Microsoft Tag is mobile bar-coding service that Microsoft first talked about a little over a year ago; this fantastic product is getting its official launch today. Microsoft says that, during the testing of Tag, more than one billion Tags have been created, establishing a new channel for people to obtain information about products or services in the real world. The tags, when attached to a sign, billboards, or a magazine article, allow users to view additional information on their mobile phones.

The basic use of the new Microsoft Tag technology will be available free of charge, allowing marketers or small businesses to direct people in the physical world to more information. For example, Getz today said that City of Amsterdam is using the technology on landmarks and monuments so visitors can learn more information. The Mall of America also plans to incorporate the technology.

The official launch of Microsoft Tag comes as Facebook experiments with QR codes, a similar technology which allows mobile phone users to obtain more information by snapping a photo of the code.