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Microsoft readies fitness band, not smartwatch, for autumn launch

HardwareNews
by Darren Allan, 03 Jul 2014News
Microsoft readies fitness band, not smartwatch, for autumn launch

We've been hearing rumours that Microsoft has its own smartwatch in the works for some time now, but it seems that this isn't quite true.

Rather, Microsoft has a smart piece of wrist-wear which is indeed due out in the autumn, but according to the latest piece of speculation it will be a fitness band along the lines of Samsung's Gear Fit, rather than an actual smartwatch.

Like the Gear Fit, it will doubtless be able to tell you the time and perform some smartwatch functions (with notifications pushed from your phone), but Paul Thurrott's sources say that it will come in the form factor of a wristband rather than a wristwatch.

This ties in with a previous rumour that Redmond's device will be slimmer than your average wrist wearable – just as the Gear Fit is long and thin (and, well, band-shaped).

The device will do all the usual fitness tracking stuff, including working out calories burned, heart rate and crunching other fitness data, as you'd expect.

Thurrott notes that what will be really different about the Microsoft effort is that it will be cross-platform, and it will function with not just Windows Phone devices, but also Android and iOS.

At least with Microsoft arriving slightly late to the game (again – though not as late as Apple appears to be leaving it), this will give the company a strong selling point to push against Android Wear, which is set to see several pieces of hardware spring up this summer (in fact, the LG G Watch is out tomorrow, and Samsung's Gear Live at the start of next week).

We can expect a fourth quarter launch for Microsoft's fitness band, which again ties in with what we've previously heard, namely October.

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