Looks like I'm not the only one talking about Microsoft's upcoming "smartwatch," really a fitness band-type device that will launch soon. A new Forbes report claims that the device's launch is imminent and that it will provide health tracking capabilities as expected. But this device was originally scheduled to launch by now.
I had previously and exclusively revealed on the Windows Weekly podcast that Microsoft planned to deliver this "smartwatch"—really a smart band-type device—in October. The Forbes report contains a few details that match what I previously discussed on the podcast, that Microsoft's first-party wearable would be cross-platform—i.e. support Windows/Phone, Android and iOS—would provide notifications, and would be more of a band than a watch.
I also know that the original launch date was set for the second week in October, now about ten days past, and that the price was set at $199 in the United States.
But Forbes offers a few more details. According to the publication, the Microsoft "smartwatch" will launch within the next few weeks, and in time to "capture the holiday season." It will passively track the user's heart rate, and will allegedly provide about two days of battery life.
In that sense, the device bears little resemblance to the Fitbit Force I wear—which lasts about ten days on a charge—though it will physically be roughly the same size. My sources tell me the device most closely resembles a Samsung Gear Fit, which is a band-type device with an LCD screen. That would explain the relatively low battery life.
Some may claim that Microsoft is late to the wearable game, but it will beat the presumed market leader, Apple, to market by at least four months. Apple's first wearable, the Apple Watch, won't ship until sometime in early 2015. And Microsoft has at least one advantage over Apple: Its wearable is cross-platform, whereas Apple's is dead weight unless you own an iPhone as well.