Microsoft tag is dead, QR codes reign supreme


Microsoft Tag was Redmond’s little experiment to take on QR codes. At the time of launch, the key differentiator was that the colourful triangle tags were able to be scanned by feature phones as well as smart phones. Another nice feature was that they would be identified immediately, but QR codes are doing that now as well, using apps like RedLaser.

So being handsomely beaten by QR codes, Microsoft are admitting defeat and hanging up their tags. Microsoft Tag is dead. Typically they are having a very soft wind down, giving users and developers 2 years notice.

As of August 19th 2015, Microsoft Tags will no longer work. Before you think nobody was using it, there are some decent brands that did implement the Tags. Canon, Woman’s Day, 3M, Ford, Forbes Magazine, Volvo, USA Today, Universal, Sony Pictures and many, many more.

It’s unlikely there’ll be too many tears shed over this shut down, especially given NFC has arrived and is an even faster way of transmitting small bites of info to devices.


Here’s the full statement from Microsoft.

This August 19, 2013 notice is to inform our Microsoft Tag customers that the Microsoft Tag service will terminate in two years, on August 19th, 2015. We are providing this two-year termination notice in accordance with our Terms of Use for the Microsoft Tag Service located at this link: See Section 2 – Availability of Service; Changes to the Agreement & Service, paragraph 2.1.

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 18th, 2013, and to offer transition and migration services to Microsoft Tag customers who choose to migrate to the ScanLife platform. This transition path will help you to continue running your campaigns using Microsoft Tags on the ScanLife platform.

Scanbuy is the largest provider of QR codes and runs ScanLife, a cloud-based mobile engagement platform for creating personalized, uniquely tailored experiences for consumers to digitally engage with brands in their everyday surroundings through smartphones.
Learn more about the ScanLife Migration Path now.

We thank you for allowing us to serve you as our Microsoft Tag customer. If you have questions that Microsoft can assist you with please contact


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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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