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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21 Comments

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I actually saw CueCat-specific barcodes when it was launched (it also worked with existing UPCs for physical products), but I have never seen a single Microsoft Tag since its launch. What made Microsoft think this would work just by changing the scanning device and requiring all items to have a new specific barcode of their own?

<quote>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.</quote>

A Unique ID. So every time you access information you will get tagged. This is for marketing use in an individual scale. Practically you are having an ID to access the Internet. Just think how this affects the privacy and freedom of communications.

<quote>"access mobile content, videos, music, contact information, maps, social networks, promotions, and more".</quote>
That's Internet. Since there are more mobile phones than PCs in use (probably), they will get them to impose the use of a key("tag") for you to login. I totally oppose this technology. And you should think about it too.

Mocosoft said,
<quote>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.</quote>

A Unique ID. So every time you access information you will get tagged. This is for marketing use in an individual scale. Practically you are having an ID to access the Internet. Just think how this affects the privacy and freedom of communications.

<quote>"access mobile content, videos, music, contact information, maps, social networks, promotions, and more".</quote>
That's Internet. Since there are more mobile phones than PCs in use (probably), they will get them to impose the use of a key("tag") for you to login. I totally oppose this technology. And you should think about it too.

o_O

Way to over analyze things. Go crawl back into your basement.

pjw said,

o_O

Way to over analyze things. Go crawl back into your basement.

¿Do you know about how a DB works?. ¿What's a primary key?. Understand how this works, and you will see I'm right.

Mocosoft said,

¿Do you know about how a DB works?. ¿What's a primary key?. Understand how this works, and you will see I'm right.


If you were that concerned about all of this, then the last thing you should be doing is posting in a public forum on the internet. It's no different to opening a website on your computer. Everything you just said is pretty much the basis of the internet. Move along.

So in essence they are giving Android users a feature they already have with QR codes that actually works and is getting rather wide spread at this point, however, using a different code format, that i have never seen actually used.

Matt Sharpe said,
Isn't it worth mentioning that Microsoft Tag has been around for ages? I assume this is just an Android version?

That was mentioned in the article:

"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."

the article clearly stated,
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.
That tells me that this is something that existed before. ;)

markjensen said,
That tells me that this is something that existed before. ;)

Uhhh, sure it's been around for some time, the technology itself is new and something MS did. You can look at the specs if you want, but it's not like the other black and white tags out there.

GP007 said,

Uhhh, sure it's been around for some time, the technology itself is new and something MS did. You can look at the specs if you want, but it's not like the other black and white tags out there.

LOL

I was referring to the fact that Microsoft has had this app for other platforms. Nothing to do with technology origin or evolution.

Awesome, I printed out 62 tags a couple of weeks ago to use at a robotics competition(each tag is a team's website). Now pretty much everyone with a smartphone will be able to get to a team's websites quicker.