Microsoft releases first Google Android application

Microsoft has unveiled its first Android application, Microsoft Tag.

The idea behind the Microsoft Tag application is that you just aim your camera phone at a Tag and instantly access mobile content, videos, music, contact information, maps, social networks, promotions, and more.

Tag is similar to QR Codes, however Microsoft is using HCCB bar codes so instead of storing the data using square pixels it uses triangle shapes and colours. The difference is that Microsoft Tags don't actually store the information. All it stores is a unique ID which it then sends to Microsoft's servers. This way, you can include much more information, and more variety of information, then if it was just on the tag itself.

Tag was the second application available for Apple's iPhone, released in January 2009. The application also works on Windows Mobile, J2ME, Blackberry, and Symbian S60 phones. Microsoft said it's working to bring Tag to all smartphone users. "We work to meet our commitment of ensuring that all Smartphone users can access Tag. We’re nearly there with the Tag Reader already working with the major mobile platforms", said Benjamin Gauthey of Microsoft's Tag team.

Tag is available in the Android Market on your Android phone by searching for ‘Microsoft Tag’.

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