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Microsoft's smartwatch rumored to be compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone

Microsoft

While Microsoft has yet to make anything official on the wearables front, we've seen plenty about their rumored smartwatch lately. From what we've seen so far, their offering will be a slim design that offers a slew of fitness features and also has a removable watch body that fits snuggly into a companion charging/sync dock.

According to Forbes, Microsoft's watch may also be cross-platform by supporting Windows Phone, Android and iOS devices — something that not many current smartwatches can claim. The report also says that the smartwatch will continuously monitor your heart-rate and will run for two days on a single charge.

The race is on in the "big name" smartwatch game. Android Wear is coming in a few months and Apple is expected to announce their own smartwatch in the fall, so Microsoft will have to get moving if they want to be a part of the action later this year.

Does a Microsoft smartwatch appeal to you? What features would you be looking for?

Source: Forbes; Via neowin

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Reader comments

Microsoft's smartwatch rumored to be compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone

128 Comments

I agree. When I read the article title, my brain auto corrected it to:

"Microsoft's smartwatch rumored to be compatible with iPhone, Android and eventually Windows Phone"

It is unfair (like many things, when it comes to WP support). But look at it this way: MS can only benefit if the smartwatch is a success among iOS and Android devices instead of only making it support WP devices. Excluding potential customers because of OS restriction (especially if the excluded OSs lead the market) would ensure failure. Or would you change OS because of a smartwatch? If you can use a product in combination with a smartphone you already own you are more likely to buy it as opposed to having to buy a new smartphone.

So, I think it's a clever move from mS to support iOS and Android as well.

Thinking outside the box. I like it. Makes sense now why they made sure to launch and support office on the other two platforms. Seems like the foundation is set for the only watch that can tap into all three ecosystems with ease.

Good guy Microsoft! There are very few corporates left who are so open and embracing of everyone rather than trying to force them into a box of their own ecosystem.

I think it's near that this will be multi-platform but let's be honest, this is not about being open and embracing, this is about not being able to be successful if it's Windows Phone only (at least for now). A wearable appeals much more to the high-end buyer (at least in the early stages) and that is basically iPhone and Galaxy buyers.

I call that smart business unless you want to be another blackberry or Nokia. If Apple doesn't do being drop closed minded, they will end up in the same boat because Microsoft will close the gap by being available on all platforms and producing quality hardware to compete with Apple hardware design.

Apple's case is a little different - they don't bother with the low-margin end of the business at all. That means they don't need to be everywhere in order to be very profitable. Pretty much all of their installed base is at or near the premium end of the market - ideal customers for a wearable done right.

Microsot has clearly shown they can produce premium hardware - what they haven't shown is that they can get consumers to buy their premium hardware.

The 5C was never about being cheap. The 5 was to costly to make and they had to make a new model that was cheaper to produce

haha unfortunately, that's how it was perceived by users here in the Philippines. I know it was still expensive. But people here are thinking that "yeah, this is the budget phone of apple" they were even thinking that 5c means 5Cheap along with 5China and 5Colors.

Along with it is the word of mouth that the reason why Apple chose to make 5c is that ip5 is affordable only to the higher-end. and that they need to get the lower-end market (it's quite similar to your statement, but it's also different).

Technically apple is still successful in getting lower-end markets because many Filipinos are interested in the so-called "budget" iPhone. Im just not sure if it is to point of buying coz i know it's really expensive. :)

Its not about being Good Guy or Bad Guy - it's just doing what's good for business.

If, hypothetically, WP and iOS had 85% of the smartphone market and android was trying to break in, I'm sure Google would be more than accomodating with their products with MS and Apple being the bullies.

It's simply bad business to alienate a huge chunk of your potential market...

Im trying not to buy the wellograph and wait for msft... But waiting for something we have no certain news of... Is kinda foolish

Coz this is called sustaining in business. Growth is important but sustaining is even more imp. Microsoft as per profit point of view has won 28 million iPad users hearts in a week. So this is actually a professional attitude

Have you seen Windows Phone market share? Google and Apple don't need to support WP, they can make enough money off of their own platforms. Microsoft is in a different situation.

Oh trust me I know the figures there not good I have been using windows phone for years 3 now and windows mobile before that.
The problem is right now there is very little benefit for owning a windows phone right now Microsoft should give people a reason to own a windows phone

I would say no beneifit.  Literally not one.

Is there one single thing that a person can do better on WP than on Android?

A lot actually, not just a single one. Where to start ?? 

Alot faster in perfoming tasks would be one. It takes more steps on android to perform a task than on WP, for example, just see how long on both platforms u would take to uninstall an app or pin to start/pin a widget. It helps when u r in a hurry, in my case it helped me in many occasions in University where I had to do something quickly like opening the university facebook group (pinned to start) to know the latest updates about a lecture (one got cancelled just b4 its time) or a report to be delieverd , opening a word file to edit something quickly for a report or launching a TuneIn radio station (pinned to start).

Speaking of word files, Office on WP, even though is not good for creating docs, excel files or PPTs from scratch, is much better than the offical Office for android or other office clients in the play store.

Alot Smoother, My 920 is alot smoother than my galaxy note 10.1 even though the latter has a better processor and double the ram of the 920.

Even though there are less apps on WP, developers do take full advantage of WP features. For instance, major apps like Facebook, its messenger, Viber, Telegram, Line and many others don't have official widgets ( the ones that give a glance for ur notifications, not the useless facebook camera or status widgets) on android, a feature that many android fans shout about. Whereas, All apps including these have livetile support of minimum two sizes and more features like lockscreen notifications and lockscreen background support.

The action center ( and iOS notification center) is alot more organized than the android notification center, just wait till u get piles of notifications on android, it gets really messy and u don't get all of the notifications, unlike the action center, minimizing the function of a notification center since homescreens and startscreens are the places where i get a glance of my notifications and action/notification center is where i want to see all my notifications. the half swipe for toggles only on WP is quite handy when u r in a public place

More updates are another benefit.

Lenses in the camera UI is really an amazing feature, u don't have to launch an app when u want to use the camera function of it quickly. 

Apps have (mostly) a unified UI. u don't waste time exploring the app UI because u know where u r going. This is maybe subtle but sometimes an app may have a very messy UI to the the point u get lost. A famous TV show android app called TVshow Time on android VS the amazing TVSHOW WP app by the awsome Rudy Huyn is a good example to reflect this.

Data Sense and more recently Battery Saver ( have alot more functions than the name sounds ) and WiFi Sense on WP8.1 have no match on other platforms and they r quite indispensible and purely ingenious. they make ur life alot easier.

Nokia apps, this is really a big one. Here package is alot better than google maps, at least in my region. Nokia beamer ( share ur screen , the whole OS not a specifc app or media only, to any internet connected device ) have no match on other platforms. Creative studio, Ringtone Maker, cinemagraph and Glam me have alternatives on android but I am yet to see refined versions like Nokia ones.

that's what I can think of right now, I am sure others have their own benefits. Android has its own benefits as well, but u asked for WP benefits over that of android so here's some from what I see or experienced.

hmm i don't know. i have used android devices before, i have been testing apple products of the coworkers too... they just cant satisfy me the way windows phone does.

 

app-wise i understand many apps are not available in windows store, im quite sad about it. but those are apps which i wont be using on a day-to-day basis so that's quite fine.

i have a dev friend and he says their company is working on ios and android devices because it's easy to port codes on one another. wp is quite diff he says. im still praying for devs to support wp.

Rubbish. In case you haven't noticed, Microsoft is spreading its services to multiple platforms. Look at Office for iPad. It quickly became one of the top apps downloaded. Don't be so closed minded.

Although I don't agree with him, you're kind of proving his point, citing how MS put out a touch-friendly version of Office out on iPad before W8...

The iOS touch office is not fully functional. It is basically the same as the online version of each office app which you can access from your tablet via live.com. So, if you are going to upgrade to Office 15 for touch, or whatever they will end up calling it, you certainly wouldn't want a product that steps back in features from Office 13 or Office 365. So I'm certain the new Office for Touch will have even more features than Office 13 and be much better than the iOS version.

Because they choose not to ignore the fact that Apple has the largest user base on mobile devices. That's not waving the white flag, that living to fight another day and generating revenue to continue innovating

This is the ultimate acknowledgement that WP is dead.  And even that the writing is on the wall for Windows proper.

MS is in deep, deep doodoo right now, at least as far as consumers go.  Google represents an existential threat and is so much more nimble an innovative than MS are, I don't know how MS will stay relevant.  My guess is they do an IBM.  They'll still be huge, but consumers wont know or care about them day to day.  The stuff they do will be on the back end.

With the exception of Azure, which is utterly invisible to consumers, everything they've launched recently has been a total flop.  WP is dead.  Windows 8.1 is hated.  XBone is a train wreck.  Etc.

There is a big difference between what software powers the device and what mobile ecosystems it is compatible with.

The numbers say WP dropped slightly in the US, but continues to grow at 25%+ globally. Its wont be dominating any time soon, but growing is not dying no matter how bad you wish it so.

Given the declining figures for USA market, despite msft being a us company it's obvious that Europe is the real market msft should accommodate when looking to sell more A WP devices. Most people I know who have had the initiative to leave that Apple crap behind have found WP devices to be better.

Agreed, I had a fire hard Apple user tell me he was getting the 930 since WP now does and has all the apps he uses.

Sigh! Do you think they announced Windows for Internet of Things for nothing? It's not hard to figure out what this will run.

i think it's a marketing strategy. if they make a product that is exclusive to windows phone, people will not use it because they are basically not using windows phones. only wp users can experience the goodness of the product. word of mouth works. but not quite as fast as MS needs to. they need to make other strategies to spread their products.

if they make it compatible with other devices, users (non-wp) will have better chances of experiencing the quality of microsoft products.

if u think about it, most of the products we buy today are compatible for both ios and android. they couldnt live with exclusivity either. the game today is that the more company logos u see at the box of the product (ios android wp bb) the more comfortable the users to buy the product because they know they wont get compatibility issues out of the box

it's true that apple got its prestige because of exclusivity strategy before. but that's not gonna work with any emerging companies currently, because of the 2 giants guarding the gates. you have to make some "peace" with them to get inside and one of them. inside the gate, that where the real competition must take place.

Im sorry, but most likely MS will have it ready to announce late 2015. Assuming others come out with theirs in 2014.

Someone please tell me what a smart watch does? Yes it'll tell the time, weather and maybe alert me to messaging. But I have a phone to do that. Can I leave my phone at home and it remain "smart"?

The "getting it" moment when it comes to smartwatches doesn't occur until you've tried one for yourself.

Having used a Nexus 5 paired with a Pebble for a few months earlier this year, it's amazing how convenient it is to not having to pull your phone out of your bag or pocket to see whether the notification requires you to take action or not, or simply dismiss phone calls. It was really nice to feel like I could confidently leave my phone on my desk at work, or couch at home, and still be connected, receiving texts, emails, calls, and other notifications. 

A smartwatch paired with a Windows Phone and Cortana would be a fantastic experience, one I hope comes sooner rather than later. 

Exactly! I didn't have my pebble for the first time in months yesterday and I felt naked and a bit uneasy without having the information so readily available. That's just me though.

I haven't worn a watch in decades but if Cortana was integrated into one then I may have to strongly reconsider.

I doubt have to take my phone out of my pocket with Bluetooth headset and Cortana/tell me set to read text messages.

Some major benefits would be Notifications and Remote Control of the phone. During meetings when it's not quite proper to constantly looking at your phone, it would be nice to just glance at your watch in order to see what notification you just received. Also, when running or working out, I use an armband for my phone. It would be great to be able to control volume, advance tracks in XBox music or see my elapsed time from the Runtastic app displayed on my watch instead of distorting my head in some weird angle to see my phone.

In comparison I think the Casio DB watches and Timex DataLink USB are smarter:-). They have their own storage and processing and you could upload any app without needing to be tethered to another device to any device for input. Plus battery life was 1+ years.

So hopefully someone comes up with having both.... Smart without and with...

A two day charge?  Gonna need to be longer than that to hold it's own against the Pebble.  I can go nearly a week on a single charge.  

I'm with you, two days is not acceptable.  My Fuel Band goes 5 or 6 days between charges.  Once a week or so is an acceptable timeframe in my opinion.

Lol someone at Microsoft is thinking like me. All devices should be all mobile OS compatible! If rumor is correct keep the good work MS

I agree. Hopefully MS becomes the company that makes everything cross-platform. What a world - never thought I would consider that a reality.

Shit the way everything is going for MS I would have 0 issues I I ever revert back to Android. Pathetic. First time I said that about MS.

I don't get this. Watch wearing is a dying activity. It seems the people who wear watches are the same ones who read their news on dead trees.

Well, I just got a refund on a smartwatch I backed on Indiegogo that is six months past its original promised ship date with still no delivery in sight, so I'm definitely game. Gotta be more compatible than a third party offering.

Invisibility cloak, metal cutting laser, poison darts, rope cutting saw, echolocator, remote control for my car, tv remote...

Make sense to me. Their in-car system will support all platforms, and they already support all platforms via apps. Good move and keep it coming. The only way to stay relevant is supporting everybody.

I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for one of these. It depends on price for me. I just really want a decent fitness-capable, WP-compatible smartwatch for under $250.
It makes sense that a Microsoft watch would be iOS and Android compatible, it would be stupid if they weren't. Also stupid if it didn't work with Windows Phone.

still owning the Suunto Spot watch..the new breed of smartwatches all seems to offer the same features, I will not invest in this unless it could track swimming and other watersports activities

Microsoft has a true hidden gem of an app called Health Vault and the Health and Fitness app. It does support a lot of fitness wearables, but this watch/fitness device will probably work a lot better with this eco-system. I am truly looking forward to it. I don't really like anything I've seen so far, so this could be the item that makes me move my wallet out of my pocket.

I want Ballmers initial statement to stand: You'll get access to some features on Windows Phone, but for the best experience you need to own one.
And all these Office comments? IPad, iPhone, and Android users need a 365 subscription to use it if I'm not mistaken. Meanwhile we get our versions shipped for free, so to speak, with our Windows Phones and Windows tablets. Touchscreen will inevitably come soon. Other platforms are PAYING to beta test touchscreen Office, and I rather enjoy that idea. I'm all for a MS smartwatch regardless.

I'll be waiting with interest to see what MS brings to table. They need to hurry because other players are quickly staking their claim.

One thing they need to focus on is style as well as function. So far, the only smartwatch I've seen that even tempts me is Moto 360 (Yes, I know it's not likely to be WP compatible, but I have a Moto X phone too). 

My wishlist:

  • Design so it doesn't look like a 1980's calculator watch! I don't want my watch to scream NERD.
  • User friendly. Not a Samsung kitchen sink approach to UI.
  • Wireless charging! I don't want to have to plug my watch in every night.
  • Waterproof. I don't want to have to worry about my watch if I'm at a ball game and it starts to rain.

As someone who uses multiple mobile platforms, I'd go for the MS watch if the rumor turns out to be true. The battery life sounds weak, though.

I have to go into classified briefings a lot where I can't bring my phone. It would be great if there was an easy way to switch off all communications and have it just tell the time like a regular watch. I understand I'm probably in the minority here, but I think it soul be a pretty easy function to add. Kinda like airplane mode or something.

I'm interested in a smartwatch that looks like the Motorola watch and comes in at the right price. Compatibility with whatever phone I choose to carry would be a BIG bonus.

I think Cortana, wearables and other IOT solutions should be platforms in of themselves, i.e. independent of Windows and Windows Phone.

Microsoft needs new developer interest to generate around its foundations, i.e. its programming languages, tools, UX principles, etc. By taking the Azure approach to smartwatches (i.e. cross-platform), Microsoft may be able to draw in that interest, and in the process, interest in Windows (as iOS/Android developers already accustomed to MS languages and tools will find it easy to develop for WP/Windows).

Think of a iOS and Android capable Microsoft smartwatch as no different than iTunes and Chrome on Windows PCs, i.e. Microsoft co-opting major platforms as a springboard towards its own. Although Microsoft's efforts are a bit more far-reaching in that it is trying to pull current and future iOS and Android develops to pick up C# et. al and Visual Studio *ahead* of consumers...i.e. get consumers to follow the developers.

This is 100% needed in order to make this watch a hit. A watch alone won't change people over to WP, so making it only for WP would be a stupid move as it would sell bad as WP already is. 

This watch isn't meant to increase WP sales, but hopefully it will work better with Windows Phones than Android or iOS.

It seems like everything Microsoft is during now is to increase people use of there ecosystem and apps. I think this is a very good idea.

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Wow. I definitely want this.
But watch, they'll release software support for iOS and Android first and the WP integration comes 3 months later :/

Speaking of, just came from best buy. I checked out the Gear 2. It's smaller than i expected. I remember the original being much bulkier

Marvelous!!! I know that this is gonna be awesome. It's genius to make it cross-compatible, and heart rate is perfect. I'm looking forward to the release. This is what really matters in a smartwatch:

  • battery
  • weight
  • sync-functionality

Well, if MS holds true to form, they will say they are working on it for 3 more years, then once their competitors dominate the market, they will spend the next 3 years building 1 generation old devices and wonder why they didn't di better.

seeing how stylish the surface line is, im sure their watch will be as good as it gets, if not better, ill most likely get it

Two days on a single charge? Bleh another device to charge up before i go to sleep lol. I hope they incorporate Qi so we can just dump it on a fatboy wireless charging pillow. Also Microsoft made a smartwatch aeons ago - the Spot smartwatch... Typically MS were too ahead of the game in the past but unfortunately most people have forgotten that and keep saying they are so slow so much so that frozen molasses trickling down a overturned jar at just above sub zero would be faster than the of rate progress at Redmond :P.
 

I get the WP is too small to be exclusive too but they should give WP some exclusive features that ios and android won't have to help grow their own platform kinda like with office; you need office365 to use but for RT and WP its already included.

Well, in my opinion, to spearhead windows phone, Microsoft will have to give some sort of incentive to windows phone users with the smartwatch, a standout feature of you will, that would make people but windows phones. So basic functionality with iOS and android but something truly exquisite with windows phone, perhaps Cortana. It should be such that it persuades people to buy windows phones. Only then this strategy makes sense, else it will just make things worse for windows phone, and eventually, the next iteration of windows smartwatch will support iOS and android but not windows phone itself.