Microsoft’s ‘Tag’ mobile app — which allows users to pull up product info on their smartphones by scanning specialized barcodes — has received a major endorsement from Ford. The auto company is using Tag barcodes in the ads for its 2010 Ford Taurus, the WSJ reports. The barcodes will appear in more than 700,000 brochures for the new cars, as well as in print ads. Users who point their smartphones at the ads see short videos about the Taurus.
Ford’s use of Tag is significant, since Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) needs major partners to adopt Tag in order to spur the app’s widespread adoption, especially considering that there are other players in the market. On its website, Microsoft currently lists only a few select partners — including consumer goods firm General Mill, the Sacramento Review of Books, and Best Buy. Microsoft is also using Tag in the packaging for its Xbox titles.
Worth noting that Ford and Microsoft have a close relationship. Microsoft and Ford jointly developed Sync, the voice-controlled communication a and entertainment system that is included in various Ford models. And earlier this year Microsoft held a press event in which CEO Steve Ballmer received a new Ford Fusion Hybrid from Ford CEO Alan Mulally.