Microsoft Tag Reader Available for Android

In its bizarre fight against an already established technology like QR Codes, Microsoft released today its Tag Reader for Android.  As opposed to QR Codes which is an international standard (ISO/IEC 18004:2006) to encode information in 2D barcodes, Microsoft uses its own proprietary technology called High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB), based on the use of clusters of colored triangles instead of the square pixels traditionally associated with 2D barcodes.

Engadget points out in its article, that releasing the technology to as many platforms as possible is the key strategy for Microsoft to achieving at least some degree of customer adoption, but we really think it’s unfortunate that a company tries to push its own proprietary technology over a widely adopted standard (at least internationally).

As our loyal readers know, here at we’re firm believers of the potential of 2D barcodes and the limitless possibilities behind this promising technology. we’ll wait and see who comes out victorious from this fight, but in the mean time, here’s the link to Microsoft’s Tag Reader AndroidGuys style!


Or you can just type on your mobile browser

Via Engadget

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Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

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  1. laurie
    March 04, 17:35 Reply

    i wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole; this is Android country- not microsoft. What's wrong with what we already have; I feel like a mother protecting her turf!

  2. Chuck Falzone
    March 04, 18:34 Reply

    Don't worry folks, this is doomed to failure. What's the thinking here? "Let's see, here's a problem that already has a solution. The current solution is open, recognized as a standard, and already has a lot of adoption. I know, let's introduce a closed competitor!"

  3. droidin
    March 04, 21:13 Reply

    Bios aside – this is much better looking

  4. Matt
    March 04, 21:49 Reply

    Having trouble downloading it. Can't find it by searching in Market. Going to or following the "old-school" 😉 barcode above with Barcode Scanner both look like they redirect me to the market, but Market crashes every time. Something's funky with this app. FYI, I'm using the latest Cyanogen ROM on a Nexus One. Anyone else???

  5. CaseyB
    March 04, 17:21 Reply

    I just think it's funny that Microsoft is actually paying its employees to write Android Apps!

  6. @ZilverZurfarn
    March 05, 13:35 Reply

    Make a point of _not_ downloading this. Like Juan says, this is just another manifestation of MS's "bizarre fight against an already established technology ". The only real rival in this area is Sony.

  7. Rui
    April 16, 00:18 Reply

    Like Matt, I have the same problem. Can't find the application on a search and the QR code crashes the Android Market. Sucks!

  8. micio
    April 26, 22:46 Reply

    Microsoft Tags work very better than QR Codes when scanning codes from a camera phone. I used both on the iPhone… no way… Microsoft tags are always working also rotating and changing the scanning angle, while QR codes got me "unreadable code" every time.

    Good job Microsoft!

  9. yojay
    June 06, 19:44 Reply

    MS Tags are actually pretty great. With a centralized server, I can change what a barcode does, since it is resolved by Microsoft and no specific URL info is encoded in the barcode itself. I am not a Microsoft groupie, but this app works way better than the QR scanning apps I've tested (and I[' think I've tested just about all of the them). The only downside is like ScanLife…they could start charging per scan.

    I'm developing for it and we'll see how it goes.

  10. doel
    July 16, 19:02 Reply

    thank you so much for sharing. nice post. i like it :p

  11. Neil
    August 14, 17:46 Reply

    This app is no longer available – I’ve searched for 20 minutes and can’t find a download for it anywehre.

    It’s also not in the android marketplace anymore.

  12. Rebecca
    April 27, 15:44 Reply

    i downloaded the app, but all that comes up is the directions. how does this fucking thing work

  13. Awesome things here. I am very happy to look your article.
    Thank you so much and I’m looking ahead to contact
    you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

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