updated 07:35 am EST, Thu March 4, 2010
Microsoft Tag appears on Android Market
Microsoft today did the unexpected by launching its first ever Android app, Microsoft Tag. Like its iPhone equivalent, the app for Google's platform scans for Microsoft's self-developed QR-like code tags and can trigger any number of actions when a tag is recognized. It can launch a website or jump directly to online content like a video or coupon.
The app is a free download from the Android Market. Microsoft hasn't listed minimum requirements other than a camera and should support at least Android 1.5; Electronista has tested the app on Android 2.0.
In explaining its unusual step, Microsoft explains that it needs to make the app as widely available as possible to encourage adoption of the format. Versions already exist for BlackBerry, J2ME and Symbian, the company says. Nonetheless, Microsoft has historically been averse to ever embracing a Google platform given fierce competition in both mobile OS and search.