Microsoft has effectively thrown in the towel for Microsoft Tag. On Tuesday (December 13), Microsoft announced that its Tag Reader smartphone app will now support QR codes and NFC. Officially that's to make Tag Reader a one-stop app so users won't have to worry about what reader to use with various tags. In practice, it's curtains for Tag, the multicolored 2D barcode that Microsoft rolled out in January 2009 but that never really caught on (not that the more successful QR code has been a barn-burning success).
In a blog post, Microsoft said it now recommends NFC for retailers to "blend in beautifully," QR to "grab their attention" and Tag to "raise curiosity"—presumably as in, "curiosity about who's still interested in Microsoft Tag."