All-things-Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott has an interesting piece of gossip about the company's first foray into wearable tech: it's not the predicted Microsoft smartwatch, but it will sit on your wrist. Yep, it's a smartband/activity tracker, and Thurrott claims it will likely work with your phone whether it's running Android, Windows Phone or iOS. Surprising news indeed, and perhaps a wake-up call to certain manufacturers who insist on selling wearables that'll only work with their own smartphones.
Could this be the key to Microsoft succeeding in the increasingly crowded wearable tech screen? With the details so scant, it's hard to say.
A band to replace other bands
With most current activity trackers geared towards Android and/or iOS, Windows Phone has been the poor cousin of step- and calorie-counting wearables. That's a consequence of its small market share – and that market share is probably the reason for Microsoft making a device that isn't fussy about which smartphone platform the user prefers.
What will this new band look like? A lot like the Samsung Gear Fit if the sources are to be believed. It will deliver the usual smartphone-based notifications (no full-on smartwatch tech here), and it will only cost as much as a Samsung Gear (we think Thurrott means the Gear 2, priced at £250, which seems to be a pretty good deal).
With health becoming more and more of a focus for wearable tech, and fitness tweaks making their way into mobile OS updates, Microsoft's existing applications like Healthvault and Bing Health & Fitness may give it an easy way to slide into the market.
So when should we expect this Microsoft smartband? This year, perhaps in the fourth quarter of 2014. Stay tuned for more, because there's bound to be leaks and rumours in the run-up to any launch.