Microsoft TagMicrosoft Tag

Yes, yes, Microsoft has released its Microsoft Tag app -- which has been around for a while on Windows Mobile -- for Android. A little background: Microsoft Tag codes are a lot like those black-and-white QR codes you often see on this site. But the MS Tags can hold more information and, let's face it, they just look cooler.

Microsoft TagBut here's the continuing problem we have: It's yet another standard that has to be adopted. And right now, they're not compatible. Microsoft Tag Reader doesn't scan QR codes, and something like Barcode Scanner doesn't scan Microsoft Tags. Hopefully that will change, because it's a huge hurdle in Microsoft's quest to get its standard adopted. (And if there is an app out there that does both, let us know, huh?

Go ahead, download Microsoft Tag (it kept crashing on my Nexus One, by the way), and give it a shot with the code you see here. Now try it with Barcode Scanner.

Now remember that it's been this way for a long, long time, so we'll get a little more enthusiastic when things start playing nicely together. [via MSDN]

There are 8 comments

milesmcever says:

Well guess it works (on droid) also tried it on the barcode inside the Stride gum and that worked as well but I am still wondering how well the barcode tags will do in the long run.

ads says:

Isn't this just the pedantic, hopelessly internally focused MS at their best? "For example, scanning a tag may open a website, download contact information, receive a text message, or dial a phone number". So the customer doesn't get to decide how they get the code information, or what it does, MS, in their infinite benevolence does this for them, including the possibility of hooking one up directly with a salesperson on the phone. This company controls the desktop, made their vendors and partners shake in their boots with tactics, and yet with all this power they still completely lost the plot and have no clue what billions of non-corporate customers want AND want no part of.

arwild01 says:

Works on the Samsung Moment(cupcake)... that said I don't know if I'll ever use it... never seen one of these tags before in the "real world"

WarER4X says:

I suppose Google Goggles would be capable of reading those tags once it has the database behind it to interpret them.

C'mon, Google, show Micro$oft how it's done.


FredFront says:

"But the MS Tags can hold more information. . ." -- wrong!

MS tag only encodes 13 bytes of data, unlike QR code which can encode a full URL. So -- with QR code, you scan the code, and your browser goes straight there. With MS Tag, you scan an ID number, then go to the MS servers, which return the actual URL. So MS Tag is a way for Microsoft to track every time someone is dumb enough to scan one of these tags. See

Yes this does go up to the Microsoft cloud for storage. And I won't defend what privacy policy Microsoft has put arond that information in terms of Microsoft's own use. I'll go read the policy and report back though. The primary function from a tag creator standpoint is to have the information available to the creator as to when, where etc. says:

Our new app does QR codes : ) check out to check it out, would love some feedback, thanks!


LeonardKaris says:

This is a Android qr code generator, which works well!