USA Today Goes For Microsoft Tag

The front page of today’s issue of USA Today announced that the paper will be using Microsoft Tag. Starting today there will be at least one Tag in each print section daily to provide readers with access to daily photo galleries, the latest financial news, sports scores, video and other digital features. (Full press release).

USA Today's Microsoft Tag announcementFront page of USA Today

9 thoughts on “USA Today Goes For Microsoft Tag”

  1. This is (another) huge coup for Microsoft Tag to establish themselves as THE mainstream code in the States.

    They either have the best Bus Dev team in the world working in this division, or, they are buying their way in? Doesn’t really matter.

    Every QR platform out there must take One Giant Step backwards as they try to figure out how to compete with Microsoft Tag who are securing the accounts that have both high exposure and the prospect of really high usage. We can talk ’til we’re blue-in-the-face about open source, ISO and standards — while Microsoft continues to expand and be perceived as the de facto “standard” in the eyes of the consumer.

  2. @Melodie There are almost 100 apps that scan QR codes available for download. Scanners are scanners. Nobody is NOT going to scan a QR code if they are an avid MS TAG scanner because they don’t know what a QR code is. People WILL start to recognize and use BOTH. The value behind the code is what will win the advertisers.. as well as the app incentive for scanning…. There is only ONE app that reads MS Tag…ONE. Let’s not get dramatic. QR codes aren’t going away no matter the early success of tag.

  3. Spot the MS Tag ‘evangelist’, those guys get everywhere 🙂

    Hats off the MS for ensuring a good few big name brands are using their code format, but it doesn’t sound the death knell of all other formats, especially not QRs. As Nick says, the value is driven by consumer use and QRs are too prolific to die out.

    My view – MS will be charging for analytical services within the next 12 months.

  4. I believe the point @Melodie makes is that:

    – MS Tag are establishing themselves in the mind of the consumer as a de facto “standard” vis a vis high profile campaigns that are designed for mass audience consumption

    – MS Tag are part of the largest campaigns that are also extremely well executed. Basically, these are “valuable” scans, compared to the numerous (smaller) QR campaigns that seem fraught with problems or a “lack of value.”

    This is not a matter of technology or “who’s better.” It’s a matter of consumer adoption.

    I too am going through an emotional shift when I see a QR Code or an MS Tag. With QR, I’ve wasted dozens of hours of my life using multiple Readers to get a resolve, or, I’ve reached the mobile content only to find it isn’t optimized for my device; or, it’s simply dull and meaningless (no real value). When I see an MS Tag campaign, I’m intrigued. That may not last, but, for now, MS Tag are delivering “slicker” and more unique experiences than most who use QR.

    Anyone who thinks the technology will be the determining factor here is, well, likely a Developer or engineer without any marketing background. If QR is going to become a consumer standard that engages a significant number of Users, someone better start doing some rockin’ campaigns, soon. That is the only way to win.

    Looming in the background (real heresy) is NFC, which is doing everything QR/2D does, but, with a seamless UX. Where we all are a year from now will be fascinating to see.

  5. I love seeing Tags in USA Today.

    Just last week, my first book (co-authored with Amber Naslund) launched, including 22 Microsoft Tags linking to supplemental videos, PDFs, and other material.

    It’s called The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social.

    Published by Wiley, it’s in bookstores and Amazon, etc.

  6. I think a key advantage that MsTag has is that they have a centralized voice. QR codes are everywhere and thus decentralized.

    I think they can co-exist.

    I was wondering for newspapers through, if 4cp has issues with registration? But.. you can go BW or work this out on press check.


  7. I think @Melodie hit it exactly: “buying their way in”

    Microsoft *must* see every user’s scan of your code, and the tag reader app will add a little cookie (exactly like on the web) to the data it sends to the Microsoft servers.

    So Microsoft sees exactly what tags have been scanned by whom. Neat, huh? Now can you see why Microsoft is pushing so hard to have the MS Tag format implemented? Even if MS has to provide all kinds of sweetener to their agreements?

    Think about it:

    All of your USA Today’s code scan go through Microsoft.

    All of your Universal Studio’s code scans go through Microsoft.

    All of your Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue scans go through Microsoft.

    Or you can use public-domain QR codes, and direct the users to an open-source app.

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