Microsoft looks to cut Tag loose and close up shop in 2015; licensing technology out to Scanbuy
Microsoft has announced the company will be shutting down its Tag service in 2015. If you're not familiar with the name, it's Microsoft's attempt to compete with QR codes by providing a more advanced alternative. Redmond has been working on this form of High Capacity Colour Barcode (HCCB) technology since 2009, but it has failed to really take off leading to the company taking action (despite surpassing 5 billion tags back in 2011).
It's not the end of the road for Tag, however.
While the service under Microsoft has apps available on Windows Phone, iOS and Android, the company will be licensing the technology to mobile company Scanbuy. This rather generous 2-year period provides ample time for consumers who utilise the service as it is currently to transition over to ScanLife. The date for when Microsoft turns everything off? August 19th.
Looking ahead with ScanLife
Scanbuy, who runs ScanLife, will support Microsoft's Tag technology on its platform starting from September 18th of this year. The company will offer transition and migration services to those who currently use the Tag service under Microsoft, which will help ensure campaigns running currently will continue to do so successfully on the new platform.
This will be an interesting move to say the least as Scanbuy is a massive provider of QR codes and its cloud-based platform, ScanLife caters for providing experiences for consumers to engage with brands in everyday surroundings. Microsoft's own technology offers more functionality, security and scope than the standard QR code, which Scanbuy is surely going to look at taking advantage of.
Being financially backed by Google, Scanbuy CEO Mike Wehrs spoke to CITEworld about the deal and how Google essentially isn't aware of the deal yet (albeit before news broke out from media sources). "Our board meeting on the 28th… will be an interesting day," noting that Microsoft will be present alongside Google on the board with an observer seat.
How will all this pan out? Only time will tell. We'll look forward for more details being released to see how Scanbuy will take the technology further. Currently Scanbuy has apps available for multiple platforms, including Windows Phone.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.