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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  • laurie

    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!

  • 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!"

  • Bios aside – this is much better looking

  • Matt

    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???

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

  • 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.

  • Rui

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

  • micio

    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!

  • 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.

  • nice man.. this is cool..

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

  • Neil

    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.

  • Rebecca

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

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