Saturday, August 20, 2011

QR Codes vs Microsoft Tag

I am just starting to use QR codes with my clients, but I have been seeing more and more about Microsoft Tag. It uses CMYK colors to create a code. These are high capacity color codes, that can hold more information than a QR code can, but the Microsoft Tag code reader is not as common as the QR scanner. QR scans can be used in BW (which is common for cheaper prints and newspaper ads). Microsoft Tag must have CMYK. Both can be branded with image. QR codes can be colorful as long as the contrast is high enough. Microsoft tag can do both black and white and any color of the rainbow; but, the Microsoft tag can be transformed into images and icons more easily than QR code without losing readability.

Microsoft tag is a great way to continue your brand, while being functional. Some people believe that Microsoft Tag will replace QR codes. I think it's more likely they will co-exist until they are replaced by something else. Currently simple Microsoft Tags are free, but the website states that they will charge in the future for anything more than the basic features. 

There are enhancements sites for QR codes as well, and they also charge. The original QR code has a license that is not be exercised by the creator. I doubt that would happen with Microsoft tag. You have to have an account with Microsoft tag (it is simple: just your hotmail or msn account), but something very beneficial about this type of coding is there are analytics that Microsoft manages for you for your code. Codes could be "temporary" in that they would exist within a pre-arranged time period, which creates a valid reason for Microsoft to limit who can create their type of coding. There could be too many codes interfering to make relaying information difficult. 

Enhancements to either code do not have to be done my expensive sites, but by you through Adobe Illustrator, but unless you are skilled in the program you would have a difficult time developing the image, while allowing the code to still connect to your information. Skills could save you some doe, but it can save effort if you want to use what Microsoft already has available.

This Microsoft Tag Code links to my website, but I limited its availability until the end of this month.

1 comment:

  1. Great analysis of 2D codes. Glad you like Tag's flexibility for designers such as yourself :)

    Nick Martin
    Online Community Manager
    Microsoft Tag


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