Microsoft to Embed ISO/IEC 19770-2 Software ID Tags

20 April 2012
4 minute read
Best practice

Microsoft to Embed ISO/IEC 19770-2 Software ID Tags

20 April 2012
4 minute read

Heather Young, Global Manager, SAM Services and Partners, Microsoft Corporation

Great news for the SAM Industry this week.

Software giant Microsoft has announced adoption of ISO/IEC 19770-2 software identification tags.

Heather Young, Global Manager, SAM Services and Partners, Microsoft Corporation states:

“We are pleased to announce our support for the ISO/IEC 19770-2 Standard on software identification tagging, and have started to integrate 19770-2 tags into our planning cycles to begin shipping in upcoming product releases”

Commenting on the news, David Bicket said:

“Microsoft’s commitment to ISO software identification (‘SWID’) tags is a breakthrough for the IT industry and for everyone who needs to manage their software – which is everyone”

What are -2 Tags and Why Bother?

In a nutshell:

“The ISO/IEC 19770-2 standard outlines consistent format and placement of small XML tags to make software identification faster, easier and more accurate.”

Business Benefits of -2 tags:

  1. Use a consistent method to identify software (Save time and money)
  2. Simplify the recognition process (Save time and money)
  3. Improve Security – more readily identify non-standard software

Managing -2 Tags

Microsoft claim they have begun to integrate the tags into product planning cycles so that they can be included in future product releases. Also, the MAP Toolkit and System Center 2012 will include the ability to manage tags (This will be a great value add for SCCM Administrators).

A key question to ask your inventory tool vendor: What are you doing about managing ISO/IEC 19770-2 tags? Give them a prod, it’s relatively easy to develop (See some earlier adopters from 2010 here)

The Microsoft SAM website also states:

“Qualified Gold SAM Competency Partners can help customers develop plans to leverage these SWID tags and customers may qualify for assistance through a SAM Deployment Planning engagement.”

First Mover Advantage?

There has been growing interest from worldwide organizations in -2 tags, championed by Steve Klos over at TagVault. Adobe flirted with the idea of inserting tags during the development of the Standard, but I believe Microsoft is the first software publisher to fully embrace the -2 standard.

This is a great move by Microsoft. Now it is time for the other major software publishers to step up to the plate. Back in 2010 we identified the vendors auditing their customers most frequentlyWhere are you Oracle, Adobe, IBM, SAP, Symantec, Attachmate? It is time to stop playing lip service to SAM whilst repeatedly auditing your customers and take action.

Microsoft SOM Makeover

Microsoft have also announced that the Microsoft SAM Optimization Model will be updated to incorporate the new -1 tiers so that it continues to be closely aligned to the overall SAM standard. Further details will be available at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

2012 Software Identification Summit 

To get up to speed on this Microsoft news and all the latest developments with regards to -2 tags, Tagvault are hosting their summit in California on the 2nd May (only $100 Facilities fee) See

Tags and Parties

Finally, Heather Young and Dave Welsh from Microsoft use their party analogy to explain tags (In Penn & Teller style – Dave Welsh has a non-speaking part and looks a bit perplexed about the whole affair 🙂 )

Further information on the Microsoft SAM site here.

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