Microsoft has launched its equivalent of an iWatch.
Dubbed the Microsoft Band, it seems to lack any wind section, or a bass drum. This reminds us a little of the woes that Apple had with its branding. Microsoft has decided to go after Fitbit and launch its own smart wristband.
This is a rubber based band with a LCD and technology that talks to an application called Microsoft health. Health seems to be the buzz word these days as everyone is using it to peddle their consumer toys. It is kind of ironic that companies like Apple and Microsoft who keep you at your desk now wants you to get active and live a bit longer and healthier life – probably so you can keep buying their toys.
The Microsoft Band has a LCD display and can measure your heart rate and provide you with a few notifications. Of course the band will track your activities, provide guided workouts, a 24 hour heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and a GPS running map. It will show your an email, calendar timers and alarms and you will even be able to use Cortana as your personal digital assistant. Which is ironic because we used to drive to the gym in a Cortina.
We are surprised that the Microsoft Band works with iPhone, Android and Windows phone, it will show your text messages on your wrist, incoming calls and voicemail notifications as well as notifications including tweet or Facebook update. There is even a UV monitor in this band so Microsoft can tell you when to apply your sun screen.
To sum up the features band will provide 24-hour heart rate monitor, track your running, track your steps, count calories you burn, track sleeping, track goals you set, track your workouts with integrated GPS and provide a guided workouts. Let's not forget all the notifications you will get on your wrist.
The Microsoft Band is more expensive that its competition including Fitbit, but at first glimpse it offers slightly more. It comes in tree sizes small 39mm wrist height, medium 41mm wrist height and large 49mm wrist height. The Microsoft Band sells for $199 and if you get one today Microsoft will toss in the ZAGG Screen Protector for Microsoft Band and Complimentary $5 Starbucks gift card for free.