Microsoft is set to launch its rumoured smartwatch in the next couple of weeks, at least according to the gadget grapevine.
This has been a product many have speculated about for a long time now, with a lot of discussion about when Microsoft will finally make its move – but it seems that following closely after Apple's smartwatch announcement (last month) is the direction Redmond has finally decided upon.
So yes, we will see this device unveiled in the next few weeks, according to Forbes, which also spilled some details about the watch.
Apparently Microsoft's upcoming gadget (which some are calling a fitness band with smartwatch features) boasts a battery life of over two days, and it will passively track the user's heart rate (along with the usual steps taken, calories burned and so forth). As we'd heard before, it will also be designed to work across all major mobile platforms, not just Windows Phone – confining it to the latter, of course, would be a major hindrance in terms of potential market share.
This won't be an Apple Watch style launch either, i.e. the device will be going on sale shortly afterwards and not sometime next year. Microsoft wants to have the thing on shelves before Christmas, quite rightly as wearables are expected to be big sellers this Xmas. It also means that it'll beat Apple to the punch, for once, in the mobile device arena...
The price will be key, then, although there's no indication at this point where Microsoft will pitch it. Redmond has a good opportunity here, though, to go for a lower bracket and get a fire lit under the smartwatch, providing it's an appealing enough device.
Certainly, it'll have a selling point in terms of the robust battery life, which is far longer than the likes of the Galaxy Gear which need charging every day just like your phone (or most phones). The Apple Watch isn't going to be particularly special in the longevity department either, by all accounts.
Microsoft has dabbled in smartwatches before, namely its SPOT-based watches ten years ago, but will be hoping for much more success this time around. However, the jury is still out on whether the smartwatch is ready to become a fully accepted consumer gadget, as opposed to a novelty which only the geekier consumers out there will want (or will be prepared to pay current asking prices for).