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First Microsoft ISO/IEC 19770-2 Tag Spotted in The Wild

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Windows 8 Preview SWID Tag - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Back in April we reported how Microsoft was about to embed ISO/IEC 19770-2 tags into their software (Microsoft to Embed ISO/IEC 19770-2 Software ID Tags).

Now, a few months later, lo and behold Steve Klos over at Tagvault has spotted the first Microsoft tag in Windows 8.

“The first sighting of a Microsoft SWID tag has been made. I installed the Windows 8 preview yesterday and sure enough, in the Program Data directory, there was a directory for Microsoft and in that directory was the SWID tag for the operating system” Steve Klos, Tagvault.

Steve continues “Microsoft has certainly made the commitment to improve the software customer experience when it comes to managing software (for SAM or any other IT process that requires accurate software identification).


If your current SAM technology does not pick up these or other tags – please lean on your vendor to make sure they do so. It’s not rocket science to implement and will allow you to automatically identify software in an independent, standardised fashion.

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Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of the The ITAM Review and The ITSM Review. Martin is also founder and Chair, Campaign for Clear Licensing. A contributor to the British Computer Society (BCS) Configuration Management Group and contributor to the UK itSMF UK Service Transition SIG. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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4 Responses to " First Microsoft ISO/IEC 19770-2 Tag Spotted in The Wild "

  1. Steve Klos says:

    I would also suggest that software buyers lean on their software vendors to include SWID tags as this will provide the data required for compliance, security and logistics processes in the IT environment.

    Microsoft implemented in record time because, as Microsoft indicated in a presentation at the Software Identification Summit in May – the costs and implementation effort are very low considering the value that’s provided to end-user organizations.  Turns out, if most large software publishers do the math, they’ll likely find that implementing SWID tags will actually save them money in addition to making their customers happier – it’s rare to find such a win-win solution, but SWID tags provide just that!

    If your software vendor pushes back on implementing SWID tags, ask yourself, “What are they trying to hide – why don’t they want me to have a better picture of how their software is installed in my environment?”

  2. […] discover, inventory and track their software to allow for a proper a SAM program. Here is a nice post by Martin over at the ITAM Review. The post covers the first reported instance of tagging by […]

  3. Alex Andrew says:

    Hi Steve,

    Excellent Work!

    How do we get vendors to issue these tags to older versions, the upgrade process looks like the best chance, but will they commit?

  4. Stevek says:


    Microsoft (along with Symantec, CA, ModusLink and at least to a degree, Adobe) has recognized the value of SWID tags to their customers and partners and has likely also recognized the value they provide for internal operations.  I would expect that we’ll see tags coming out in both new updates to software as well as in older software as it goes through a patch process.Things you can do to help push this forward – start talking to your vendors when contract negotiations are occurring and put these requirements on the table.  Some RFP and contract considerations are in the and International SAM Standards User Association documents that are discussed here –

    You can also sign the open letter that was put out by Cicala and Associates.  The ITAM Review has done a writeup about the letter here –  

    With the software market, we can expect that audits will always happen to some extent.  However, as a community we should be working towards a goal where they are more the exception and  when an audit does happen, if the company being audited follows good policies, processes and procedures , there shouldn’t be any/many negative findings.  It should not be a surprise to an organization that they are out of compliance – they should be able to know they are out of compliance and know what they need to do about it.

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