Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market with Band

MicrosoftBand_Phone_SleepScreensUI_RGBMicrosoft has moved into the increasingly-crowded wearable fitness tracker market, announcing the Microsoft Band, as well as health tracking software Microsoft Health.

The device will be available in limited numbers in the US this week for $199 (£124), and features pulse rate, steps, calorie burn and sleep quality trackers, as well as displaying email previews and calendar alerts, a UV meter for sun safety and an internal GPS that can map runs without an accompanying phone.

The Health software will be a cloud service that works in conjunction with either the Band or other fitness wearables, and stores a variety of biometric data and generates insights into users health, fitness, diet and sleep patterns.

Microsoft has already announced that the Health software will work with Jawbones UP, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper, with support for HealthVault, which will share data with medical providers, soon to arrive.

“We always insisted that the band had to work not just with Windows but with iOS and Android,” said Matt Barlow, general manager of marketing for personal devices at Microsoft. “As we built Microsoft Health, we started thinking, Why should Microsoft Band be the only device that feeds into and benefits from this service?.

“We want it to connect to any device customers are using to track their health and fitness. We want to remove any and all barriers to providing insights back to customers, regardless of the device they are wearing.”