According to sources speaking to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft is planning to get into the smartwatch arena in the holidays. The smartwatch is said to be compatible across platforms and will look a lot like the Samsung Gear Fit.
According to Thurrott:
My sources tell me instead that Microsoft will this fall release a Samsung Gear Fit-like fitness band that will display smart phone-based notifications, just like the current and rumored watches and other wearables. So that’s the first bit of rumor busting: It’s a wristband, not a watch. (Yes, I’m sure you’ll be able to see the time on its screen. But the form factor is a wristband.
From a differentiation standpoint, Microsoft’s wearable will do something that no other wearable platform does. It will work with everything and not just the device maker’s smart phone platform. Where Samsung wearables only work with Samsung phones, Android Wear devices only work with modern Android devices, and Apple’s rumored iWatch will obviously only work with iPhone, Microsoft will take a different approach. It will work with Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
The focus, however, is the same as with Samsung Gear and similar fitness bands: Using multiple sensors, it will track your fitness—steps, calories burned, heart rate, and the like—throughout the day and interoperate with apps on mobile phones. Microsoft makes some great apps, already—hint, hint—including Bing Health & Fitness and Healthvault. It will work with third party apps too, of course.
Pricing? Same as Samsung Gear.
Availability? Announced and sold in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Sadly, the source did not mention branding.
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