Microsoft smart watch may be on shelves within weeks

20 Oct 2014

Image via Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock

Being the next big player to enter the wearables space, Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a smart watch that gives users more power and flexibility than some competitors.

Microsoft plans to launch this wearable device within weeks, according to sources speaking to Forbes.

Features disclosed by the unnamed sources include a sensor to passively track the wearer’s heart rate and a battery with the capacity to keep the device powered up for more than two days on the trot.

This would put the Microsoft offering ahead of devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, the Moto 360 and the forthcoming Apple Watch, all of which would require charging after a day’s use.

In terms of the Apple Watch, Microsoft is also pipping Apple to the post in getting their device out in time for the holiday shopping season. Forbes’ sources say the Microsoft smart watch will hit stores soon after launch to get in the forefront of consumers’ minds before they compile their Christmas wish lists. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch is scheduled for release in early 2015.

The Microsoft smart watch will also reportedly be compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone, presumably because uptake of Microsoft’s own mobile platform is simply not enough to compete with the lucrative market offered by its competitors. According to IDC figures, Windows Phone accounts for just 2.7pc of the global smartphone market, so it makes sense for Microsoft to release a product that stretches beyond that.

Windows Phone global market share 2011-2014

Global smartphone operating system market share held by Windows Phone, 2011-2014. Graph via Statista

Another unique proposition Microsoft can bring to the table is Kinect compatibility. Forbes prviously reported that Microsoft’s smart watch project involved optical engineering expertise from the company’s movement-tracking device, but how exactly this will play out on the new wearable is still shrouded in mystery – as is the cost and name of this rumoured device.

Smart watch concept image by Denys Prykhodov via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.