Microsoft warming-up for wearable launch

Microsoft warming-up for wearable launch

20 OCT 2014

Microsoft will launch its anticipated smartwatch in the coming weeks, according to Forbes.

The device will feature many of the standard smartwatch features and sync with smartphones powered by Android and iOS as well as Microsoft’s own Windows Phone platform, the report said.

But one of its stand-out features will be battery life, offering more than two days of regular use between charges – significantly better than its rivals.

It was suggested that the device will reach stores in time for the Christmas 2014 holiday sales period, putting it up against rival products from Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony, Motorola and others – but ahead of Apple’s already announced Watch.

It was first reported that Microsoft was planning a wearable launch in June 2014, with Forbes again being the source.

What is not clear is what platform it will run, or when tools will be available for developers to create apps for the product. According to The Verge, Microsoft is creating its own apps for the various smartphone platforms to support initial availability of the device.

Microsoft also has something of a chequered history launching new hardware products. It recently came out to defend its Surface tablet line amid reports that it would be axed, while its Kin handset and Zune music players failed to set the market alight.

Interestingly, Microsoft has already offered smartwatches, with its SPOT products which were unveiled at CES 2003 in partnership with watchmakers Citizen, Fossil and Suunto.

These products received data broadcast via the FM radio network in the US. This was said to deliver “convenient, timely, personalised web content from a variety of services”.

Microsoft was also an early supporter of tablet PCs, although these failed to gain much traction outside of certain vertical markets. It took the launch of Apple’s iPad to take tablet computers into the mainstream.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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