Redmon has announced the $200 Microsoft Band, a me too wearable with something unexpected — support for Apple’s iOS, but not Mac, and Google Android.

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.

Redmon has announced the $200 Microsoft Band, a me too wearable with something unexpected — support for Apple’s iOS, but not Mac, and Google Android.

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?

Via: ZDNet

  1. Except they aren’t playing catch up. MS has had mobile payments for a long time, Apple just jumped on that bandwagon. That will make it relevant, but MS and Google were there first.

    Microsoft also invented the tablet and invented the smartwatch, they just left those products over a decade ago.

    Even so, this product is light years beyond the Apple Watch, which has yet to even arrive. It is cross platform. It has a UV detector and many other detectors. It offers payment before Apple does on a watch since their watch is nothing more than vaporware at the moment.

    And on several Apple fansites, Apple fans are saying that “this is what Apple should have done”. They are asking “can they make it work with Siri?”.

    No one has emerged with a singular wearable device to rule them all. MS comes in with a device more capable that the Apple Watch, a device that doesn’t need an iPhone, but can pair to any of the three major platforms, a device that can do payments and will expand who accepts it, a device that can direct workout, give calendar updates, display text messages, etc. And all with a simple and elegant interface that is uncluttered.

    Microsoft may have cracked the smartwatch and changed the game. And the funny thing is for Cloud Storage and so many other things, MS is the only truly cross platform player.

  2. microsoft isn’t relavent in tablets. microsoft has a payments solution, who knew? who cares?

    gosh you are such a fantard

  3. Ronald I stopped reading your article at your “diminished but yet unbowed” comment. First time I’ve been on the tapscape site because I thought, “what the hell they might have a professional, fact-based write-up on the Microsoft band”. Clearly you are an Apple bigot and there is nothing to see here.

  4. In 2005, despite Apple’s rapid growth, Microsoft was still very dominant on the desktop and ascendent in mobile. Today, both Apple and Android now ship more copies of their operating systems than Microsoft.

    Since 2006, Apple’s desktop sales have outgrown the Windows PC biz every quarter except one. While Apple’s unit share is still relatively low, the company captures more than 50 percent of the PC market profit.

    Windows PCs still predominate on the desktop, but these traditional computers aren’t as important.

    In the mobile, where Microsoft is barely an after thought, Apple’s profit share similarly outshines its market share and Samsung, with Xiaomi rising rapidly, claims most of what’s left.

    Microsoft is diminished.

    If being partial to quantifiable facts makes me a Apple bigot, then guilty as charged.

  5. MS is relevant in tablets. If you take a look at sales breakdowns, you will begin to see that Windows tabs are growing and projected to surpass the iPad over the next year.

    Apple Pay is already running into problems. And my point was not that MS’ payment solution was big or great, just the fact that they had one long before Apple did.

    Nice that all you can resort to is name calling. Yet Microsoft will be the one company of the three big current tech companies that will be strong long term. Google is beginning their tank because they do nothing except sell ads – they make 95% of all revenue on ads and they are in decline there. If you paid attention to quarterlies, you’d see that MS’ Bing is way ahead on mobile clicks for ads. MS doesn’t care about search share, they care about owning the back end. Go to Google to find something, but when you click on that web site, all the ads are served by MS. They are already grabbing some big contracts away from Google because their machine learning is superior, so they anticipate reaction better.

    Apple is becoming irrelevant in tablets and is only having their massive profits sustained by iPhone subsidies in the US. If the contract model disappears (as it looks to be doing), chances are good that Apple’s profits will erode over time either through diminished sales or diminished margins. They are destined to be nothing more than niche. Granted, they can make good money in the niche, but they will be smaller than they are now.

    Better to be Apple or MS than Google, though. They’ll be Yahoo 2.0 in less than five years.

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