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February 10, 2011

USA Today Begins Use of Microsoft Tags to Combine Print, Digital Newspaper

Multi-platform news and media company USA TODAY has launched the use of Microsoft (News - Alert) Tags in the newspaper. Starting today, USA TODAY will feature at least one Tag in each print section daily. Readers can scan the Tag with their mobile device for direct access to videos and online content.

The Tags will provide readers with access to USA TODAY’s daily photo galleries and the latest financial news and sports scores, as well as other video and digital features.

In a statement, said Dave Hunke, president and publisher of USA TODAY, “This initiative is part of our goal to bring together our digital and print platforms to provide our readers easier access to special features from the newspaper. We are proud to be one of the first U.S. newspapers to offer these daily to readers as well as to advertisers who can also take advantage of this new feature.”

Microsoft Tag is a mobile 2D barcode that lets you seamlessly connect your offline materials to the digital world. Readers can go to on their mobile devices to download the free Microsoft Tag reader application, according to USA TODAY.

Likewise, in another press statement, added Bill McQuain, director of Tag Product Management at Microsoft Corp., “We’re excited that USA TODAY is using Tag to engage with readers in a more interactive way. Microsoft Tag makes the world around you clickable, and now with the scan of Tag, customers will get a richer, more enhanced experience from the pages of the newspaper,” asserted  McQuain.

According to USA TODAY, it is the nation's No. 1 newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.8 million daily, while, the newspaper website launched in 1995, reaches 5.9 million readers daily. In mobile applications, the company claims to have delivered more than seven million downloads on mobile devices

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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