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Microsoft Launches Into Wearables Market

Microsoft Launches Into Wearables Market

Called the Microsoft Band, it works with the Microsoft health smartphone app and is compatible with smartphones from all three major Oss – Android, iOS and Windows Phone – which will differentiate it from other smart watches already available, plus Apple’s planned smart watch.

Like a watch, the Microsoft Band tells the time, but it adds health-related functions such as 24-hour heart-rate tracking, steps taken, calories burned and hours slept. It also maps and saves routes taken while jogging, hiking or biking and recommends workouts like a personal trainer would, according to Microsoft.

Productivity applications include monitoring and previewing email and text messages, viewing calendar alerts and social-media updates, viewing caller ID, and viewing weather and finance news. With a tethered Microsoft 8.1 phone, consumers can use Cortana to verbally set reminders and ask for traffic, weather, stock and sports data.

According to Microsoft, the functionality of its Microsoft Health app will be expanded with the addition of device and service partners. 

The band can be ordered online but it’s not certain when online orders will ship.

The device joins other recent Microsoft-brand hardware launches, including surface tablets and, through the acquisition of Nokia’s handset business, mobile phones.