For some reason, today’s Microsoft Band announcement came as a complete surprise to some people. While the rumors haven’t gotten much press — notably zero press here at Tapscape — folks have been expecting a wearable from Microsoft for some months. And, here it is — Microsoft Band.
Yesterday, a diminished but yet unbowed Mr Softy introduced Microsoft Health, “a cloud-based service designed to bring all of your health data into one location, even if you are not using their new Microsoft Band.”
And, today, the company has announced Microsoft Band ($199.99), a me too wearable with something unexpected from world’s largest software company. Unlike Windows Phone, Microsoft Band plays well with Apple’s iOS, but not Mac, and Google Android.
Available on Windows Phone, iOS and Android, Microsoft Health’s open cloud platform stores, organizes and learns from your fitness information in order to give specific prompts to improve your fitness.
Additionally, though details haven’t exactly been fleshed out, Microsoft Band also serves as a mobile payment device. Say what? For example, according to Microsoft, you can use Microsoft Band to pay for coffee (or whatever?) at Starbucks.
To underscore the point, early Microsoft Band purchasers get a $5 Starbucks gift card.
So, did Microsoft just catch up with Apple + Apple Pay + Apple Watch + Touch ID + iBeacon in a single stroke? No, that’s utterly absurd — no one’s even close to matching Apple’s massive and growing mobile payment ecosystem.
However, better late than never (ie Zune, Windows Phone, Plays4Sure, etc) Microsoft is making a serious play for continued wearable and mobile payment relevance…
What’s your take?