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Microsoft tipped to be developing smart watch of its own

Microsoft may be the latest tech giant to throw its hat into the smart watch ring. The software firm is preparing to join the likes of Apple and Samsung in developing its own next-gen wristwear, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed executives in the supply chain.

According to the newspaper, Microsoft is working on a touchscreen smart watch, and is in the research and development phase of the process. Early this year, it reportedly asked some Asian suppliers to provide components for a potential watch. Another source revealed that he met with members of Microsoft’s research and development unit. However, there’s no indication as to when, or whether, the device will come to market.

Rumours have swirled for months that Apple is developing a watch device with a curved screen, as it attempts to branch out into a new product category. Samsung and LG are similarly tipped to be working on their own smart watches.

Researchers at Gartner estimate the wearable electronics industry could be worth $10 billion (£6.5 billion) in 2006, so it’s no surprise that so many tech companies are preparing to step up their positions in the growing market.