First Android App For Microsoft

The BBC reports that Microsoft has developed its first application for Google’s Android platform. Called Tag, the free software uses a handset’s camera to turn it into a mobile barcode reader, enabling barcodes to effectively become coupons that link people to websites, pass on information or give visitors a discount in an online store.

Microsoft’s move may seem odd in light of the fact it has its own mobile platform that is struggling to compete with rivals. Indeed, last month the company announced the planned launch later this year of Windows Phone 7 Series, regarded by analysts as Microsoft’s last opportunity to remain a major player in the mobile operating system space. However, Microsoft has already made the Tag application available on the iPhone, BlackBerry and Symbian handsets, as well as, of course, on Windows phones. The BBC report notes that Microsoft’s Android launch is made against a background of greater co-operation among operators on phone software. Last month at least 24 of the world’s largest mobile operators announced an agreement to create an open international applications platform, regarded by many as a move by operators to wrest control of the lucrative apps market away from software firms and phone makers.

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