Monday, August 26, 2013

MS Tag is Going Away and We Have Something to Say About It.

Hopefully will will not have remorse like
 the woman who received this tattoo.
Lots of big news from Redmond this week, I will save my thoughts about Steve Ballmer for a more private forum.  When news arrived in my mail box on Monday last week that Microsoft was going to discontinue Microsoft Tag Support, I received a flurry of instant messages from friends and colleagues. They wanted to know about how it would affect E3 systems and my personal feelings on the subject.  In this blog post, I want everyone to know where we stand as a business and what this news means for the QR industry.

My first reaction to this was anger.  Why would Microsoft pull this service when it could be a great way for enterprise operations to have paper documents communicate with mobile devices?  It then occurred to me that I had written a blog on the subject a almost a year ago discussing how advertising and marketing firms were not using QR codes correctly.  Then I read the following article in the aftermath of the announcement and anger quickly mellowed into a vinegary vintage of disappointment.

Because QR code support and MSTag are not built into phones people do not scan tags.  Because people don’t scan tags marketing firms do not create suitable mobile marketing content for discourages scans and further undermines the technology.  I was hoping to use MSTag and QR codes for a manufacturing and regulatory compliance purpose.  Now Microsoft was pulling the plug and we would have to find some other technology or means to fill the breach.

Our reprieve was that Microsoft would not kill the service right away.  They provided a two year window and offered the services of a third party ScanLife to provide hosting for QR codes and MSTag.  They even sent an e-mail and phone number to contact someone as I migrate the service.  The plot thickened when I received an e-mail from ScanLife saying they were very excited about how we used the MSTag service and that they would like to speak with me personally.  That appointment is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

I am disappointed that Microsoft is making this decision.  Looking at the trends and how the technology was misused I understand why that made this choice.  This profoundly effects how E3 systems Sully 2.0 and Tony Platform operate. I am also concerned that this change may effect the profitability of the organization.  If necessary, we will have to do something different at this time. We are just not sure what the future holds.  We will keep you posted.

Until next time.