Microsoft kills Tag barcode program, licenses tech to Scanbuy

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is sunsetting its Tag mobile barcode program, licensing the underlying technology to mobile engagement services provider Scanbuy.

Microsoft will discontinue its Tag program.

Microsoft Tag mobile action codes function similarly to QR codes, enabling smartphone users to scan high capacity color barcodes to access videos, marketer landing pages and related interactive content. Microsoft built native Tag applications for its own Windows Phone operating system as well as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, and brands integrated Tags into a wide array of magazines, product packages, in-store promotional materials and other marketing efforts.

"Microsoft Tag service will terminate in two years," reads a statement posted to the Tag homepage. "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. Scanbuy has been selected to support Microsoft Tag technology on the ScanLife platform beginning no later than September 18, 2013, and to offer transition and migration services to Microsoft Tag customers who choose to migrate to the ScanLife platform."

The cloud-based ScanLife platform enables industries including retail, consumer package goods and media to create, manage and monitor mobile engagement campaigns. Its ScanLife app is available to consumers in more than 150 different countries and runs across all major mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone, iOS and Android.

Scanbuy said current and new Tag customers will be able to create and scan Tags using ScanLife services, adding that new campaigns will also enjoy access to multiple mobile triggers including QR codes, Datamatrix, or EZCode formats.

Forty-seven percent of U.S. consumers now recognize QR codes, NeoMedia CEO Laura Marriott told FierceMobileContent earlier this year. "Ninety-five percent of the codes that you see today are QR codes," she said. "Consumers understand what they are and are recognizing them."

For more:
- visit the Microsoft Tag homepage
- read this release

Related articles:
AT&T, Scanbuy team on mobile barcode services platform
Report: User interaction with mobile barcodes skyrockets
Home Depot rolls out Scanbuy QR codes nationwide
Hipcricket teams with Scanbuy for barcode campaigns

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