For those hoping for a smart watch from Microsoft, well, consider keeping the excited feeling under wraps for now. From what we can tell, it appears Microsoft is hard at work on a smartband instead of a smart watch, and only time will tell if that's the correct decision.
From the looks of it, Microsoft is not interested in playing catch up. Google attacked first with Android Wear; Apple is trying to keep the iWatch a secret and failing miserably, and Samsung, well, the company now seems more interested in creating smart watches around the Android Wear platform rather than its own.
According to information from both the FCC and Microsoft insider Paul Thurrot, Microsoft's device is basically a hybrid between a smart watch and a smartband, but more of the latter. Thurrot also said that Microsoft is aiming to produce a device that is similar to Samsung's Galaxy Gear Fit and for the same $199 price point.
Furthermore, some reports have compared the Microsoft smartband to the Nike Fuelband, but more enhanced. When it comes down to features, this smartband is expected to launch with up to 11 sensors, which are designed to deliver a heart rate monitor and pedometer. In addition, Microsoft plans to make the APIs open, a move that could bring quite a few developers to the platform.
Unlike Android Wear, and Samsung's Galaxy Gear devices, Microsoft's smartband is expected to be cross-platform. This means it should connect and play well with Android and iOS, along with the company's own Windows Phone platform.
If this is true, then Microsoft would have the edge over Google because right now Android Wear only works with Android devices. We certainly expect it to play well with the iPhone in the coming months, but we cannot say the same for Windows Phone.
We're not yet certain what branding Microsoft will give to this smartband. Chances are the software company could place it under the Surface family since rumors have the Surface team working on the device. Then again, Microsoft could choose to work with the more popular Lumia branding for better marketing effect.