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tag_head You remember playing Tag as a kid right? Some of you might still play it today – don’t worry we won’t judge you. (Yes we will!)

OK so this is nothing like that and is actually helpful for any type of marketing campaign. This can help you out with your high school election, help get you gigs around the neighborhood or how about get your friends involved with a new age scavenger hunt?

Sounds like fun or something that can help your business/organization? Well then keep on reading!

This is another cool new product from the Redmond camp and this might just be something that will stick around. You will start seeing these embedded into magazine ads, billboards and maybe even some creatively  made graffiti….are you still with me?  Good.


Microsoft built upon some older technology and breathed new life into it. This technology allows you the user to embed data within an image. There is also tracking and reporting analytic features to go with the app.


Using their website you can log in using your Live ID and get started. What you then do is click on ‘Create a Tag’.



When setting up my first tag I decided to embed my website’s URL. So the way this is supposed to work is when someone scans in my “Tag” created above on their cell phone using Microsoft’s free application it will instruct their mobile browser to launch my website with no other intervention.

You can also embed other items. You just need to pull down the tag type menu as you can see here:


You can embed Text, your Vcard with your contact information (this will be saved to the users contact list) or dialer. The dialer will dial up a number on the mobile phone. This is great for sales leads. Each option will give you different fields to fill out. All the fields other than URL allow you to password protect the item. This is how you can keep your scavenger hunt private!

You can choose how your tag will be displayed. You can decide if you want to include a link to download the software or various sizes as you can see in this screen shot:


You can also choose PDF, XPS or WMF. I suggest leaving this as a PDF because more phones know this format than the others!

The person who wants to view the “Tag” needs to have the Microsoft Tag reader installed. It is available from here. If you go to that URL on your device you probably will not have to choose which download you need. If you are going to download the software to your computer then you will need to choose your phone make/model.

The supported phones are listed below. Each link will point you to the correct page for your device.

  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone
  • Java 2 Micro Edition
  • PalmOS
  • Symbian S60
  • Symbian S60 1st Edit
  • Symbian S60 2nd Edit
  • Symbian S60 3rd Edit
  • Windows Mobile
  • You can also choose your handset by manufacturer instead. I downloaded the Windows Mobile version called directly onto my HTC Touch Pro (running Windows Mobile 6.5 Beta)


    You can use your application on your mobile phone to capture this tag above and it will automagically redirect your phones browser to my site AskTheAdmin – very cool.

    If you don’t want to try it out for yourself check out this youTube video of it in action.

    This is some real futuristic shiznit here. Do you know of any other cool new technologies that will be shoving themselves in front of our faces anytime soon? You do? Awesome – share them with us in the comments!

    1. Karl L. Gechlik
      March 5, 2009 at 4:18 pm

      I still stick by my quote - "it will instruct their mobile browser to launch my website with no other intervention"

      After the user views the image with the application it will launch the website on their handheld. Yes there is stuff going on in the background with MS servers but no other user intervention is required.

    2. Jody Lowes
      March 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      Your article is great, however, this is one mistake in it.

      "it will instruct their mobile browser to launch my website with no other intervention"

      This is not entirely accurate. Microsoft servers are still involved in every transaction. When you create a Tag the only information in the Tag is an ID. The ID is sent to the MS server and the information is sent back. This is the reason why MS Tags are all the same size, they have actually minimized the information contained in the Tag. QR codes, while bigger, actually contain the information in the code.

      One benefit to the MS Tag system is that you can change the information associated with a Tag without having to make a new tag. That could be extremely useful.

    3. mark
      February 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      i did this a month ago

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