Did Microsoft kill its Band wearable too soon?

It's 2019. Wearables, while still not everywhere, have proven somewhat popular. Apple has one (opens in new tab), Samsung has one (opens in new tab), Fitbit has loads (opens in new tab), and many smaller companies have their own as well. It's a market that has found its niche and is proving to be a success for at least some of the companies building these devices. One such company that ventured into this market early on was Microsoft, with the surprise Microsoft Band released in 2014 and Microsoft Band 2 released in 2015.

It was a short stint, but it was a unique look into a world where Microsoft was part of the wearables market, and with a product that was really quite good for the time. In 2015, the wearables market was still new, and nobody had found their feet yet. Apple had not long launched its first-generation Apple Watch, to mixed reviews. Android Wear devices were not very good at the time either. Fitbit devices were exciting but were almost 100 percent fitness-oriented at the time.

Band was an excellent wearable for its time.

That is why Microsoft's Band 2 was an exciting product. While by all accounts it was also a fitness wearable, it did an excellent job of merging both smartwatch and fitness tracker. Unlike Fitbit, which even today is still mostly a fitness tracker with a few smartwatch features tacked on, the Microsoft Band found a happy balance between smartwatch and fitness wearable, meaning people in both product categories would be satisfied with a Microsoft Band 2.

The original Apple Watch wasn't amazing. Things improved with Series 2, but I'd argue it wasn't until Series 3 when the Apple Watch became the staple wearable in the industry. Before then, there wasn't an outright winner. Fitbit was, and is, a close second, but what if Microsoft was still in the game. Would it be number two, or number three? Could it have ever been number one in the wearables market?

The Microsoft Band 2 wasn't without issues. To many, it was too expensive. Retailing at $249, it was indeed a premium device, and for that price, the durability of the wearable was not up to scratch. Many people's Bands fell apart, requiring them to get replacements from Microsoft on multiple occasions. That is unacceptable and likely plays a huge part in the reason the Band doesn't exist today.

Band really was a quality product

With those issues aside, if Microsoft had held out just a couple more years in the wearables market, it could have been onto a winner. Assuming the company figured out the durability issues, the Microsoft Band 2 would have been a fantastic wearable. It had excellent fitness tracking, superb smartwatch features like replying to texts and invoking voice-assistant related tasks, and a beautiful curved OLED screen.

The software was smooth, beautiful, and elegant. I'd argue most wearables on the market still don't get the software side of things right, like the Microsoft Band did. If Microsoft had kept the Band going, it would've been interesting to see how that ecosystem grew. Would developers jump on with support for the Band? We know the Band 3 was going to be waterproof, but would a Band 4 support NFC payments? These kinds of evolutions would've been a natural progression for the Band competing in the wearables market.

It's very likely that the primary reason the Band was killed was that at the time it wasn't making any money for Microsoft. I've heard through numerous sources that Microsoft was selling the Band 2 at a loss, even with its high $250 price tag. If true, Microsoft would have had to hold out for longer before that tech would fall in price and become cheap enough for the company to manufacture and sell at the $250 price. But the wearables market was moving quickly, and Microsoft had shareholders it needed to please, especially with the impending death of Lumia and Windows 10 Mobile looming.

If Microsoft had decided to take a chance on Band, and had it failed, we could've been looking at another Windows 10 Mobile for Microsoft, which would've been a nightmare. So, it was safer for Microsoft to jump ship when it did, before it poured too much money into Band. Maybe it would've been successful, maybe not. It would've been fascinating to see where things went, though. It seems the Band's fate is sealed, as Microsoft is pulling support for the service that powers it in May.

Rest in peace.

What are your thoughts? Should Microsoft have stayed in the wearables market? Let us know below.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I loved the band 2, even though i had to get it replaced several times. Now I have to say I'm happy with my Gear s3. Would have been I testing to see though where MS would be in this space had they kept going. Paired with a modern Windows phone. That would be ideal for me but alas.... Still miss Windows phone. Android is OK but just doesn't quite feel as stylish or refined as Windows phone did. Sure there are more apps etc. Just happy in the thought that there is an alternate universe out there where Windows phone and their band are flourishing.
  • Seriously, not to make this a WM discussion, but I sorely miss my Windows Phones :-(. Powered up my 950 XL yesterday to see if there were updates (yes there were!) and I was hit with a serious dose of nostalgia and homesickness :-( I want my windows phones back, Android just doesn't cut it - lacks the elegance and coherence. It's just a hot mess as far as I'm concerned, and I'm using/have used several Android flagships from different brands. The keyboard alone is a good reason to miss WM as well as true dark mode, not the mess of light/dark that is Android. Right now I simply hate using my phones lol!
    On the subject of band, yes I believe they should have continued, even if it was losing money. Heck they make keyboard and mice, so they can as well have some low profit venture into wearables. It was a missed opportunity I think.
  • I agree regarding the OS. I enjoyed it much more than android and ios. The problem was the lack of apps and the lack of quality put into a lot of the apps that were there. The 950 and xl were great phones. They should have had a dedicated shelf at all the carriers stores. It's a shame that Satya was embarrassed by them and that they were intentionally setup to fail along with windows mobile.
  • A cheap plastic flagship phone would not look good next to the competition in 2016. It wouldn't matter how the carriers presented them, sales would not have been good. AT&T had them on the shelves and they didn't do good.
  • Which is why they should've built a true flagship.
  • agreed. It's now been over a year since turning on my L950 windows phone, but when I did I was immediately struck how easy fast and frictionless it was to do everything I needed - emails, internet, facebook, Instagram, and work related details. Still year in Android can't match it. I forgot how effortless windows phone OS was. But the practically non-existent app scene... jeez, that was sad.
  • This difference between Band and Lumia/Phones was the Band was supported on other ecosystems. If they could have improved or redesigned the actual band of the Band, it would have been no different than them porting all their apps to IOS and Android. If the goal is to be innovative and available, they lacked the foresight to venture on this product. I think a slightly taller face and NFC would have been the sweet spot for Band 4 seeing as the prototype 3 was mostly unchanged. and wow, the WC Desktop app doesn't allow you to post comments anymore. bummer...
  • I took one look at the clasp on the band and said no way, they'll redesign it for version 2. I took one look at the clasp on version 2... and decided to get a gear s2.
  • You looked at it. Did you ever try it. I found it extremely easy to hook and adjust.
  • That's what I meant by looking at it... I played with it at a microsoft store and found it to be extremely clunky and just visually not appealing. Also I had difficulty putting it on and off which I assume takes some practice to get it down and if something like that takes getting use to, that means it bad design
  • I read the reviews; on average, the reviewers hated the clasp and particularly the bulky sensor.
  • The clasp was one of my fave features! It was very satisfying to snap in and then ratchet to my desired size.
  • I think the WC Destop App is an UWP app. Did you really think it was going to continue to be updated and supported? LOL
  • I didn't but the fact that they updated the site and broke their app kinda shows it is an afterthought now.
  • They might be making it a PWA which is still UWP. So yes they will
  • Was hoping for this improvement.. thumbs all up for that; i feared that PWA may take over but i realized that it wont cause it helps handle web apps since its quite clearly a mobile approach for lighter apps on android which is good but it wouldn't be able to handle anything beyond that unless websites change how they function, anyways I'm glad that it exists cause now UWP apps are also growing steadily on its own terms while supporting PWA vice versa.
  • but now we have PWA, I've used some on my WM10 device quite recently of course and it was an overall good experience; which is quite sad cause if MS continued WM10 devices, with the help of PWA , it would be marketable than before.. this would also apply to the band i believe? since PWA could be used for the MSBand devices which would also be more handy when in sync with other platforms thus making it a better universal product. "the WC Desktop app doesn't allow you to post comments anymore" the exact thing that i was going to say as well, i thought it was only me facing this bug ..or whatever this problem is.. its truly troublesome that i have to open my web browser to do this..
  • I thought this same thing. The only thing wrong with it was the band. The tech was awesome. My first FitBit charge fell apart and they only allowed one replacement. For that I considered if they fixed the band on Band 3 I would definitely jump on that. It never came, and I'm suspecting that since Windows 10 mobile died, they lost mindshare of any mobile device. Add in selling at a loss, (which to me seems minor since it was what, 3/4 of one percent of all of Microsoft's products.) They should have kept on, but Microsoft is like an early stock trader, the moment they see the chance of success, they pull profits too quickly, and miss the long term gain.
  • You do know that they did the same thing with Surface products yet they didn't gave up on that. They wasn't profitable until the Surface Pro 3 came out and it killed everybody on the Windows Marketplace
  • Zac is laying the foundation for a Surface Watch announcement.
  • Miss my band 2 since it broke, or I'd still be using it today. Used it to purchase Starbucks all the time.
  • Oh no! Now how do you get your coffee? Do you have to painfully take out your wallet and pay with card or god forbid... CASH?? Or... *gasp*.... make your own coffee?!?! I can't imagine....
  • Lots of folks pay for Starbucks, or other tins with their wearable or phone. The Band was an early option and worked quite well, with a simple implementation. The baristas thought it was cool when I did it.
  • rld - in the same obnoxious vein, you could certainly get along without your smartphone; your parents managed just fine.
  • Says the guy reading the article and posting here through their smartphone
  • The reason for Band to be killed is same as Windows Phone. It did not run "Windows". I hope with WCOS something similar is on the horizon 😊
  • This was my impression. This came about at a time where Microsoft was keen on putting Windows 10 on everything. Apparently they failed to put W10 IoT edition on it. Probably didn't help.
  • I think the thing that ended up killing the Band was the band part itself. I worked at one of the retail stores at the time the Band 1 and 2 were out, and we ended up replacing every Band 2 that we sold because the material it was made of split. The sensor part, for Band 2, worked rather well, and the Health app was a winner. For whatever reason, the material used for connecting the sensor to the arm was seriously inferior. The warranty allowed owners two replacements in a year: so initial investment of $249 - 2 replacements, meant that the Band 2 was a loss leader.
  • Wow, I could totally see Microsoft doing that. They should've gone with a simple design like what Samsung did with the Gears
  • Easy answer. Yes, Microsoft killed the Band too soon. Granted they would have faced the challenge of making the Band app compatible with Apple or Android phones, but I imagine that wouldn't be terribly difficult. The Band offered a low profile fitness band coupled with a host of smartwatch features. The only downside was the lack of water resistance for those of us who hang out on or in the water, but that was in the works. If Microsoft stuck with it, they would have given similar devices a run for their money.
  • No challenge at all. It already worked with Android and iOS.
  • Band 1, day 0 had Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile apps.
  • Had both Band 1 and Band 2 at launch. Band 1 eventually killed your wrist. The design was uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Took it off when not working out. Band 2 was much better, but I did the same still. When my Band 2 died, I went Garmin. Got a Forerunner and couldn't believe how much better the experience was on the Garmin side. Amazing battery life. Targeted at actual athletes who do runs, bikes, swims, etc.. I wear my Garmin all day ( sleep aside. ) Maybe MS just should have bought out Garmin and went with their wrist trackers? They're very under-rated in the current market of Apple Watches and Fitbits.
  • MS Band 2 was awesome. Best device forever :) Now i'm using apple (sorry) watch, but band was REALLY better... They do all you need and do it as expected. Unlike iwatch. If MS return band with better belt - i will throw apple (sorry) watch to the garbage at once.
  • I loved by Band 2. I had a fitbit afterward and now a Samsung GearFit Pro. There are still things I love about the Band that I don't get with either of my other ones.
  • You know sending a SMS message from the band seemed to work even better than these more recent smart watches or bands. I definitely miss that.
  • That was my main usage of it
  • The reason Microsoft killed the Band was because it was based on just another version of Windows. Microsoft had already decided to rewrite all code based on one modular core operation system. Microsoft said that.
  • Bought Band 1 while watching the event stream. Did the same for Band 2. My only issue with Band 1 was the charging pins started corroding from my skin, it was getting difficult to charge by the time my Band 2 arrived. My Band 2 didn't have the same strap separating problem that everyone else had and I would be wearing it to this day if it didn't get destroyed in a moving accident(the Band actually saved me from needing stitches). At that point they had already announced it was discontinued and I looked on ebay about getting a replacement but decided it wasn't worth it in the long run since it was a dead product.
  • no, i'm surprised there was even a second one. I had a band 1 and the thing was awesome, but MS needs to stick with their model that has worked for all these years. it's nice for them to put out a physical device but they need to make their api or OS available to OEM's just the same as with windows. they make essentially a prototype product to give the vendors an idea of what to create and then the OEM's can get creative/innovative with the hardware while using MS OS for the product, because I think in the end that's all we really want anyway is a familiar/usable platform on any device we use.
  • unquestionably they killed it too soon, the many copy cat devices on the market now are proof of that. I swore I'd never buy a smart watch, but I got the band 1 to go along with my windows phone and I loved it. I got the band 2 on day one and never had an issue with it. I have now gone back to my Casio Gshock. I don't have a need for a smart watch, and I no longer have new windows phones to use with my band. If M$ pulls their heads out and releases mobile windows devices and wearables I'll be first in line to jump back on board.
  • I had the band 2, and loved it. Up until the second time the rubber ripped apart, which was outside of warranty. I eventually threw it out when you couldn't get a reasonable price on a replacement. I wish I had kept it and kept syncing, could have gotten a refund. The design was decent, but the UI was what made it pretty great. Today I have a galaxy watch that I just got in January, and I like it - there is a lot more software for it, but there are some things that just are not as good or accurate as the band was, and there are still some things the band had that the watch doesn't have.
  • Current Fitbit Ionic user which I like but it's nowhere near the Band 2 even over a year later. Sleep tracking is nowhere near as good, the Fitbit software seems basic and clunky in comparison, notifications are *STILL* hugely unreliable, the insights are nowhere near as good, comfort isn't quite there (the ionic band has a big design flaw) etc etc. I miss my band 2 all the time. There were two issues, one it ran a forked version of Windows which was always a dead end and two the rubber strap had a fatal design/manufacturing fault and would split regularly and predicatably right where the body of the band ended within the strap. I had mine replaced twice due to this. The software was great on windows phone and android. It was a beautiful, slick piece of kit which was a delight to use and was admired by everyone who showed an interest. Without the strap design flaw I'd still be wearing it now.
  • My Fitbit notifications always stop working when either my phone powers off or restarts or my Fitbit powers off or restarts. I charged my Band 1 a month ago to use the workouts (which was my second favorite feature) and it started getting notifications right away.
  • Liked Band 1, LOVED Band 2. They definitely killed it too soon. It really was the perfect blend of fitness and smarts. Typing on it was surprisingly easy and Cortana worked great. Yes, it broke after 12 months... but so did my stupid $300 Ionic! Since the Band I've had Garmin vivoactive hr, fit bit ionic, and Tag connected (Wear OS), Band is still by far my favorite. I finally broke down and ordered a galaxy watch, hoping this one takes the lead.
  • From a functionality perspective, I loved my Band 2. It had all the fitness features I wanted and it had better smart watch capabilities than most similar products (Fitbit, GearFit etc.) I also liked that it didn't look like a watch as I still wear mechanical watches and a smartwatch like the Galaxy Watch looks a bit goofy when wearing a regular watch on the other wrist. However, while it was comfortable when I was exercising, walking around etc. it was not comfortable for me when at my desk. Having the display or the thick clasp under my wrist was never comfortable when typing or using the mouse. I am wearing a Fitbit Charge 3 now and while it is great as a fitness tracker, so comfortable I don't even know I have it on, and has amazing battery life, I still miss my band. In fact I wouldn't have switched iafter Christmas if it still worked with Pie on my phone. Still waiting for my email from MS about my refund.
  • Typical Microsoft, sadly...
    The Samsung Watch is the best for all, fitness,health,and phone notifications & Samsung Pay!
  • "Did Microsoft kill the Band too soon?"......this feels like a trick question. Microsoft kills everything that could actually go on to be successful. They fundamentally lack the intuition, the sixth sense, the resilience and the tenacity it takes to create a product, believe in it and stick with it. They have zero belief in their products. It's a company crippled with anxiety. Wearables were thrown on the bonfire, along with phones and foldable pocketable devices. HoloLens is 100% enterprise focussed, and by the time they figure out that a consumer market exists for AR, Google and Apple will own 99.9999999% of the consumer market and Microsoft will be sat in the corner, clutching their knees to their chest, rocking back and forth, muttering "we invented that, and they stole it, and made it successful, and we suck because we don't believe in our products." So yeah, they quit too soon, because that's what quitters do.
  • "Microsoft kills everything that could actually go on to be successful. They fundamentally lack the intuition, the sixth sense, the resilience and the tenacity it takes to create a product, believe in it and stick with it." Best reply so far. I hate having anything on my wrist but I loved my Band 2. Killed waaay too soon.
  • If Google and Apple own the AR consumer market, Microsoft will make billions and billions each year just from patents. Just like with Android.
  • I aggree with you, this company must invernt a new popular device
  • I LOVED my band 2 - I even side loaded apps onto it, and they all worked flawlessly. It had the nicest interface and could control and see data right from the Band - not like a Fitbit, and Garmin are even worse for that...
    As far as coming up with a new popular device - they did that... but didn't market them enough to make a difference. The phones were great, and the band fantastic, but it seems they just tried to float it onto the marketplace just on name alone - that wont do it now. I disagree with the statement they didn't make a great product.. they've made several (albeit, the Band 2 needed a bit of a re-work on the band of it.. but that would have been an easy fix). It just seems that their trips into the mobile marketplaces seemed to lack the amount of marketing needed to make them float... They've gotten too used to not having to market a new product because in their eyes I'm sure they just thing that "everyone just buys" whatever we put out"... which wont cut it in breaking into a new market. The Band 2 would have spread like wildfire if it had been marketed properly AND, they'd engineered a simple in-store warranty fix for the band - or even if it hadn't been in-store... as long as they got it fixed. It's all in the marketing, and unfortunately, they're used to not really having to break into a new market - They didn't kill it too early based on what they did.. just wish I still had mine around.
  • "They fundamentally lack the intuition, the sixth sense, the resilience and the tenacity it takes to create a product, believe in it and stick with it. " Sorry but I would encourage you to study a little bit the history of MS...
    - The Excel journey started in 1985, Word in 1991, PowerPoint in 1987, Access in 1992, Project in 1984, Visio in 1992, Xbox in 2001, Windows since 1985, Azure since 2006, Surface since 2012, Visual C++ since 1993, Microsoft mouse since 1983, Microsoft natural keyboard since 1994 etc. etc. etc. all of the above software and hardware is still around hence successful, otherwise they would have killed it. Like any other company they kill-off the products that do not meet the ROI/ROCE requirements within a reasonable timeframe. That's why MS is still around, stronger then ever with their relentless drive for (profitable) hw/sw and their killer-instinct to phase out products that do not meet the high bar. Compared to Apple MS is not a one-trick poney (iPhone and Ipad) but has a striking balance between cloud, software, hardware and commercial services (not mentioned above) but for sure a money making juggernaut as well. The empire always strikes back....when the time is right. Like any other company they have the duty to turn unsuccessful products in to oblivion for their shareholders. But even then products that have been abandoned in the past still work well under W10 like FrontPage 2003, or MS Expression suite or even MS Money (still working well - available for free). So please do not lecture Microsoft about resilience and tenacity, I would say it is their middle name.
  • Fair point. Maybe I should have opened with...."Since around 2014, when Microsoft realised that Excel, Word and Powerpoint was the pinnacle of their creative capacity, they've lacked the intuition, resilience and tenacity it takes to create FUN products that people actually want to use" Better?
  • I understand your point / position and I concur regarding the "fun"aspect :-) . What I admire in Microsoft is that regarding products that they feel "core" even if the consumer/corporate world is not yet ready for it, they are persistent and resilient. Example OneNote has been around since 2002, for more then a decade MS hardly promoted it, still the product was adapted by a very wide audience who loved-it. In my view OneNote has a huge "Fun" factor. The reason why it i still around is that imho it will be the foundation of any potential future upcoming "Courier" like device, I suspect underneath the hood One Note will be an important foundation of the "Courier kind of device" interface. I am confident the Courier alike device will materialize and it will be there for the long run and even if it would take a decade MS will still support it.....
  • Are you inferring that Nadella lacks foresight, intelligence, common sense and courage? Could not agree more.
  • Absolutely i spoke to many users that were ready to make a purchase. Microsoft often makes halfhearted market entries and then abandons them. its really silly. They could be a device power house if they let devices mature longer.
  • The Band 2 was a nice form. The biggest issue I had was the "rubber" coated band of the device tore. After the first 2 were replaced by my local MS store, I didn't even bother to unbox the 3rd one. I have a brand spankin' new, unopened Band 2 sitting right here on a shelf...
  • I had the first Band as well as Band 2. I really enjoyed them and the golf capabilities of Band 2 were an epic function for me. It seemed a little buggy, but it was definitely on the right path. And, as mentioned in the article, it struck a great balance between smartwatch and fitness device. I would say that the Band was killed off too soon not only for the product itself, but it was done at a time that didn't help Microsoft's reputation in the consumer space. In the span of roughly 2 years, we saw the death/sunsetting of Kinect, Groove, Band, and Windows 10 Mobile. For those who were heavily invested in the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, the cancelation of Band was just another punch to the gut and has probably turned quite a few people from having a "Shut up and take my money" approach to new Microsoft tech to one of "Let's wait and see if they stick with it." I know for me at least, the main reason I don't have a Windows on ARM device is I'm not certain that Microsoft won't kill it off later this year.
  • I totally agree with this. I had the band 2 and it was awesome (for example automatic shot tracking in the golf app AMAZING)! But as previous people mentioned mine also broke in the rubber band several times. I'm now using the Galaxy watch but still miss the sleekness and UI of the MS Band2. It's a shame Microsoft don't do more hardware since they are pretty good at it for the most part!
  • Wasn't too son, it was awesome but it broke a lot.
  • Totally! Their MO has always been - take a good thing and kill it! Hope Microsoft is really listening to us!
  • Just how many bad decisions is Nadella allowed to make before this spineless board fires
  • Again, pretty sure Microsoft market value has been increasing lately, I'm pretty sure the board is happy with the fat checks he is bringing in.
  • Killing products that are losing billions of dollars are not "bad decisions". In fact, they are EXACTLY the right decisions a CEO is supposed to make. If he had allowed all of these failed products and services to continue, THEN he would have been fired.
  • Folks, unless I am mistaken MS is a technology company and it needs people to buy its products to be financially secure in the long term. Short term focus, a
    la Nadella, is a recipe for long term failure. Get with the program, business solutions are the icing on the cake and not the cake.
  • Good point, but the problem is that in the tech world it's really important to create a complete solution for people so that all your devices can work seamlessly together. So in the big picture it could be worthwhile to have a money losing product if that product supports other products which are profitable.
  • Had they set it up for Android in the beginning and not hitched it to Cortana which nobody uses then it may have had a chance.
  • Band was not a quality product. It simply was not. It had significant hardware issues with bands breaking and quality control for the second device. I still own one with the band broken. The software was decent for sure. Also owned the first gen and it was.kust not comfortable, but at least did the break
  • I owned 3 'Microsoft Band 2's over the years. They kept falling apart. However, I kept getting new ones. The reason? Working in the office with clients, many people noticed and inquired about it. It had a really neat look - so different from anything else. That clasp was nice. And I really liked the screen. I wish Microsoft hadn't killed it.
  • So it was a piece of crap, but it looked good? Interesting.
  • I went through three different Bands. Build quality was appalling, I was also one of the many people who after Windows 10 Mobile hit, Bluetooth connectivity turned to crap on the Band, it worked to transfer fitness data, but responding to texts, or using voice commands, just simply wouldn't work.
  • I think Microsoft is still thinking it's the 1990's and they can half-ass a product, partners will jump all over it and make it a success. They just don't have that magic anymore. Microsoft needs to carry it's own water now but their practices and methodologies don't allow for that.
  • There was pretty much nowhere to buy a band. Was it ever sold in the UK? I never remember seeing it. However, it had to go. Microsoft has left the consumer market with the exception of gaming. It makes no sense with no viable mobile devices or consumer ecosystem. It probably killed the band too late. It should have gone 18 months ago with the phones.
  • Curry's pcworld, where I bought mine! Amazon. John Lewis. Those are just the first few places I remember seeing it. It was readily available.
  • Not in 75 % of the world...
  • "Wearables, while still not everywhere, have proven somewhat popular." Apple is thought to have sold about $7 billion dollars worth of smart watches last year. That would make Apple Watch bigger than all of Surface. "Somewhat popular" SMH.
  • Band 2 was perhaps my all-time favorite piece of hardware that I have ever owned. I wanted it as a watch, fitness tracker, and for easy message integration. To date, the fitness capabilities still outstrips every other hardware/software combination I have tried. Not by a little. By a landslide. Being able to design, build, implement, and track my workouts is still beyond the grasp of anything else being offered. I now have a galaxy watch and appreciate the LTE capabilities and nfc... but as stated, it is not unreasonable that those would have been integrated. Yes. Yes. Yes. I held out as long as I could. I even bought an extra to keep using.
  • I had a band 2. It has huge potential but was flawed. The battery life was far too short. Because of that they changed the GPS so that it kept sleeping. That made the band useless for the primary reason I'd bought it of golf. The partners it had were poor. It didn't fully transfer data to runkeeper. The golf partner Taylor Made had absolutely no interest in updating courses. The band snapped and had to be replaced.
  • +1 for love the Band 2. It saddens me to see how many others did too. I still use MS products but am no longer an evangelist due to MS killing WM10, Band, Groove, Surface1&2, but no use complaining cause seems like they don't need us anymore as they make their money from cloud and don't care about consumers. Dreading the day my L950XL dies...
  • I would just think the quality of Band 2 was too bad and it was not something easy to fix so it had to stop production to prevent any futher loss.
  • Doesn't matter as Satya kills what Satya wants so opinions don't matter.
  • He only kills that which is losing money. Which, as CEO, is his job.
  • Hopeless simplification; if that were true, there'd be no need for a CEO - the accountants could run the store. A CEO must have vision. Did the Band not fit with Nadella's vision? Perhaps not, but the question is why?
  • With that simplification we should kill Uber, Spotify, and a slew of other companies that haven't made a dime in profit for an extended period. MS needs to look at consumer products as long term investments for the company, not as short term gains for stock holders.
  • He is intentionally chopping up everything innovative in the company and handing over its' marketshare to google.
  • It was way too expensive for what it delivered. Great concept, terrible execution.
  • Loved my Band 2, enough so that when the band broke (twice), I got replacements both times. Obviously, they needed to address the quality issues, but the product itself was a great start and would have only benefited from further iterations and releases.
  • Like many other MS products (that failed), the Band was only available in select markets. Lesson no. 1: In the tech sphere, always make sure your product is for everyone. If you don't, it'll be outcompeted by a rival that is, regardless of how good it is. The Band (and nearly every other wearable) is a niche product; keeping it supported would never have become the mess that the WP-exit ended as.
  • I will miss my band....
  • I still use ,every second week, either Band 1 or Band 2 and yep I needed to apply some duct tape to prevent it from falling apart, it looks ugly but I couldn't care less the software and functionality are still great....
  • Don't they kill everything too soon? They have this mentality now. If it's not an instant, run away success with minimal effort or an instant billion dollar business they're done with it
  • I was happy with my Band only initially, mainly because of the ecosystem integration.
    Here are my Microsoft Band 2 shortcomings:
    - The Bluetooth communication with windows 10 mobile was often unreliable
    - The GPS tracking was way slow and often bugged in the calculation of distance and speed
    - There was no way to export the outdoor sessions to, say, google earth
    - The battery didn't absolutely last enough for a normal MTB session
    - The barometer turned to be soon unreliable (common issue): the altitude was totally wrong
    - At the age of 1.5 years the band couldn't turn on anymore. Only after a useless assistance, I discovered by myself it was due to the charger death
    - At 2-2.5 years the battery had lost most of its capacity (it lasted 3 hours just in clock mode!)
    - At 2.5 years the rubber strip got almost completely torn in two points Yes, a little bit overpriced I guess.
    Now, IMHO this is the same story as windows mobile. It's obvious that, at some point, you decide when, a truly bad decision was made by Microsoft.
    Either they decide not to enter the market at all (prototype immature? engineering not expert enough? sector not strategical for the company? etc.) or, if they step into the arena, they HAVE to struggle and sacrifice until they are sure there's no room for improvement at all. Just like they did with Surface. Does anybody know if the first two Surface iterations were that remunerative? And what about the money earned so far with HoloLens? Finally, I think that, also in this blog, people fit the economic theme to the need of the discussion. The goal here is to justify the recent much criticized kills by Microsoft, and to hide the ideology in them. This is curious by the way cause blogs like this are suffering a lot for the Nadella's "no consumer" attitude. Do they not?
  • I loved my Band2, and thought it was a huge improvement over Band 1. I would have never considered another band until my third replacement. From there I went to Charge 2, Gear fit, S3, and Galaxy watch. I am happy with the latter as I can make and receive calls. If the Band eco system existed I'd probably be touting my Band 5 writing this response on it. :-/
  • There is still no fitness band that comes even close to the functionality, design and slick UI of the Band 2.
  • The demise of Microsoft Band and subsequently WinMo10 is why I will never again invest in any MS branded hardware
  • I had both the original and then Band 2. Microsoft should have stuck with the concept and shown the others how to do it. Anyway I now gave the Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire which is lightyears ahead of what the Band used to be. Who knows what it could have been like.
  • I use the B2 w/ 950XL and I have a backup B2.
    My question is what is the best approach to using the B2 in the post May 31 cutoff of the MS Health back-end?
    Certain "cloud" integrated features will no longer work. OK
    So I can turn off Bluetooth on the B2 device (better battery depletion w/BT off) and disconnect from the Bluetooth connected phone/Band application? Band app uses about 10% of phone battery daily so that depletion of the phone battery is gone now too.
    It is now a stand alone device and the sports/activity functions will work.
    Change the set clock to manual set.
    These are all more of questions rather than statements...am I forgetting something?
  • Yes, all the tracking stuff I fear it will sync no more on the phone. They developed the app at the apex of the "religious cloud" period, so that they didn't even allow any local sync.
    Speaking about the Bluetooth, I'd say there's no reason why they would remove the pairing and the notification process. You leave the app installed and you should keep receiving notifications on the band. Moreover, I'm sure the app package will be anyway available underground on xda or similar.
  • without a mobile companion device, it is doomed to fail. Yes, we can see Fitbit does it both for android and IOS without its own OS. Fitbit though does not rely on OS to function really well, but it works very well with both devices because it has superb app support. Something Microsoft has failed to do, even up to now. Even to their own 1st party apps. I mean new features comes to Android and IOS first before Windows does? Maybe that is not the case now since win mobile is dead LOL
  • The third-world execs at Microsoft are intentionally chopping up the company, reducing its' innovation and parting it out piece by piece to google. Hell, they aren't even disguising it anymore.
  • Having one on my arm I would say yes. Having a 950XL I would also say they killed W10m to soon...
  • Microsoft always releases product and then takes them away, I had the Zune and I loved it. And when they wasnt keeping up with the ipod they stopped the updates and put it on the self..
  • I am now using a Samsung Note8 and it is OK but I miss my Windows phone. Android is kind of a mess with the competing apps between Google, Samsung and Verizon all wanting you to use them to text, mail Etc. As for smartwatches, I loved my MS band 2 but it did fail twice. My new Fitbit watch is better than the first one from them but I would like more smartwatch capability and perhaps a little less fitness.
    I actually considered an Apple watch but they are overpriced and trap you into the Apple ecosystem so nope!!I would go back to an MS phone and/or smartwatch if they came out with one and provided some assurance that they would stick with it for a while.
  • I had both the Band and Band 2 and enjoyed the devices. They were much closer to a smart watch than anything the Fitbit has out at the time. My biggest complaint was the durability. The band would separate from the case and I had to have it replaced. The Band 2 was the first device with a built in altimeter that would map elevation on the application.
    I do miss my WM phone also. When attached to Bluetooth it would read text messages long before the feature was available on Android or IOS. It was easy to switch between apps long before Android and IOS added the features. The HP X3 was a good flagship phone. Had the application ecosystem been better WM would have been a force to compete with. Not having the financial applications turned out to be the deal killer for me.
  • I love you to see what surface team can do in wearable space
  • I love the Windows Band but it was an expensive piece of tech for what it did. They should've not add as many useless sensors that 0 apps used like that one that use the measure the sweat (it could've been use to measure blood pressure with a ~70% certainty). If they released the band with less sensors and make it cheaper it could've been a better buy. Also there's the fact that MS didnt even marketed as they should because aside from me, nobody knew that thing existed here in Puerto Rico lmao.
  • They totally should've stayed. If they could've replaced the rubber band with leather or metal it would've been a winner. Yes, I know there was tech inside the rubber but they could've moved it. I've owned three other smart watches since then and the MS Band 2 was still the best I've ever owned. The Garmin was nice, but kept losing connection. The Fossil was stylish, though the Google OS sucks balls, and the touch screen was unreliable. Now I'm onto a Samsung Gear Sport. So far so good, but I still would've preferred the OS that Microsoft had on the Band 2.
  • $250 is cheap. Every other decent smart watch out there goes for around $400. EDIT: Well, I'm talking $400 CAD which is about $300 USD.
  • *Shrug* It is gone, dead and buried. I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3 that is solid and reliable, even though it is not a Band. I just do not care about those things anymore, just so long as what I have lasts.
  • Y'all don't laugh but I'm actually still using my Band 1. The Band 2 bit the dust with a very cracked band and I tried to repair with very tight winds of extreme-tape which was the last nail in the coffin. So I dusted off the Band 1 and it's been working fine all year. My question is, where is the email? We're supposed to get a refund if we've still been using this device in December 2018?
  • I loved the big changes that came from the Microsoft Band to the Microsoft Band 2. I bought the Band 2 and enjoyed using it, so I was hoping to buy the refreshed Microsoft Band 3, and I was very sad to see the band line canceled completed. All they had to do was keep making improvements with the technology and have faith in their own product and they would have sold a lot of products, but instead they canceled it, never to return.