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Microsoft has not announced a smartwatch (and other odd Sunday sundries)

It's Sunday afternoon, and I just landed in Los Angeles, and while it's a quiet news day, that's because E3 is about to kick off, specifically with Microsoft's big presser tomorrow morning (more on that later). Although not much is happening now, my inbox is getting hit with bogus "Microsoft announced a Smartwatch" tips and now a website I've never heard of is claiming to have seen the smartwatch "a number of months ago."

Let's clear up a few things …

  • Microsoft is very likely working on a Smartwatch that will compete with Android Wear and the Moto 360 and Apple's iWatch, we've seen that from patents, informed rumors, and it is the obvious thing for them to do (Nokia was in on the action too)
  • If they do have a Smartwatch, it probably looks a lot like the Windows Phone and Windows 8 and Xbox One UI, because you know, duh
  • It will have Bluetooth 4.0 LE because…that's what smartwatches use these days
  • It will have sensors that can do all sorts of cool things

See, I can name all of that without even seeing this watch myself. What I'm trying to say is, this supposed sighting "a few months ago" from the site GearLive, has some mildly interesting descriptions of this supposed device, but we're going on evidently old information without any proof. (If seen a few months ago, why are we learning about it now?)

Microsoft patent?

What's more, I don't know anything about this site outside of the fact they're not a source with a well tracked history of confirmed rumors. Maybe it's real, maybe it's not, but I see no reason to trust it than to not believe it, which means it's a non-story.

Would Microsoft announce a Smartwatch tomorrow here at E3? I don't see why they would. Every time Microsoft has a big device or service launch what do they do? They hold a special event, usually in New York, where they have everyone's attention. That's the exact opposite of E3, and this event is no place for announcing a new device category for the company.

In closing, I wouldn't put too much stock in these claims about a Microsoft Smartwatch. Yes, I'm confident that they're making one, but like the Surface Mini, not everything about this tale is known at this point, making it mere speculation.

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Reader comments

Microsoft has not announced a smartwatch (and other odd Sunday sundries)

83 Comments

The new smart watch will be used as an alternate controller for the Xbox One. It will be announced tomorrow. It will also be backwards compatible with the Xbox and Xbox 360, because I said so.

Haha, saw an article about this on The Motley Fool which is a stock market advisor site. Instantly commented asking them for a source for the 'announcement'.

Figures, Motley Fool is biased and full of shit. And half of their articles have nothing to do with stocks, or they're click bait, etc. I just ignore them.

that website does come up with some bogus stuff, but hearing those ridixulous rumors makes me feel excited for the possibility

I think it hilarious too watch ppl up in arms over a comment. The funny part is, you know its coming, but when? Lighten up folks. I also like "when is India getting it"?

So, Daniel... I know this is a dumb question, considering what you just wrote, but when would you guess that MS will reveal their smartwatch?

I bet Apple will beat them to it...yet again. But then again...nothing exists before Apple "invents" it...

Honestly, no idea @rodneyej It's clear MS wants to launch things when they think they have it right and not before. But I have heard of no timeframes.

I will say, Windows Phone support for smartwatches (and official apps) is coming later this summer/early fall, so that may mean something.

Threshold timing would be at less second quarter 2015...
It might be but my guess is the sooner the better.

It may be that they are waiting for the windows phone 8.1 to roll out on most of the devices, so that the phones can take full advantage of the watch. Just saying .

I don't think they would announce new hardware tomorrow. I mean, they just removed Kinect from the package, one of the (supposedly) most vital pieces of hardware of the XBOX ONE. Why did they do it? Because that's not what gamers want. Gamers want games and Microsoft can't afford to bring anything other than games to their keynote tomorrow. There are places for other categories of products. E3 is for games! Do I agree with this vision? Not entirely, I think it's a bit extreme, but gamers are kings of E3 and their wishes are the ones Microsoft should listen to! Not the ones from a non hardcore-gamer like me.

Microsoft has gotten killed for not being "about games" to the degree that Sony is. There's no way they're going to muddle their message (like they did last year) by talking about smartwatches.

Daniel,

I trust basically everything you wrote and said but Microsoft surprised us before.

You must be pretty sure about this ;)

Hey, anything can happen, but I'm just going by their past history. Plus, usually 24 hours before an event, real evidence begins to leak. So far, zilch. But hey, I'd love to be surprised like anyone else!

Can WP just support any friggin watch, all the devs say 8.1 API still doesn't allow hooks into the notifications to show them on a watch

That will come with future GDRs quite probably. And there's one expected in the coming Summer months already so...

Well crud, if a summer GDR is coming then lets start the dev preview... My pebble is sitting here collecting Bluetooth dust for the past year.

NDA is signed just hook me up with the alpha builds

Yeah, the second I saw "fool.com" I knew it was BS. Their website is usually full of anti-Microsoft click bait headlines.
"surface pro 3 could be obsolete"
"why the surface won't sell"
"Microsoft should exit the hardware business"
"why Apple should make fun of Microsoft"
"why Windows 8 is a failure"
"Microsoft just found a new Vista"

Daniel: You are one of the wittiest writers on the internet. I always enjoy your dryly humorous yet informative articles. Thanks for keeping the internet real.

What ever happened to the Agent watch? That was supposed to be .Net. Or are we talking a watch directly from Microsoft?

By the time it releases there is probably going to be a few better watches compatible with Windows Phone on the market. Personally, I feel like I've wasted money on the project.

It will be doubt after Apple announces theirs and starts selling it within 24 hrs. Unlike MS. they will be late to the game (again) and start selling it 4 weeks after announcing it ala Surface

There's no point in releasing a smart watch until they get the design right.

Just yesterday I had dinner with my parents and we passed an electronic shop which had Samsung and Sony smartwatches/braclets on display.  My dad points at them and commented on how ugly they look and that there's no way he would wear one - and that was before he even knew what supposedly cool gimmicky stuff it could do.  My mum said the same thing, but she would actually benefit from a smartwatch or some sort of monitoring device because she has high blood pressure, but again she'd rather not wear an ugly watch and just do her routine check at night at home.  The fact of the matter is today a watch to the average joe is a fashion statement, not a tool.  A smartwatch has to look like a good looking fashion watch first before it would take off.  Those patents designs MS has right now is not those.

I really hope they launch a smartwatch this year. Otherwise they are going to be behind again. They really need to launch before, or right around the time Apple launches theirs.

Ok let's be real here why would Microsoft announces a smartwatch at e3? Do you know ms would would be booed off the stage. Don't get me wrong I would love to have it but e3 is not the best place to announce this.

Anything can happen with Microsoft, remember they are the guys who introduced a gaming console with only tv capabilities.

Those sites are probably a lot of shit. However, a watch that connects with the Xbox one would be cool. Vibration feedback when playing Kinect games, heart rate sensor for exercise games, speaker for sound effects... A lot of possibilities.

Thanks for this article Daniel, this is one of the reasons why I really enjoy reading WPC. You never take something for granted without actual proofs :-)