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Microsoft Gives Up On Its Tag Barcode Service, Schedules It For Shutdown In 2015

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In 2009, Microsoft launched its own version of QR codes called Microsoft Tag. Back then, QR codes were the hot new thing, but the reality, of course, is that they never caught on with consumers. Today, Microsoft announced that, in accordance with Tag’s terms of use, it will shut down the service on August 19, 2015.

Very few people will be sad about this, but for those who are, Microsoft has chosen ScanLife, a company that specializes in QR codes, to provide its users with a transition path so they will be able to run their campaigns using Microsoft Tags on the ScanLife platform. ScanLife will start supporting Tag a month from today. Basic transition will be available for free and users with more complex needs can sign up for paid packages starting at $69 per month.

pjpegTag offered its own spin on 2D barcodes by giving users a relatively large degree of flexibility. Codes can be in black and white or color (using Tag’s trademark triangle-design), or include custom images like a company’s logo. Microsoft’s Tag app also supported NFC touchpoints, though the platform itself never did all that much with this technology.

As Microsoft notes on the Tag site, the service was meant to help its users “bring [their] offline materials to life with a single, free source to develop, manage, and measure campaigns.” It’s probably a fair guess that Microsoft had very little success with this platform. QR codes still haven’t caught on and a proprietary QR code platform had even less of a chance with consumers. It looks like quite a few marketers tried the platform, but without the necessary user adoption, Microsoft made the right choice in closing it down now.