Rumors Indicate That Microsoft’s New Smartwatch Will Be Out By The End Of 2014

Chuck Bednar for – Your Universe Online
Microsoft is preparing to unveil a smartwatch within the next few weeks that will monitor the wearer’s heart rate and will be capable of going more than 48 hours without requiring a charge, various media outlets are reporting.
According to Forbes staff writer Parmy Olson, who first broke the story on Sunday, the device would also work across multiple mobile platforms, including Windows phones, Apple’s iPhones and Android devices. The name and cost of the device are both currently unknown, but the device is expected to be on sale in time for the holiday season, she noted.
A Microsoft smartwatch would be the first new product line developed and released under new CEO Satya Nadella, Olson said, and the battery life could allow the Redmond, Washington-based company to “get a leg up on big-name competitors who have entered the wearables space,” including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Motorola’s Moto 360.
“Battery life is frequently cited as one of most important factors that consumers consider when buying a smartphone, yet the topic was conspicuously glossed over at Apple’s Watch announcement last month,” she added. “Apple CEO Tim Cook has since revealed the gadget will have to be charged every night, just like the Gear and Moto 360.”
“Microsoft has been linked to current smartwatch efforts as far back as April 2013, when the company was reportedly shopping around suppliers in Asia for components to build a potential touch-enabled watch device,” said CNET’s Steven Musil. He added that reports earlier this year suggested the device will resemble Samsung’s Gear Fit, and will feature a full-color touch screen and can be viewed on the inside of the wearer’s wrist.
The new device will come roughly a decade after Microsoft’s last foray into the smartwatch field, the SPOT device that was released in 2004 and used FM radio signals to transmit news headlines, stock information, weather forecasts and instant messages, according to The Verge. However, the news agency suggests that while the new device will have some smartwatch features, it will primarily focus on health monitoring and fitness-related applications.
“The key part of Microsoft’s fitness band will be its support for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Microsoft is developing separate apps for each mobile operating system to help support the features of its fitness band sensors, and smartphone notifications to the band will also be supported,” The Verge reported, adding that it is “unlikely” that the device will be branded under the Lumia or Surface product lines because of its cross-platform support.
“Microsoft’s history of launching new hardware is a mixed bag. Its Zune music player wasn’t the success it could have been, and prospects for its Surface tablet still look hazy,” Olson added. “But when Microsoft introduced the Kinect for the Xbox 360 in 2011, it became the fastest-selling consumer device on record.”
If Microsoft can get their device out in time for the 2014 holiday season, it would beat Apple and its highly-anticipated smartwatch to market, as Reuters pointed out that the iPhone-developer’s device is not expected to be released until early 2015.