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October 30, 2006

Microsoft jumps the shark with Windows Live Barcode beta

Posted by David Hunter at 9:46 AM ET.

If you thought Microsoft’s marketers had run out of projects on which to slap the “Windows Live” brand, you were wrong as LiveSide reports:

No this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Windows Live Barcode enables users to store their own data in QR codes, which are already present on Spaces for markets like Japan.

From the homepage:

What is Windows Live Barcode
Windows Live Barcode is a set of services that transfer information between various media (PCs, billboards, magazines etc.) and handsets via Quick Response Code (QR Code), a two-dimensional barcode. It provides a new method for people to exchange information and enjoy various online services on handsets. Windows Live Barcode aims to enhance handset utility and provide you with more convenience and flexibility.

Reading through the Web site and taking the tour, it seems mostly to be yet another way for the geeky set to exchange business card information although Microsoft apparently has higher aspirations. All of this is fine, but Ray Ozzie’s vision of ad-supported online services seems to be stretched very thin in this “Windows Live” offering which on a good day is at best a nerdy geegaw. I especially like the part where you can put the barcode on a Web site. So much for Live Clipboard, eh Ray?

Filed under Advertising, Beta and CTP, Executives, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft, Online Services, Ray Ozzie, Windows Live, Windows Live Barcode

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