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

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.

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.


  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. 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?

  3. 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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