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?

 

The company hasn’t denied that it is looking at smartwatches. But like rival Apple with the iWatch, it has refused to commit to the record that it is definitely working on one.

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...

Back in July, news broke that Microsoft had moved its smartwatch project from its Xbox team to the group responsible for its Surface tablets.

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.

It appears that moving the smartwatch from the Xbox team to Surface was orchestrated by 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.

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now