Like most other fitness band and smartwatch makers, Microsoft has had a two-pronged approach with a hardware component and a software service. In their case, the two parts are the Microsoft Band and the Microsoft Health platform.
According to a recent report, it seems Microsoft is pulling the pin on the Microsoft Band (I reviewed the Microsoft Band 2 a little while ago and found it flawed), preferring to focus their efforts on the Microsoft Health platform.
Here’s their statement.
We continue to invest and innovate in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices. We also continue to sell Microsoft Band 2 and remain deeply committed to supporting our customers and exploring the wearables space.
The smartwatch and fitness band market is getting close to saturation. Although Apple gets lots of press attention with the Apple Watch – and Apple Watch Series 2 looks to be a very good, if not expensive, product – Fitbit is very strong and there’s a truckload of Android Wear devices on the market as well as Samsung’s devices and many others.
The Microsoft Band 2 its packed with features but the design is poor. And reports of quality issues and a recent price cut. – the second one since out was released a year ago – don’t send augur well for the product.
Microsoft, at its heart, has always been a software company. And while they have made some great hardware (the XBox, mice and keyboards come to mind) they have often struggled with other hardware (smartphones and the Zune are the obvious failures).
I think the Microsoft Band is destined for the digital scrap heap.