Microsoft becomes the latest major player to exit the smartwatch industry

By Shawn Knight ยท 20 replies
Oct 3, 2016
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  1. Last month it was revealed that three of the largest Android Wear partners – LG, Huawei and Motorola – had no intentions of launching any new smartwatches or fitness trackers this fall. Now, it seems as though Microsoft has hopped off the wearables bandwagon as well.

    As of today, Microsoft has scrubbed every mention of its Band line of wearables from its online store and pulled the Band SDK from its developer portal. Best Buy has followed suit as well and according to The Verge, Amazon will no longer carry the wearable once its current supply runs dry.

    A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet that they have sold through their existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year. That said, the spokesperson did say that Microsoft will continue to support Band 2 customers through the Microsoft Store and their customer support channels. Microsoft will also continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, we’re told.

    ZDNet also heard last month that Microsoft had disbanded (no pun intended) the small group that was working to get Windows 10 onto the wearable.

    Microsoft entered the wearables industry in late 2014 with Band, its fitness-tracking smartband. A year later (last October), the Redmond-based company launched its second-generation Band 2.

    With three major Android players and Microsoft now having pulled out of the market, one can only wonder how long smartwatches will persist without a killer, must-have app.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 712   +382

    Bam !

    Truth hurts ...
  3. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,311   +434

    Joe Jitsu calling **** Tracy.
  4. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,311   +434

    Joe Jitsu calling Richard Tracy. Somehow the effect is lost if you can't use ddiicck
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
    Phr3d likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,362   +2,008

    Not unlike the watch!
    Phr3d and EClyde like this.
  6. fastvince

    fastvince TS Enthusiast Posts: 70   +19

    This is the first smart thing Microsoft has done in awhile.
    wastedkill and SirChocula like this.
  7. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    I didn't know they made smart watches.
    CaptainTom and wastedkill like this.
  8. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +23

    A couple years too late again for Microsoft. First the mess that was Windows Mobile then wasting money on purchasing Nokia. Then jumping into a crowded band marketplace with a band that didn't really have an identity. Was it a smartwatch? Was it a fitness tracker? Was it a total body wellness tracker?
  9. petert

    petert TS Addict Posts: 220   +64

    This is actually Microsoft style - instead of improving their product, they just ditch it and maybe try again, from scratch, a couple of years later.
    wastedkill likes this.
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318


    I bought one of these Band2 for someone - only because:

    #1 it was a cheaper option than Applewatch
    #2 The person had an Android phone
    #3 I refused to buy a fitbit.

    The Band 2 had some features my Applewatch didn't have like GPS and a Sleep Tracker.

    But I didn't know any of that because they never advertised it.

    There were also things I couldn't figure out about it just from looking at it. I couldn't tell if it had a microphone or a speaker for answering calls. If not - then Microsoft should have made it swimmer friendly and advertised that.

    The mere fact it had GPS should have made it a stronger player - but apparently it didn't.

    Microsoft also didn't tie this product to XBOX well - or Games for Windows.

    The Band 2 could have been a bigger product than those ridiculous fitbits.

    But it's no surprise to me: Microsoft never, ever seems to swing for the fences. If they were to keep producing one wearable, a BAND 3 with the features I mentioned would work very well - but they need to advertise it.
  11. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    I've had apple Watch for over a year.

    There is no "killer app".

    The "killer app" is its ability to tell time.

    Most of the features that worked early on, don't work well with the new WatchOS version. The remote camera for example crashes constantly. The apps that are on the watch, I NEVER USE.

    I can't tell you the last time I used the Applewatch to make or answer a call - it never works properly because the touchscreen becomes unresponsive when a call comes in.

    I love the applewatch for the basic features. The watch, the fitness tracking and the instant notifications when I spend money via Capital One App.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I wasn't even aware they made a smartwatch but I knew they had made some kind of obscure fitness tracker simply because of the fashion models they used, they must've collected from them from their local dog pound to show them off... the fitness band, that is.
  13. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 415   +186

    I don't think anyone was really confused about what it was a fitness band with a few smart watch capabilities. Good product, just a little bulky due to the hefty number of sensors, then the fact that FitBit is and was already the "standard" in this market before the Band came along, and anyone who doesn't spend their day roaming tech blogs probably has never heard of it. Not at all a bad execution, just too late to the usual with MSFT.
    treeski likes this.
  14. petert

    petert TS Addict Posts: 220   +64

    The GPS feature and sleep tracker were actually advertised for the band 2. The GPS in particular was draining the battery very fast, making the product not very suitable as a fitness tracker if you were a long distance runner or you like taking hiking trips. The Band 2 battery life in general was not great.
    I am having difficulties believing that Apple watch lacks the sleep tracking feature, although is possible. It surely can be added by a third party app. Fitbits are not ridiculous actually - fitbit surge (the relevant product against which the band competes) is a much better fitness tracker than the band 2 and maybe not as good as a smartwatch. Granted, their design is bulky and not that appealing as the band. There is no perfect solution currently on the market to be both fitness tracker and smartwatch in the same time. They always lack something.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    It depends on which market you're talking about, The Yanks seem to love those Nike bands. Although the band is nothing special, the app is sublime... or so I'm told. In lots of other markets Fitbit, Garmin and Jawbone rule the roost.
  16. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +16

    I think that's a smart move on Microsoft's part as there is not much scope market wise in this industry as it is in other tech gadgets.
  17. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    Anything with GPS is most likely going to have poor battery life - especially if the software relies heavily on it - and the pulse monitor. that's why Apple turns these features off often - otherwise the applewatch can't make it through a single day.

    "ADVERTISING" at Microsoft is nowhere near as strong as Apple's.

    when I say ADVERTISING - I mean they need to bang it into my head, reasons why I must have one.
  18. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    Still waiting for something that actually runs android apps, doesn't look like ****, and tracks activity somewhat accurately.

    So good luck Samsung. You're my only hope.
  19. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 306   +132

    No killer app is needed, to succeed they just need to be better watches!

    -All week battery life

    -Water proof


    And above all else:

    -attractive and customizable!!!

    Watches are fashion accessories. If they can't beat standard watches at their #1 use they have no hope.
  20. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    I AGREE - and one thing I can't figure out is how they could build a watch that doesn't have use for every single sport - including swimming.
    CaptainTom likes this.
  21. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 306   +132

    I have had a Sony Smart watch 3 for 2 years now, and have loved every second of it. Waterproof, 3 day battery, GPS, and I even put a classy metal watchband on it.

    For now I have no desire to upgrade, but I am worried - Nothing lasts forever, and I will likely need a replacement in 2 years. I just hope there are still new watches being sold.

    What really annoys me is that imo Sony nailed it even with their original one half a decade ago. but they never advertised it even a little! I remember in 2012 having people ask me if I had that new Apple watch (the iWatch was barely even a rumor at that point).

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