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Tag, you're out: Microsoft to nix its bar code variant

Microsoft says that it'll be shuttering the service on August 19, 2015, giving users two years to leave the scan-friendly platform.

Microsoft Tag has been given two years to live.
Microsoft Tag has been given two years to live.
James Martin/CNET

Microsoft is killing its proprietary alternative to QR codes.

The company announced the news on Monday, saying that Microsoft Tag will "terminate in two years, on August 19, 2015." Although it might seem odd that Microsoft would announce the closure so far in advance, the company's terms of service require that it provide that much notice to users.

The colorful Microsoft Tag was supposed to be the software giant's answer to bar codes, traditional black-and-white QR codes, and other similar scannable tags. But the service, which Microsoft says was used by some major companies and ad agencies, was never able to match its more popular alternatives.

Microsoft says that users will still be able to use its Tag service until 2015. However, no later than September 18 of this year, a third-party, Scanbuy, will take over the management of Tag through its platform ScanLife.

"This transition path will help you to continue running your campaigns using Microsoft Tags on the ScanLife platform," Microsoft said in a statement.