Microsoft smartwatch: Price, rumours, release date and leaks
Microsoft is expected to join Sony, Samsung, Apple and a multitude of other companies in launching a smartwatch – but just what can we expect from the Redmond-based giant?
Despite that, we have a rough idea of what to expect from the rumoured Microsoft smartwatch.
So what do we know…?
It was part of the Xbox team, but not anymore...
The move followed Microsoft’s reshuffling of the company structure the week before. That change saw all of the company’s hardware teams – including Xbox and Surface – become part of a new hardware-focused division, under the supervision of Julie Larson-Green.
According to reports at the time, the move essentially saw much of Microsoft’s previous efforts scrapped and a new device enter development.
But what exactly what impact did that have upon the watch that may or may not eventually end up on your wrist?
It will be an extension of Windows 8
The original Xbox-developed smartwatch project appears to have been focused around fitness. While there is only anecdotal evidence to support that, it does make a lot of sense.
If there is one area that Microsoft has focused on with the next generation Kinect, it is fitness. The company has teamed up with a number of fitness companies – including Nike and Adidas – to develop software that takes advantage of its motion sensor technology.
Indeed, the company put a large focus on exercise when it talked about Kinect at E3 earlier this year. With such a lifestyle/active-focused marketing message, an Xbox-branded fitness-orientated smartwatch in the vein of Nike’s Fuelband – but with much tighter Kinect integration – makes a lot of sense.
However, it appears that idea went out the window after Larson-Green moved the project to Microsoft’s Surface team.
That move signalled a major shift in the way that Microsoft looks at the project – even if the company has never officially acknowledged that the move happened or that the smartwatch even exists.
By moving the project to the Surface team, it moved the purpose of the smartwatch away from fitness and more towards a general ‘smart’ wearable.
Perhaps the most noticeable impact the move will likely have is a refocusing of the device towards Windows 8. Indeed, reports in July suggested that the device will be powered by a heavily modified version of Windows 8 itself.
While the move will undoubtably move the smartwatch away from a fitness focus, it will mean it will likely integrate more closely with Windows Phone 8 and other Windows-powered devices.
Expect notifications and music control to be major features.