Microsoft issues final release for Tag

The company hopes that availability on a variety of mobile platforms will push growth

Microsoft's mobile barcode technology, Tag, has exited the beta testing phase, and a final release is available for download, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

When a user points a mobile code camera on a barcode the Tag client will interpret the code, and link to a variety of content. For example, Golf Digest has been using tags to let their readers access video lessons on smartphones. In Amsterdam, visitors can go on a Tag-led tour, with tags on monuments, museums, restaurants, bars, and other landmarks, according to Microsoft. In its simplest form, Tag links directly to a Web page, the blog post said.

Tags can also be used to dial a phone number -- when the user scans the tag a phone number is automatically dialed.

Microsoft is hoping that as many phones as possible will use the technology, so besides Microsoft's OS, the Tag client is available for Android, BlackBerry, the iPhone, Symbian and PalmOS. A Java-based version, which would open the door for running the application on cheaper phones, is under development, as well.

More than 1 billion tags have been printed since Tag was launched about 18 months ago, according to Microsoft. Future plans for the technology include advanced reporting and analytics and real-time location services, the blog post said.

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