Microsoft may or may not have intended their first foray into health and fitness to be a hit, but the Microsoft Band always appears to be selling out. It now seems that Microsoft has been building up inventory of the wearable, seeing as yesterday it finally went back on sale online.
Now, Windows Central has confirmed that 765 Best Buy stores in the US will begin selling the Band sometime this month. The information comes via internal documents detailing the launch event, although a date is not yet set to our knowledge.
The Best Buy stores are positioning the device in their increasingly extensive smartwatch display area, with a live demo for customers to interact with before buying. All three SKUs (small, medium, and large) will be available to purchase.
Best Buy employees are advised to watch three videos to familiarize themselves with the Band, including:
- Meet Microsoft Band
- Selling Microsoft Band
- Meet Microsoft Health
Hard to find, change in strategy
Up until now, only Microsoft Stores have been selling the Band, making it rather difficult for people to see and evaluate the device. Inventory has also been an issue, with Microsoft Stores – online and physical – often running out of stock. We have heard of a retail push in 'early 2015' before, so this Best Buy partnering makes sense. Microsoft already has a current deal with Best Buy to feature Windows tablets and laptops, including the Surface Pro 3.
Launched in the middle of the night during the 2014 World Series, with no media event, the Microsoft Band is considered a demonstration platform for the Microsoft Health service. Unlike other recent announcements, the Microsoft Band never had the full push of the company behind it.
However, with the Apple Watch set to be (re) announced on Monday, with expected sales in April, Microsoft seems to be positioning themselves to get ahead of Apple. Instead of reacting to the Apple Watch, Microsoft could save some face here by getting the message out before the Cupertino hullabaloo hits consumers.
Pricing of the Microsoft Band is expected to remain at $199, well below the starting price of $349 for the Apple Watch.
Windows Central will bring you more information about the Microsoft Band and Best Buy push as soon as it becomes available.