Microsoft's QR code competitor Tag to shut up shop -- hands in two years' notice

You may well not have heard of it -- and even if you have, it's even less likely that you've used it -- but Microsoft's Tag service is to close two years from now. In a statement on the Tag website Microsoft says that it is issuing a two year termination notice in accordance with its Terms of Use and that the service can be used as normal for the next 24 months.

For anyone to whom Microsoft Tag is an unfamiliar name, and this is likely to be a large group, this is -- or perhaps was -- Microsoft's alternative to the QR code. Scan a tag from a magazine or advertisement and you can access content such as websites, videos and more.

While QR codes are small square, scannable icons made up of little pixel-like squares, Tags are comprised of little triangles. This difference aside, and the fact that Tags link to a server that uses an ID to provide content rather than actually including encoded content, Tags and QR codes are much the same.

The fact that QR codes have failed to grow all that much in popularity, the closure of an alternative is hardly surprising. But it may not all be coming to an end. Scanbury, a company already involved with QR codes through its ScanLife platform, has been selected by Microsoft to take over support of Tags on or before September 18, 2013.

Whether this ultimately means that Tags will be replaced by the slightly more familiar QR code and quietly shuttered by Scanbury remains to be seen. What will please many people is the fact that, unlike Google with the closure of Reader, plenty of notice has been given.

Does this affect you? Had you used, or even heard of Tag, before today's announcement?

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