Microsoft Fitness Band Breaks Ground by Playing Nice

All the other majors in technology are pushing smart watches as a way to drive adoption of their main item, their smartphone. Meanwhile, the Redmond, WA giant appears to be focusing on selling the device itself by making it compatible with all kinds of said devices

Microsoft is playing nice.

It’s a big shift for a company that once got in trouble for making it nearly impossible not to use its browser and drove word processing users mad each time it put out an update, making documents unreadable to people who hadn’t upgraded their copy of WORD yet.

Instead of trying to use its first major wearable device to lock users into the Windows phone, the Redmond corporation is rumored to be developing a device that can share data with any sort of smartphone, Android, iOS or Windows.

Rather than entering the wearable space with a watch, the company is entering it with some sort of fitness tracker, according to rumors. Probably something in the spirit of the FitBit, which Microsoft already sells on its website. What may make the device stand out will be its incorporation of sensor technology developed for the Kinect, its ability to continuously monitor heartrate and, perhaps, some sort of ability to read muscle movements, according to Forbes. Which could mean that it breaks more new ground than the company’s phone recharging pants.

From a business standpoint, this could be less a bid to sell wearable devices and more a bid to get smartphone users accustomed to seeing Microsoft software on Windows based phones.

The unanswered question with all of these devices is whether or not consumers are really clear yet on why they would want them. The majors seem to be trying to compete by cramming as many features in as possible, whereas smaller startups, such as Ringly, betting on solving just one problem with some elegance.

Microsoft has a history launching “me, too” product lines. The Zune chased the iPod and went nowhere, but the XBox chased the Playstation and did okay. At least Microsoft is stepping into wearables before the market has a runaway favorite and they are doing it such a way that makes it easy for anyone to buy in.

h/t: Supesite For Windows

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