Microsoft, the company behind the Windows Mobile OS, has produced an Android-based version of its Tag application, which uses the phone's camera to allow users to read hidden information in barcodes.
Considering the fact that Android OS has emerged as one of the most important rivals to Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS, it is surprising that the application was launched for the Android OS.
But then again, Tag is also available for iPhone OS, Symbian and BlackBerry OS, which are also giving Windows Mobile a hard time.
The Tag reader application is designed to allow users to use the camera on their smartphones to scan and recognise a specially designed grid of coloured triangles, which then provides users with the information stored in the tag and redirect them corresponding websites or relevant content.
Tags are designed as coupons that are programmed to link people to websites, pass on information or give visitors a discount in an online store.
The technology can also be used by advertisers in magazine and newspaper ads or badges that allow users to derive information and share it with others.
Microsoft has also developed applications for rivals in the past including the Seadragon application which was released for the iPhone OS platform in December 2008.
Not much to write about here. Tag is like other cross platform Microsoft applications. They have to exist because there is a demand for them. The Redmond companies knows that it is no longer evolving in a vacuum and has to adopt a completely new attitude towards competition.