Microsoft releases first Android app

Microsoft has rolled out its first Android application, to go alongside its small stable of iPhone apps. The company has released an Android port of its Tag app, which allows users to access information stored in its special barcode format.

It's a bit like a QR code, but smaller and able to store more information. You just point your phone camera at it, and it'll read the information contained within. This can be used in magazine ads, posted, as coupons, or even as badges, to share information among different people.

Google and Microsoft haven't exactly got on in the past, but it's more than likely that Microsoft's push to get its format accessible on every smartphone around has superseded any animosity. There are Tag clients available for iPhone, Windows Mobile, J2ME, Blackberry and Symbian S60 phones. If you want to get hold of the app on Android, search in the market for "Microsoft Tag Reader". It's free.