Report: Microsoft is about to jump into the smartwatch fray

Forbes says that Microsoft will introduce its own smartwatch "within weeks."

Apple's got a smartwatch. A number of Google's Android hardware partners have smartwatches too. Now Microsoft wants a piece of the action, if a new report is any indication.

According to Forbes, Microsoft plans to release a smartwatch of its own "within weeks." Forbes goes on to say that the smartwatch "will passively track a wearer's heart rate and work across different mobile platforms," and that it would be able to go two days between charges. That would be an improvement over many current smartwatches, which often need to be charged nightly.

The story behind the story: A smartwatch that works with multiple mobile platforms would fit in with Microsoft's new focus under CEO Satya Nadella. Throughout his tenure, Nadella has put less emphasis on Windows (even though it is still a very important product line for the company), and more on providing productivity tools for users of all platforms.

Also, Windows Phone makes up a small fraction of the smartphone universe, so opening up to other smartphone platforms makes good business sense, too.

Not Microsoft's first shot at a watch

If Microsoft is indeed working on a smartwatch, it would represent the company's second try at the concept. In 2004, Microsoft teamed up with watchmakers like Fossil and Swatch to produce smartwatches that used the company's SPOT technology.

These watches served up information like weather forecasts, news headlines, sports scores, and more from Microsoft's MSN Direct service, which fed information to the SPOT watches over an FM radio signal.

The SPOT watches never really caught on, though, and were dead by 2008. You could probably make the case that Microsoft was too far ahead of its time before, but only time will tell whether the second time will be the charm.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes Part 1: Why brands must put human interactions at the heart of their business

As a Media Juror at this year’s Cannes Lions, I was fortunate enough to attend the world’s most influential festival of creativity and listen to thought-leading marketers from around the globe.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

Being an investor who has an understanding of the finance industry, I would question the validity of this article, judging by the impairm...

Rowan

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in