle in a grid matrix. The first tag, which is based on four colors and a five by ten grid matrix, encodes a URL link to my blog. The second tag uses just two colors – black and white. The second tag contains seven rows, though both contain the same information.

Mobile Codes consulting by Mark Sprague

As with QR Codes, Microsoft tags are meant to provide digital links between traditional printed media and digital content. To that end, Microsoft tag supports four basic content types: URLs, free text, vCards and a dialer.

  • URL : You can encode any URL, except those blacklisted by Microsoft.
  • Free text: Can encode up to 1000 characters. Password protection is optional.
  • vCard: You can upload contact info, or specify the detail by typing the information into a form. A password is optional.
  • Dialer: You can auto-dial a phone number. Password is optional.

Call now for free consultationWith these four options, you can provide your customers with access to coupons, offers, online photos, video or contact information by displaying Microsoft tags on printed materials (posters and brochures) or clothing. They can also be used in digital displays such as TVs, PCs and Jumbotrons. The Microsoft tag manager supports WMF, XPS, PDF, PNG, TIFF, GIF and TAG formats for printed or digital display. Tag readers for mobile platforms include the iPhone, Windows Mobile, J2ME, Blackberry and Symbian S60 devices.

To find out more go to Search Engine Land to read the rest of the analysis.

Microsoft to discontinue support for Microsoft Tags

Important Notice to our Microsoft Tag Customers

To our valued Microsoft Tag Customer,

This August 19, 2013 notice is to inform you that the Microsoft Tag service will terminate in two years, on August 19, 2015.  We are providing this two year termination notice in accordance with our Terms of Use for the Microsoft Tag Service located at this link:http://tag.microsoft.com/tag-terms-of-use.aspx See Section 2 – Availability of Service; Changes to the Agreement & Service, paragraph 2.1.

Through August 19, 2015, you will be able to continue to log into your existing Microsoft Tag service account, use existing Microsoft Tag codes, generate new Microsoft Tags, and run reports as usual.

To help you prepare for the termination of the Microsoft Tag service on August 19, 2015, Scanbuy has been selected to support Microsoft Tag technology on the ScanLife platform beginning no later than September 18th, 2013, and to offer transition and migration services to Microsoft TAG customers who choose to migrate to the ScanLife platform.  This transition path will help you to continue running your campaigns using Microsoft Tags on the ScanLife platform.

Scanbuy is the largest provider of QR codes and runs ScanLife, a cloud-based mobile engagement platform for creating personalized, uniquely tailored experiences for consumers to digitally engage with brands in their everyday surroundings through smartphones.

If you wish to learn more about the ScanLife platform you may contact Adam Gold, VP of Sales at adamg@scanbuy.com or call 212-278-0178 x 400.

We thank you for allowing us to serve you as our Microsoft Tag customer.  If you have questions that Microsoft can assist you with please contact taginfo@microsoft.com.

Respectfully,

Microsoft
Eric Engstrom,
General Manager, Microsoft

Mark Sprague

Find Out More

If you are interested in finding out more about Microsoft Tags send me (Mark Sprague) an email at: Mark@MSprague.com, or call me now at: 781-862-3126

Lexington eBusiness Consulting

About Lexington eBusiness Consulting

Mark Sprague’s 25 years of product development experience which includes expertise in Search Engines, Information Products, SEO platforms and Social Networking applications provide in-depth expertise to help you refine products and services, and improve your web sites performance by:

  • Developing a superior data-driven SEO strategy for your website.
  • Understanding your customers’ search behavior and normalizing it to your content strategy.
  • Understanding how search engine technology practically impacts SEO and content strategies.
  • Understanding how search technology impacts content in a social networking environment.
  • Developing a superior user experience based on sound information architecture, usability and coding standards.

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Mark Sprague,  CEO
580 Lowell Street
Lexington, MA 02420

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