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.
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.
With 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.
Microsoft to discontinue support for Microsoft Tags
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
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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