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Microsoft Tags vs. QR Codes

QR Codes:

-2D Bar Code stands for Quick Response. Created in Japan in 1994. These codes are easily scanned with a Mobil phone. When the code is scanned, it reveals a URL, text or phone number. 

-Open Source - can be created by any company and easily read by most scanners or devices able to read code. A QR code is royalty free. Other companies or individuals can also scan QR codes to gain information on a certain product or company.


QR codes are easily created; there are a number of websites that will design a code at no cost. A QR Code can be created to direct people to a simple text or a complicated website, discount coupons, education advertising, almost anything you can think of. The QR code can be displayed in magazines, letterhead, signs, or anywhere people are able to scan your QR Code. 


At this point in time, the main disadvantage is that one interested in scanning a QR Code must have a camera phone with the scanning software. 

Most smart phones come equipped with this, if not an app can downloaded. Those with only a mobile camera phone will be unable to obtain reading software. 

There are many more advantages then disadvantages.

Microsoft Tags:

A 2D Barcode that can be used to direct customers and clients to a specific website, text, phone number, video, or most anything you can think of, much like a QR Code and are free to design. 

The advantages and disadvantages are much like the QR Code. Microsoft Tags can be uses as a marketing tool, but a smart phone with reading software is necessary to scan tags.

Closed Source - Microsoft Tags are a closed source. This means you can only create and scan using Microsoft's platform. This could allow better quality, but for now will make it more difficult for everyone to scan.

Differences between Microsoft Tags and QR Codes:

The biggest difference is an open and closed source. A QR Code is open; it can be created and scanned by anyone with the needed scanner software. Microsoft Tags are closed, basically you need to have a Microsoft platform in order to create and scan tags. Some say this will allow better quality, but at this point more phones are coming equipped with QR Scanning software, while Microsoft Tags are not preloaded. 

Although Microsoft Tags were the first to offer color codes with company logos, QR codes are now offering the same.


Both QR Codes and Microsoft tags are on their way to being the future of marketing. While QR Codes are more common today, you can be sure both will have a major impact on how companies do business.

This is just the beginning. Most are not clear as to what the square shaped designs are even for. Soon these codes and tags will be in every magazine, on signs, menu, bus's, envelopes, they could even be used as personal ads, unlimited possibilities. It will change the way we send and receive information. The future is rapidly approaching!