Microsoft killed Nokia’s Moonraker for its BAND after acquisition

If it wasn’t for the blog on Tumblr by Microsoft(NASDAQ:MSFT) design employee Pei-Chi Hsieh, no one would’ve come to know of a smartwatch which was being built by Nokia. Although the post was deleted immediately, its news and photos were leaked even more quickly.

The smartwatch codenamed ‘Moonraker’ was withdrawn after the multinational technology giant acquired Nokia’s devices and services segment. The Finnish corporation was on the verge of launching the smartwatch model LS-50 with Lumia 930 at the Mobile World Congress in 2014 where it flaunted the prototypes of the Watch to prospective customers.

The post that was discovered by Evan Blass who revealed some details and photos through a post on Twitter explained the Watch’s features. ‘Moonraker’ bore a common square shaped, rounded-corner face with a Windows user interface borne by Microsoft phones. It had all the features a smartwatch showcases including email, phone, messages and facebook apps; in addition to which, it enabled users to lift their arm to read text messages and lowering the watch to turn off the display using sensors on its body. It could sync the watch with the Windows phone with a remote on it to take pictures from the smartphone. The straps of the Watch came in different colors including green, orange and black.

It is not surprising to see the Microsoft Band is very similar to the Watch in terms of some of its features like the similarity between the Watch’s style and design of email apps and the Band’s SMS app.
Microsoft withdrew the Watch due to its projected launch of Microsoft band which showcases more functionality. The Band isn’t limited to working with Windows devices but also Android and iOS. However, the band is only a display device and should be paired with a phone. It would have been sensible to launch a smartwatch and not just a fitness oriented band so as to target the unpenetrated smartwatch market.

It is indeed sad that the Moonraker will never be able to appear before the public in the market. It may reach the users through the Microsoft Band as it is expected that the technology giant will adopt some of the design aspects of the ‘cancelled’ Watch. The company will launch the version 2 of its Band later this year after the launch of Windows 10.

All said, the watch would have been a dependable substitute to other smartwatches especially if it could implement the cross compatibility executed by the Microsoft Band.