Microsoft throws in the towel on TagThe software giant gives up on its alternative to the QR code, LinkedIn gets schooled with University Pages, and Barnes & Noble pushes new video apps.
It's the end of an era that you didn't know existed. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Remember the Microsoft Tag? And that's okay. Not many people do. And that's why Microsoft announced it's going to stop supporting the Tag in two years. The Tag is Microsoft's own version of a QR code and when it launched many top companies like Nike, Coca-Cola and Kraft foods, where using these colorful two dimension barcodes on their packaging and advertisements instead of using the common QR code. The only way to scan the tag was to use Microsoft's special app and once scanned, the phone would open a website with more information about a product. Publications like USA Today also used an imprint as a shortcut to quickly view a video about a story. The home improvement store Lowe's put these codes on Flower Pot Tags to tell you how to take care of the plants. The advantage with Microsoft system was that it was easier to program and collect data to see how many people were scanning the codes. The problem was that even after a few years, people still don't know what the code is and it just didn't stick. Next month, the company called Scanbuy will take over management of the Tag. LinkedIn started its first day of school. It just created university pages so students and alumni can get updates about campus news and connect with fellow students and it's a resource if you're hunting for colleges. Get a glimpse of successful alumni and what careers they have chosen. You don't need a Nook tablet to watch videos from Barnes & Noble. The bookseller is coming out with a free Nook video app that works on iOS, Android and Roku devices. Users of the app can buy or rent shows and movies from the Nook library. Barnes & Noble seems to be leaning on digital content now that it's no longer making color tablets and the company also just drop the price of its top eReader, the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, bringing the price to $100. It's 20 bucks cheaper than the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. If you like your phones extra large, then say hello to the Galaxy Mega. This is 6.3-inch phone is coming to the U.S. and will be sold by AT&T this Friday for $150 under contract. And the makeup phone will also come to Sprint and U.S. Cellular at a later date. The phone has already been available in Europe, Russia and South Korea. But if you long for the days when smartphones were just 4 inches, well, there's an option for you as well. The HTC One Mini also comes out in the U.S. this Friday at AT&T and it will sell for $100 after contract. The phone has a 4.3-inch screen and a 720p display and it's got the same camera and software features as its bigger brother. That's your tech news update and you can read up on more details at cnet.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.