Microsoft Drops Its Fitness 2 Band Wearable

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2016-10-05 Print this article Print
Microsoft Band 2, fitness bands, wearables, health bands, fitness tracking

Reports say Microsoft recently ended plans to run the bands using Windows 10, and they have been removed from Microsoft's web store.

Microsoft's 2-year-old Band fitness wristband product line is apparently at its end after the year-old Band 2 was recently removed from the online Microsoft Store and has not been slated for a new model replacement.    

The Band 2, which previously was listed in the online store with a variety of other brands, including Fitbit, is no longer listed on the web page.

Microsoft confirmed the move in an Oct. 5 reply to an eWEEK inquiry.

"We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year," a spokesman told eWEEK. "We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices."

The removal of the Band 2 listing came after recent speculation that the company's failure to announce a replacement model this fall for the product line meant that it was likely doomed, according to an Oct. 3 story by The Consumerist.

Microsoft also removed the Band software development kit for developers from its developer resources, the story reported. Other recent reports said that Microsoft "had disbanded the team that was trying to get the Band to run Windows 10," the story continued. The original Band and the second-edition Band 2 ran on their own custom firmware.

Microsoft's first Band was unveiled in October 2014 as a $199 fitness band that aimed to take on Fitbit, Sony, Samsung and other competitors in the then-nascent marketplace. Along with the original Band, the company also announced its Microsoft Health cloud-based platform, which was built to support the Band as well as additional devices and services for users.

The original Microsoft Band included features such as continuous heart rate monitoring, calorie burn measurement, sleep quality tracking and notifications for calls, emails, texts and social media updates. Users could also receive guided workouts and run mapping via GPS using their Microsoft Band. The Microsoft Health app was available for Windows Phone, iOS and Android.

Microsoft phone users who linked their smartphones to their Band could use Microsoft's Cortana electronic personal assistant to take notes or set reminders using voice or to get driving directions and updates on traffic, sports, stocks, weather and more.

The original Microsoft Band had a 1.4-inch touch-screen display and was developed to fill a new product category within the company.

In October 2015, the Microsoft Band 2 debuted, featuring a massive overhaul that included a sleeker profile, a curved display and a new barometer sensor. The Band 2, which sold for $249.99, included a 1.6-inch OLED touch screen that allowed users to cycle through the device's modes and functions, including a voice-enabled Cortana digital assistant when paired to a Windows Phone. The display provided notifications to a user's wrist for call alerts, email, calendar, texts and social updates.


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