$199 Microsoft Band challenges Gear Fit, Android Wear and Apple Watch (+video)

Microsoft has entered the health space, and the company has set some lofty expectations. The newest Microsoft Band, which is black, and will take care of tracking vitals for a wearable – like steps, stride length, and heart rate – to start. This device will find itself in stores tomorrow in the United States, according to Yusuf Mehdi, the company’s Vice President of Devices and Services calls it “the most advanced band we’ve seen in terms of technology on the wrist.”

He goes on to say that the device is “really designed to do two things: have people live healthier, and be more productive.” Microsoft seems to have a very clear plan about how to move forward, and how to ultimately get where they’re trying to within the industry. At the end of the day the goal for Microsoft is to be the center of the universe when it comes to living healthier lives.


That means software that is available on all devices, and operating systems – as well as hardware that leads the fitness wearable area. Microsoft wants to take advantage of what Google and Apple have started. They’ve both created places on their devices where a lot of health information can be stored. Yet, there isn’t any one, definitive, maker of the hardware to track it all – as there is with the few companies that streamline the software most-effectively.

The device will work with Android, as well as iOS, as Microsoft is looking to be inclusive of all of the operating systems. The device will also only cost $199 which will definitely attract additional users to the brand as a whole, with a price that is more manageable than some of the competitors out there. Especially given its functionality with every operating system out there.

Microsoft is hopeful of becoming the first team to that space. Health is the name of what they’ve created and it’s something that according to the company, could destroy barriers that make creating and developing a wearable fitness tracker so difficult.

What’s on the inside of the Band is what seems to be so impressive. Microsoft is utilizing the best-of-the-best in terms of the sensors that are inside, and working toward each data point. Microsoft is evening taking an approach seen and used by Google, with their Nexus lineup, allowing licensing of the product, and much more. However, even the apps that are going to work within the Microsoft Health system is based on working together. There will be a Starbucks tile within the device, that will allow users to pay for food or drink with the wearable, and the company isn’t stopping there.


However, much of this comes down to Microsoft’s ability to collect, analyze and work with the mass-amounts of data that are necessary to make this entire system work. It will require a ton of data from the user-end, and it will require a ton of data from the company’s end, as well.