MS Tag being used for new show promotion by IFC

Although MS Tag has been around for a few years now, it really didn't launch till early 2009. The big competitor to Microsoft's High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) system would be the more universal QR Code, which is popular in Japan and has been adopted by the Google juggernaut and Android.

So it's interesting to see MS Tag appearing in a commercial on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) for the new series Portlandia. The Tag appears at the end of the commercial and upon scanning it, it takes you to YouTube to watch an extended preview of the show.

Once again, nothing revolutionary here nor unique but it's good to see Microsoft's much nicer looking Tag getting a bit more mainstream.  One hopes that these "partner" barcodes get more widespread as scanning for more information, apps, links, etc. is a great use of smartphone technology.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I called it last week, I think. :)
  • Maybe with Windows Phone 8 they'll do away with having a separate tagging app and just allow you to switch to the camera and if it sees a tag it'll just read it. Obviously they'd have to come up with a solution to allow you to take a picture which nay happen to include a tag or two, but it seems to me that this is the way to go versus having a separate app just for tags. Recognizing a tag has to be easier than recognizing a face or a smile as some cameras are capable of doing.
  • MSTag is quite useful because it collects data of usage, date, location, etc. I use it for my WP7 wallpaper site: http:\\ Happy with it :)
  • MSTag is not the only provider of analytics for use with barcode marketing:
  • I'd say that diving into a marketing plan to REQUIRES the target audience to use a proprietary app is a big risk. Too many people simply HATE Microsoft (often for no real good reason) to install their app. Customers lost. I can tell you our customers sure don't want to be anchored to one app when they have the option to reach millions more customers. All the other QR scanning apps out there need to take a hint from the i-nigma app ( No Wp7 client yet but on iOS and Android, with direct access to the movie camera, the thing is CRAZY fast and accurate. You barely have to have the entire code on screen for it to grab it. THAT's the way to make the technology work as a marketer. If the customers you are trying to reach can't scan the code within a couple of seconds of seeing it, you've lost them and certainly, all out failure to scan is bad news. PRAYING MS releases access to the video camera in the API update!