It was several weeks ago that I was speaking to several Microsoft executives and media about a Microsoft wearable. My argument then was that the Redmont giant has all the tools to easily develop and market a wearable device. With such a complete portfolio of services and the uncanny ability to build great hardware, a wearable should be pretty easy right?
Perhaps the important question should be: do we need a Microsoft wearable device and if yes, what new things will it bring to the plate?
And I guess this week, we have all our questions answered. Hello, Microsoft Band. A US$199 fitness and health tracker, coupled with a new platform called Microsoft Health.
How Microsoft is playing the game differently is making the platform work with Windows, Android and iOS devices. This is in line with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s focus in cloud and mobile, clearly positioning Microsoft as a productivity, platforms and services company.
Just like how it has made Microsoft Office, OneDrive ubiquitous across platforms, Microsoft Health will play nice with a variety of products in the market including UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.
Microsoft Health features an “intelligence engine” that gives users information like calories burned and sleep. Microsoft Health, in the future will also be able to connect to calendar and email information from Microsoft Office.
The Microsoft Band, meanwhile, sports ten sensors including GPS, optical heart rate monitor, UV light monitor. For users with Windows Phone, the band can pair with the device and use Cortana.
Microsoft says the band isn’t just a fitness tracker – it offers hands-free access to the web and users’ most important correspondence like email and text messages.
The Microsoft Band will be available in limited quantities at online and physical Microsoft Stores.
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