Microsoft Withdraws From Tag - Part 3

Microsoft tag blue moonThis is the third article on the move by Microsoft to exit the 2D bar code space. In Part 1 we published the complete press release, In Part 2 we shared comments from Mike Wehrs at Scanbuy, the company that has acquired a license for Tag and now we have input from two current and one former competitor in the 2d marketing/barcode segment and one active participant who specializes in art for Tag.

A few of the questions we posed:
Q - Is it good or bad for the industry?
Q - Does it matter?
Q - Will other 2d symbologies fade in the face of the QR code?

From Laura Marriott - CEO of Neo Media Technologies - a company which offers 2D reporting and marketing services
  "It is always unfortunate to lose (the support of) a large player in the space.  Microsoft had a strong offering and helped to encourage market growth and adoption by offering their services free of charge.  It is unfortunate to lose them from the space but believe that there are a long list of players, with high quality solutions, ready to service not only their clientele but the large number of companies who have yet to integrate 2D codes into their solutions."

  "QR adoption and growth will proceed whether or not Microsoft is in the market.  There are hundreds/thousands of providers globally who are all seeing significant growth in their offerings but it is too bad to see them exit."

   "Proprietary codes are falling by the wayside as QR takes center stage for marketing, advertising and couponing implementations.  Other open standard 2D symbologies, like Aztec or Data matrix, are also taking on a larger role in more specialized applications, like train ticketing or supply chain management for pharmaceuticals.  Open standards, like QR, Data matrix and Aztec, are the way of the future in 2D."


Nicole Skogg, CEO and Founder of SpyderLynk (SnapTag), offered up the following comments:
   "One would expect as with any emerging technology that there will be those that fully develop the technology, continue to refine it, and, ultimately, emerge as market leaders. "
  "We believe the winners in the space will be those companies that deliver compelling mobile solutions using mobile activators as the gateway to a mobile dialogue with consumers, not those just offering mobile barcodes."

  "We’ve found in our work with some very smart brand marketers that what the industry really needs are solutions that gives them branding capabilities and robust marketing tools to activate, engage, and convert their audiences."


Bret daCosta - founder of, a company that specializes in the creation of 2d art work using Tag as well as other 2d codes, said he felt that Microsoft licensing the product to others was a positive development as they weren't doing much with it.  He also said that he'd sensed some reluctance by companies to invest in a code that was proprietary, and that a great many people believe it should be open source.


Finally, Dudley Fitzpatrick - former Founder/CEO of JagTag (a competitor) also offered some salient comments on the niche itself and why it has not yet taken off:
   "I think the biggest issue facing the market is the poor implementation executed by clients and their agency partners.  People put tags on things but they don't ever even tell you what you get by engaging the tag."

   "The biggest issue - the lack of an appropriate and compelling offer and the articulation of that offer by the marketer."  

   "The foundation of the category.. that it transforms static marketing materials into interactive on-demand media - is as valuable as its ever been , but it's not being properly executed."  

    Fitzpatrick also opined that the free nature of QR codes is counter-productive ;   "...because qr codes are free - the lack of investment that brands make...allows them to not really care that much about the return they get.  Because of the actual free nature of QR codes - they are not as disciplined in getting the return."

  Interesting thoughts for sure!  It's been a busy week so far in the niche - can't wait to see what comes this fall!


Other articles that may interest you:

Part 1 of the Microsoft Exits Tag story

Part 2 of the Microsoft Exits Tag story - Good or Bad for users?

The First Billion Scans Are the Hardest

Climbing Pay Per Click (PPC) Costs in the Bar Code Industry

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