How the Microsoft Band will beat Apple's Watch

How will they accomplish this you ask? While Apple is diligently courting the elite, Microsoft is purposefully launching out into the deep, and they are aiming to commandeer the seas.

Today Apple is priming the masses for the Watch's maiden journey into the "waters of wearables" (see our coverage on iMore). Microsoft by contrast is more subtly and methodically building a system to immerse itself in the developing currents that are directing the wearables market.

All Aboard – Taking Shape

Microsoft's ambitious CEO Satya Nadella has his head in the cloud – and that is a good thing. He envisions a world where a user's experience exists in that ephemeral space "between" devices. To the typical user that space is an invisible "magical" place that is trusted to carry one's experience seamlessly across their connected devices that themselves act as a tangible portal to that immaterial realm.

To Microsoft, that space is the cloud that functions as an intelligent platform to store data from millions of users. The cloud can then process that data, interpret it and proactively communicates relevant and contextual information back to individual users in a meaningful way.

The Microsoft Band is endowed by the Redmond company with 10 sensors that collect external data that is processed in the cloud and delivered to users so that they can make consistently informed decisions about their health. The system is analogous to how our five senses collect visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile and gustatory (taste) input that is then communicated to our brains.

The persistently observant optical heart rate monitor continuously monitors a user's heart rate. The 3-axis accelerometer and gyrometer monitors a user's motions. GPS , which can work independent of the phone, collects data on a user's activities such as runs. The microphone listens for voice input. An ambient light sensor senses changes in lighting. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensors enables the device to "know" when it is being worn. The UV sensor perceives the UV index and providing valuable data for a user's protection from the sun's harmful rays. The skin temperature sensor keeps track of body temperature. The capacitive sensor allows the device to perceive a user's touch.

All 10 of these unique sensors have been developed by Microsoft and crafted purposefully into a single device. Those sensors create a continuous portal between a user's daily activities (from sleeping to the evening jog) and the cloud. The cloud is designed to provide a user with the support based on their unique health profile.

Positioned as a fitness band that is designed as a continuous support Microsoft touts that the Band lasts 2 days on a full charge. Combined with the relatively swift 1.5 hour recharge time, downtime, where the band is not actively serving a user is minimal. By crafting a device that does not demand extensive time away from the user Microsoft has built a fitness band that is well positioned to become a staple in a user's daily life.

This is a crucial component in the success of such a device. Not all devices provide this level of continuity as we will see.

The Shape of Things

Microsoft's wearable is a fitness band. It is not a watch, nor does it try to be. I wrote an earlier piece that analyzes in depth the contrasting positions between a band and a watch. In short, Microsoft designed a wearable whose form followed the desired function. What is the desired function?

As we have already mentioned the Band is designed to monitor a user's health and activities throughout the day and serve as a portal to Microsoft's intelligent cloud-based Health platform. What we have not discussed is the Bands ability to act as a window to the user's primary device. This design allows the user to field notifications, phone calls, and messages and to perform a host of other "Smartwatch" like tasks. All of this while retaining the form, market positioning and power consumption advantages of a fitness band.

This is where the Microsoft Band shines. In a market that is at yet undefined, where bands of various forms and smartwatches of numerous flavors have hit the market, consumers have not yet fully embraced either. There is still uncertainty in the market in which the masses have not embraced any wearable.

It is telling however that even regular watches as an accessory have fallen out of vogue. Most of the smartphone-toting masses have forgone the wristwatch deferring to their more than capable smart devices to pick up the duty of helping them to keep pace with the time. That watches are far less popular as an everyday accessory (than they were a couple of decades ago) is an inherent barrier to any wearable positioned in the market as a watch.

To entice users to embrace that long forsaken, arguably archaic, form factor many smartwatches may require a multitude of gimmicky tricks or luxury branding that come reduced operation time due to power constraints. Such reduced operation time inherently reduces the efficacy of any device that is also meant to monitor a user's health continuously.

According to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, the Apple Watch suffers just this problem. With regular use, it lasts half the time, one (1) day, of the Microsoft Band that lasts 2 days on a full charge (more like 30 hours). The Apple Watch also requires up to over three (3) times the recharge time of the Microsoft Band to replenish a charge. The Microsoft Band requires 1.5 hours where the Apple Watch ranges from 4-5 hours before it is ready for a full days use (although a recent report on TechCrunch suggest it may be as low as 2 hours).

It is easy to see where there will be lulls in the ability of the Apple Watch to keep consistent data for a user. If a user decided to recharge while they were asleep, then they forgo the touted sleep monitoring function. This is less of a challenge for a Microsoft Band wearer who could find a 1.5 hour recharge window much more quickly than an Apple Watch. The Microsoft Band can also do a fast-charge in 30 minutes, making recharging while in the shower ideal for most users.

Form Follows Function

Microsoft's choice to design a wearable where the form__followed function allowed the Redmond company a device that benefits from the strengths of a fitness band (such as lower power consumption) while also incorporating many of the features of a smartwatch. The fundamental functions that any consumer of either the Microsoft Band and or the Apple Watch are looking for is consistent health monitoring and the ability to field notifications from their phone. Microsoft's Band fulfills this expectation.

Apple seems to have followed the premise that if it is on the wrist then it is a watch. Consequently, the Apple Watches function appears to be following the form. Apple has been promoting numerous smartwatch functions that take advantage of the larger and higher quality display – functionality that goes beyond the basic consumer expectation of _consistent _health monitoring and fielding notifications and other alerts.

As a result of the Cupertino's company's desire (or need) to make use of that form the user will apparently suffer from extended time away from the device due to high power consumption. This extended downtime (compared to the Band) results in reduced health monitoring. This reduction is dangerous considering Apple's promotion of continuous health monitoring throughout the day including while one is asleep.

Though the market has not yet decided which way it will go with wearables it is clear that fitness bands have garnered more of the attention of the purchasing masses than smartwatches.  The public, to this point, have been speaking with their hard-earned cash on which form factor appeals more to them.

Microsoft with its Band was wise to meet the people where they are rather than try to persuade them to wear a device that they may not wish to wear. By entering the wearable space with a Band, they have come from a position that offers far less mental inertia to consumers than what Apple is doing. By presenting a category of device, a smartwatch, that requires enticing functionality that limits the effectiveness of fundamental features.

The Cupertino Effect

That said Apple is a marketing powerhouse and has exhibited a proven ability to tell people what they want and have them listen. It is clear that Apple's efforts to position the Watch as a luxury item, as evidenced in its 12 page spread in Vogue, and its high price, starting at $350. Apple is trying to entice people to want the Watch rather than meeting them where they are and fulfilling a demand. Without question because of Apple's brand their entry into this space adds credence to the wearable category. Those companies already present stand to benefit from the attention and validating the effect Apple's presence has on the market. Microsoft's recent restocking of Microsoft Bands three days before Apples March 9th, 2015 event is evidence of their awareness of this effect. The additional note that 765 Best Buy stores will also be selling the Band presumably before Apple's watch hits the market is also evidence that Microsoft is keenly aware of Apple's effect on the market.

Will people buy the Microsoft Band? Yes.

Will people buy the Apple Watch? Yes.

Microsoft, however, has invested in the form factor that has proven most successful in the industry thus far and has created an aspirational item. This design choice shows what a fitness band is capable of in its core functionality as well as more advanced "smartwatch" like functions without forsaking an advantageous form factor.

Smarter than the Average Band

Unlike many bands on the market Microsoft's decidedly positioned aspirational device incorporates much of the functionality found on a smartwatch. In addition to fielding smartphone alerts and notifications, the home screen is customizable. The Band allows for productivity and social media integration. It is open to third party developers. It has an intelligent keyboard, a quick read function and Cortana, Microsoft's popular personal assistant is integrated with the device (for Windows Phone users). The Microsoft Band is a powerful and reliable health agent which also provides guided workouts, and it fulfills the consumer need for monitoring and navigating one's smart device without the inconvenience of consistently retrieving it from your pocket.

Silver Lining

Microsoft's Cloud-based Health platform is a key component in Microsoft's strategy to provide users with relevant health data. The Band is simply the portal, or interface, to that platform. Apple has a health platform (as does Google). However, only Microsoft's Health platform is device and services agnostic allowing it to be used by all other OEMs with other health monitoring devices/services. This strategy positions Microsoft to be the platform that powers a myriad assortment of wearables across the industry. As partners join with Microsoft, the Redmond company becomes the current upon which diverse OEM devices flow.

Selling devices, though desirable, is not the ultimate goal for Microsoft. Microsoft Health and cloud-based computing is.

Making Sense

The 10 sensors that give the Microsoft Band its perceptive powers are also a means by which Microsoft is extending its reach into the depths of the wearable space. Microsoft has announced that the sensor technology can be licensed by other OEMs and implemented in their brand of wearable tech. So with the introduction of a fitness based wearable, Microsoft has exhibited an express investment in the fitness focused, space. Via the Band they have opened a portal to any OEM, who wishes to use their Health platform.  Via a multifaceted approach to influence the wearable space they have also provided sensor technology that may also find its way intricately interwoven throughout the wearable industry as OEMs license the technology.

Microsoft would rather own the ocean we are in than the boat we are on.

Apple Watch uses proprietary technology that is limited only to the Apple ecosystem. Apples Health platform too precludes the use of non-Apple devices such as a Windows or Android phones.

Altogether Now

Unlike Apple Watch, the Microsoft Band is cross-platform. Microsoft, in line with their cloud first, mobile first model has made the Microsoft Band a wearable that anyone who is locked into any ecosystem can freely use and benefit from. Android, iOS, and Windows users can all share the health benefits and many of the smartwatch like benefits the Band offers.

This open access allows Microsoft to permeate the wearable space in such a way that they lay the foundations to be a key player in mobile health.

The Price is Right

Whereas Apple is apparently intentionally targeting a price point that positions their device at the high end of the market at $350, Microsoft's $199 price point makes the Band a more accessible option.

Many consumers whose attention are drawn to the wearable space by Apple's undeniable marketing power may find that even the lowest cost Apple Watch is beyond their reach. The Microsoft fitness Band, which performs all of the necessary health and notification functions as the Apple Watch, is simply more affordable.

Though working hard with partners from various disciplines Apple may have a difficult time, trying to carve out a niche market at the Watch end of the wearable space, where cost is a factor. Apple has proven successful in convincing people that their products deserve the premium price tag. This is the direction Apple appears to be going with the Apple Watch to differentiate it from the competition.

The profound challenge for Apple in this space is the dichotomy of form factors that exist within the area vying for acceptance. The fitness band or smartwatch product space is still as yet undefined and generally unaccepted by the masses.

I believe Microsoft's comprehensive, swift, open and collaborative approach to a relatively affordable fitness focused (in form and function) wearable positions them to better define the category to the masses via partnerships. This will further marginalize Apple to a very narrow portion of the wearable space – luxury smartwatches within a closed ecosystem. With the profit margins Apple would garner in that space this would not be entirely bad for Apple. However, it does leave the rest of the space- a gigantic area- potentially well positioned to be greatly influenced by Microsoft's efforts to be the platform for wearables.

Own the Ocean

Microsoft has positioned itself to be a partner with the multitude of players in Wearables. The Microsoft Band is positioned to beat the Apple watch. Not the Band itself but what the Band achieves. It has acted as the tool to introduce an ecosystem of health services, sensor technology and functional form factor to a growing industry of fitness trackers and health-focused smart wearables.

Microsoft's highly visible partnership with Fitbit and their cross promotion of Lumia and Fitbit devices is an initial example of what Microsoft's goals may be in  regard to collaborations with those in the industry. By supporting other players in the space, Microsoft nurtures a relationship that may potentially see more of their technology and services integrated with the devices of the OEMS with whom they partner.

By presenting themselves as an open platform to the various players in the industry via the Band and the combination of services and technologies it represents, Microsoft positions themselves to potentially permeate multiple layers of the wearable space. Own the ocean.

Yes this strategy positions the Band to beat the Apple watch. As the wearable space (further spurred by Apple's entry) begins to grow, Microsoft's deliberate positioning of itself as the platform for all gives the Redmond company a potentially ubiquitous presence and industry influence. An ocean of opportunity if you will that over time Apple's niche space cannot rival

I may be wrong. Then again, I may be right. Either way let's not get caught up in Apples glitz and glam. Let's be smart and watch.

Jason Ward

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Microsoft's potential here is huge as is Apple's. Let's see how this all plays out over the next 12 months. Cost will certainly play in, as Apple's Watch will have "new and improved" versions every year. People already have tablet fatigue (they do not upgrade yearly or bi-yearly like their smartphone), so it will be interesting to see if people want a new watch every year too. Wearables still have a long, long way to go before hitting mass appeal, but we are getting there. Microsoft is definitely playing the long-term game here with their open Health platform. The Band is merely one, small part in that equation.
  • Ya know.. ill tell ya, I watched the live event when they announced the watch. They said the watch will have all these "new" features (which actually have been around a while) but did not say one word about battery life, or if it even keeps good time as a watch, anything along the lines of simplicity...
  • They say you'd need to charge the watch nightly. Just that lol
  • ouch.  i guess the watch wont be covering your sleeping pattern
  • Apple is trying to put too many things on this.  Iheard the battery is 18 hrs, so you can forget about sleep tracking because you know, you have to charge the watch and your cellphone at night. Lol.    I'm disappointed that people will eat this up again just because its apple.
  • Yeh that's incredibly lame... Apple in general leads people to become narcissistic even though the product there buying is made so cheaply and not innovative at all. Like people are voluntarily tripping off a cliff...
  • I'm pretty sure you could put an apple logo on a turd and people would buy it.
  • Honestly, if it was officially released by Apple, yes they would, no doubt.
  • I bought a wireless charger fro my 928.  At night I set the phone on the charger and go to sleep.  The phone is my alarm.  My phone is fully charged and I am ready for the day.  I suspect that Microsft will release version 2 before the xmas selling season.  The expansion of its distribution system (retailers and international) is a step in the right direction.  Apple has an international distribution as well (they sell alot of phones all over the world). Will FitBit license the sensor package?  Will Intel deliver a low power 14nm chip?  The form factor of the Band allows for a larger battery, hence longer run time.  But if you turn on the GPS your battery life (as with all fitness devices) suffers.
  • they did say plenty about battery life and if you go to imore it is detailed out 
  • I was referring to the event when they originally announced the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, not today's event.
  • Yes, apparently the watch will last 18hrs under optimal conditions. Less than a day. Even less with more intense usage.
  • It's a tough battle of course. But the problem is, Apple's fans doesn't care if there's another product (of the same type) out there. They're are usually blind and the Apple logo it's the only thing that matters. Yes, it is stupid, but that's how I see around here.
  • That's true... And, Apple will actually run a seriously strong, and relentless, marketing campaign to further solidify their fans faith in their products....
    MS has learned this with Surface, but we'll have to see if they do the same for Lumia devices, and the band... You better keep your fingers crossed.
  • Apple doesn't have to and rarely do commercials.
  • Wow, I see Apple ads everywhere! You don’t?
  • What❓ Are you outside the U.S.❓❓
  • Oh, so the three iPad commercials I've seen on TV today, two more radio spots on my drive to work, and the relentless web ads and they "don't have to and rarely" advertise? Here, they are so overdone people are starting to say they advertise way too much...
  • Exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly, exactly X1K..
    Why can't MS have this rate of marketing? This amount of marketing❓❓❓
  • I've seen Lumias on three TV shows lately, but no commercial during those shows. Seems like a half-baked strategy.
  • That's dumb... Marketing is really a huge problem.... Lets hope they do something good with W10.
  • We have been hoping that Microsoft will pick up on advertising its new products since a long time. I doubt it will happen with Windows 10 either. Also, cant compare with Apple - as Apple has a lot more money they are sitting on. Their big problem now is how do they spend that.
  • Well, MS has plenty of money to do better with advertising.. Plenty...
    It just depends on how serious they want to get with mobile.. But, there's no excuse if they plan to succeed.
  • Im with you on this one rodneyej! But it's not just marketing, availability would be a huge concern too. I'm pretty sure that even if Apple will take 3 years to realase their watch in my country, I could still get it here via gray markets as long as it's available in the US. As for the Microsoft Band? Nope, still nowhere to be found here even on gray markets.
  • Lol.. That's what I keep trying to get some of you to understand... Availability is part of marketing... Everything from planning which markets get what device, to TV ads, to working with carriers, to training store associates,, is all part of marketing... Once that device leaves the factory anything that determines if, and how, it gets into a customers pocket is marketing....
    Lol❗ That's what is funny, and also sad, about how much I mention marketing.... I'm saying that generally MS has dropped the ball on marketing for the last 5 years.... Every aspect of it is f###ed. Lol.
  • Really?,I managed to get one shipped from the states to NZ. Had to go through quite a few sellers on eBay to find someone that would, but it was well worth it.
  • Based on what you had to do to get it,, what do you mean, really❓
  • commercials != marketing. Apple does marketing in everything they do, that is what others need to learn.
  • Lol, in Sweden is there apple adds everwhere. Never ever seen any Microsoft adds
  • Really?
  • Unfortunately, the band has been out for sometime now, yet no one past the US knows about it except avid tech followers such as us, while by tomorrow even my grandma will know about the Apple Watch. MS seriously takes far too long in releasing products abroad, let alone make ppl aware of their existence. A friend of mine was keen on buying a sports band device recently and even though his tech knowledge is quite good, he knew nothing about the MS band and was intrigued when i told him about it, so he asked the reps at Virgin about it and they said they know nothing about it, then a bright one appeared and mentioned it's great but they have no news when they will be receiving any. I find this to be a shame as I believe this is partially what allows MS lose ground to it's competitors. There is a world outside the US that also appreciates innovation and latest products.
  • You sir are exactly right.... MS has no idea how to market products... This must change fast.
  • @abduz I'd love to see a strong marketing push by MS and broader availability. I am excited that they will be in Best Buy stores this month.
  • I agreeee.
  • @jasonward @rodneyej Here's hoping they do realize this especially after the Nokia purchase since Nokia was very big on international awareness. The Best Buy deal,is definitely great for the US but unfortunately it's doing nothing for them abroad. Im keen on getting my hands on one but when I heard there was different sizes, i decided it's best to wait and try it on first the looks of things the Band 2 will be out before i can even see the current Band.
  • Didn't you know that the US is for beta testing❓
  • Lol it would seem so but we'd like to beta test things that come in a pretty package too! ...on that note, I guess I should be glad that Im not perceived as a hamster =p
  • Well apple users do compare things!! But it must be something like this:
    You have iphone 6 32gb!!! Well I have 6 64gb hah!!!
  • They cry when they saw my 1020 ;)
  • Coz you scratched off Apple logo from 1020 ;D
  • The 1020 isn't even for sale anymore... It didn't make waves with market share when it was for sale, and the average consumer doesn't even know what a 1020 is.....
    On the other hand, even the simplest iPhone beats the dog shit out of the best WP device every damn time... It hast terrific support, and nobody ever says that it's dead.....
    Why would any Apple fan feel threatened enough by a "1020", whatever that is,, to cry❓
  • Ditto. It's never about the product features or quality. This is the same reason you see so many people out there willing to pay out the *** for BEATS by Dre when there's vastly superior Sennheisers/Audio Technicas out there... and why BEATS+Apple were such a great match for each other. Anyone can make a better product than Apple does... and many do. But Apple knows how to work the market and create iconic mainstays better than any other OEM. That's a field in which Microsoft is doing horribly, and even if the Microsoft Band is better, it cannot and will not be more successful than the Apple Watch until they learn Apple's PR secrets.
  • PR and devout fans doing this lol
  • Just do your part and don't buy in to the hype.
    I'm going to buy some $300 Sennheiser's now. There is no secret. It's just a blind following and those people are just incapable of accessing the better options and researching on their own. Apple targets these people. The consumers that are not tech savvy. Just the way it is.
  • My sarcasm sensor is a little off today, after you seriously going to spend $300 on Sennheiser earphones? I'd you are it (and you weren't being sarcastic etc lol) then may I recommend "Mrspeakers Mad Dog" headphones instead. They'll blow anything else at the price point out of the water, especially if you get a Fiio X5 dac and a Project Ember amp too!!
  • True.. True.
  • Can I quote you on that❓
  • Apple has a strong ecosystem that it hopes to extend to wearables.  They are not interested in the mass market.  Apple commands about 30% of smartphones sales globally versus Microsofts 3 percent.  How many iPhone users will buy the watch?  10%? 30%?  10% equals millions of sales.  10% of the Windows Phones sales represents 100,000s of sales.    Will Win10 grow Microsofts sales?  Will low-mid range phone sales push Microsft into Androids market?  Yes.  Will Window Phones push into Apples sales?  NOt likely.
  • I think the iPad comparison is the most relevant. It was something that sold in huge numbers at first (which I didn't expect at all), but once the familiarity set in, and people realized that they didn't need the latest and greatest for that use, sales plateued. I think you're right that this will be similar in this category as well (if it even gets to that level of adoption in the first place).
  • Yeah, the tablet story is really fascinating how that worked out. I think what Jason is saying here is that because this is literally a watch, it is much more self-limiting for sales or interest to people. So many people do not even wear a watch anymore, it is kind of a weird thing to get them back into. Plus, I don't get the high cost. I'm not talking the $350 version, which I can see many people getting. I'm talking the $1k and higher ones. If I buy a mechanical $500 watch, it will still be amazing in 20 years. Can't say the same for an Apple Watch, which will naturally lose (tech) value within a year or two.
  • Daniel...... As we've seen time, and time before, if nobody knows about it then it won't sell... Lumia devices have been arguably better than iPhones for years, and that has never made a difference.. No matter how good MS products are it'll never make a difference if the average consumer doesn't know they exist.....
    So, besides MS making the band literally, and technically, more functional than the iWatch, or whatever it's called, what else needs to happen for it to be successful❓❓........... Now, after years of us dealing with this, especially here in the US, lets not fool ourselves.... The one thing that worries every MS fan about whether the band will ever sell in significant amounts is if it will be properly marketed, or not...... Seriously, lets be honest with ourselves on this one.
  • they dont exist to average consumers because they literally dont exist. just now they started to advertise around UK. half a year ago you really had to search for WP devices in oder to find any in stores .
  • Lol❗ Right.... That's always been the problem....
    Like Daniel said,, marketing is easy to fix,,, and we all know that... The question is why wont they do it❓ Why does MS refuse to sell their products❓
  • Because Apple has a patent on advertising. xD
  • Yeah.. Really.
  • Good luck finding any WP devices in Verizon longer available in-store, only online.
  • Exactly... That's part of the marketing problem right there..
  • Once again, you are wrong, and just plain delusionally negative. for once, just once actually search for WP adds. There has been tons of them, from TV commercials, billboards, product placement in movies and TV. In the Bay Area (nor Cal) I have seen more WP adds than anything else. You have convinced yourself that "you know what the problem is", and you refuse to accept that you are wrong. After years of dealing with what? The Band is only sold in the US, there has been no ads about it (since you covet that so mush) yet they sell out everytime they are announced. With little or no mention of them, MS stores can't keep them on shelves. So WTF is really wrong??
    It's time for you to be honest with yourself for once... your constant cry's for marketing are way off base, UNLESS you mean when someone (in the US) walks into a carrier stor for a phone and they push a WP in their face instead of android. Because that is a bigger issue than any other form of "marketing". And since you mentioned "every MS fan", I personally am not in a race or competition. I know what's better for me so I research and spend accordingliy. I have a Band despite no marketing, and am not worried about who else has one.
    MS had been a software company for the most part. How often do you see that "marketed"? And take a look at their success in that arena before you convince yourself that their products don't sell.
  • I agree with you to a point. The problem isn't really the amount of marketing, at least not on TV or in print/Internet. Every other ad on TV seemed to be for Windows or Windows Phone for a while. Other channels such as subway, bus, billboards etc, I don't know about, since I live in a city where those things are virtually nonexistent, and as for product placement in movies, I think (sadly) most people assume it's one of those fake "only in movies" OSs/phones, since they have never actually SEEN one of those in the stores! Which brings me to the real problems: the content of the ads (those stupid celebrity ads and the dumb dancers...!), and even more the fact that the ad campaigns aren't followed by store availability. What if we saw Coke ads everywhere, but when we went to the store to buy soda, only Pepsi was available? Doesn't matter how much Coke advertised... we wouldn't buy it.
  • Where are you located❓❓
  • The availability of WP has been there though. I mean with the exception of carrier exclusives (which are unacceptable). But we're talking tech devices here. The average person who buys smartphones these days aren't on sites like this commenting or even visiting. They walk into a store, they tell someone what they'd like to be able to do, and someone pushes a device in their face. We can speculate all day as to *why* they push android or whatever, but that's what happens to the AVERAGE person. Ads only go so far. 
    Again, I see more WP ads than anything else... by FAR! Has it helped? Is it really the answer? If you know people like I do, they will buy whatever they are told to buy. So I stand by what I say, if carriers (in the US) pushed WP we wouldn't be talking about this.  The Band is what it is, and I still say despite "nobody knowing it exists", they can't keep it on the shelves.  But I guess this is where the weak minded insist they only sell a few at a time. 
  • MS doesn't advertise like they should. Any given day I will see a FitBit ad, am UpBand and a Garmin tracker ad, but MS Band? Nothing. Just like so many times before, MS isn't advertising. Like Lumias - MS relies on the carriers, no direct advertising themselves. Apple does most of their ads, with only a small percentage being by carriers or retailers. If MS starts direct advertising, it Can only do good things like with the Surface Pro 3.
  • Exactly..
  •   Looking back at these comments is honestly entertaining. When has Lumia devices ever been considered better than the iP..? The only people that would agree with that are the blind Windows loyalist that talk about Apple fans following blindly. Everyone sees the Lumia when they walk into their service provider's store to upgrade, they just don't want them. Period. I stumbled upon this by doing a search for comparing Apple Watch and Microsoft Band, and it was worth it, truly worth it   Signed, An Android fan......       
  • For the pricier versions of the Apple Watch, I think that Cupertino is going after the very high end market, where dropping $5K on a watch that will be outdated in a couple of years, is nothing at all to them. Tim Cook is a very savvy guy; I'm sure he knows that Joe Average won't be buying $5000-Apple Watches. But those products do create an undeniable halo effect around the product category, and the overall brand.
  • The ecosystem is the key.  Yes Apple is the best at marketing.  But the product provides people with value.  I still refer to my wife and kids, which have an iPhone.  Will they upgrade to the iPhone 6?  They havent even tought about it and they are happy with the iPhone5.  Same with my wifes iPad.  I think hers is over 3 years old.  All the marketing in the world will not entice an upgrade when the existing product works great.  In a month we will see if Apple can grow iPad sales (they have fallen about 15% the last two quarters (versus previous year earlier quarters).  Will Microsft continue to see strong Surface sales growth?  Microsft is working off a low base so the comparison is not really valid. Did you all see the Intel keynote address at IDF 15?  The skyoake wth 3D realsense is compelling.  Not more stupid password typing.
  • Yeah, but maybe many users want to get rid of their phones and want to have everything on their wrist. Me, I'm not scared of a tiny display or potential use of a pen like back in win mobile times
  • But are people going to spend $350 minimum (presuming Apple don't budge on pricing, most likely they wont) every year on a watch?
    That is the question in play here.
  • I would rather save that amount for 2 years and and buy a flagship!!
  • So the Apple crap watch cost 350? I'd rather get a 640 & 640 XL.
  • The power density of a watch cannot perform the same level of work as a smartphone.  Not to mention a much smaller screen.  How are you going to type a lengthy text message?
  • I knew someone would answer this... Look at galaxy gear s... The screen is not much smaller than old win mobile 6 phones. I see no problem of putting a small pen in the watch for fast writing messages. And about power you're wrong again. Low end hardware fits in such small device.
  • Think I'll wait for the Band v2.  They need to make it waterproof or least resistant for the shower.  They also need get that optical sensor off the wrist and put it on the outside.  Optical reading works best from your fingertips.  It would slim down the band and make it a bit more comfortable as well as save battery plus increase accuracy.
  • Me too.. Plus they should also think about incorporating charging through pulse as a backup charging know...v2 with more features....
  • Actually Microsoft needs to make all Lumia phones water resistant. Far too long have they been non resistant
  • Agree. I was psyched that I used my Band for >2 months and then sold it on eBay for $5 more than I paid for it. I at least learned that the water-resistance isn't quite there yet: on long runs in Texas autumn weathers, it simply couldn't parse my input once my hands were sweaty. And the web-facing app wasn't ready for prime time compared to offerings like Endomondo, Garmin Connect, or even MyFitnessPal. But it's clear that MSFT is knocking it out of the park with this device, and the continued development in the last few weeks shows they're in it to win it. Can't wait to see what Band v2.0 brings to the table!
  • That would be nice. For me, I just want a small form and low profile while keeping the same screen size. 
  • At first, I thought not being able to wear my Band in the shower would be a big problem.  I've worn a watch in the shower almost my entire life.  But, I've found that my morning hygiene routine is a great time to charge the device.  It's almost enough to keep me from having to charge it at any other time.
  • I agree over your point Daniel but there's an unnecessary apple's domination of devices over the people. Only few of them care to think for the devices they're buying, rest just buy 'Apple' without even knowing what they're buying. I still think that Microsoft need a workout to build the trust with people again to boost their sales over their products that are relatively better than similar apple products.
  • So, what do you suggest they do❓
  • Here in the UK everyone seems to be aware of Cortana and Surface and I think that's because of short, simple to the point ads on TV. There is also poster ads as well. .... So your looking for an answer like above, maybe❔
  • I can believe that... Even in the US marketing for Surface is really good... Cortana❓ Well, it could be much better... But, for WP as a whole, NO❗
    It's really WP, and the Band, that I'm mostly concerned with.
  • You know that might be tiny bit easy if all the app developers actually regularly update (and updating good) their apps with good user reliable features as they do on other platforms..... THIS IS one of the major reasons why our WINDOWS PHONE platform suffers..... WHICH IS A SHAME ON DEVELOPERS!!!!!
  • MS reputation got tarnished from OEMs selling computers preloaded with tons of bloat ware that would run very poorly. Then there is the viruses that also tarnished their rep. Apple got the reputation that it just works. MS has a lot of work ahead to clean it's rep in the U.S.
  • I can't see people shelling out £300 for a watch plus £5-700 for a phone every year either. If anything it might dent iPhone sales if consumers switch to alternating new phone and new watch.    The thing is, I think enough of the shine has come off the Apple (hoho) for people invested in other platforms to see the Watch as a bit of a slap in the face. A £300 watch that I need to get an iPhone for if I want to use it? So, £800, not £300 for people new to the ecosystem. Why would you bother when you can get the Band, or indeed any other multiplatform wearable (that also tells time), for less. It needs to have some unbelievable USP for that kind of investment.    I have no doubt it will sell, the number of iPhone users is huge. But, most people can afford iPhones only through monthly contracts and if they can afford to buy them outright then it's the only big purchase they're making for a while. I'm not convinced the market for these watches is as big or as financially well endowed as Apple seems to think. 
  • Well I think they are pricing the watch on the same belief that people will buy them because they bought iPhone 6(/6plus) after purchasing 5s...
  • Just purchased my Microsoft band. Their a link on PC world that send you to Microsoft and allows you to put your order in
  • There's also one on a forum on Windows Central
  • Apple brand itself is a enough for the overwhelming overwhelming sale. I don't want to say it but I not going to happen.
  • slow down MSFT fan boy ... I have msft band too ... and its the worst quality. Its so difficult to view anything on the band ... look at Apple's watch definitely looks elegant, they are on course to crush competition
  • Now you slow down Apple fan boy. Comparing a smartwatch to a band?(display size)
  • well I have msft band ... and its piece of crap ... its verticle on your wrist and information is horizontal. How awesome design it is 
  • How did you manage to put it on "vertically" on your wrist?
  • It makes sense if you wear it with the "face" on the underside of your wrist. It does make it more susceptible to scratching though.
  • You bought Apple's watch already and compared them? Wow!!!
  • This is why Microsoft is dangerous. They are comfortable in playing the long game which is what they are doing with Windows phone, Health Platform and Xbox as well as a host of other technologies.
  • Thats true, my 10yo laptop can still run win10 very smoothly. I whish, i could say the same for my win phone 7. The second generation models were killed after a semester of life.
  • Yeah, I was super bummed that my brand new Lumia 800 didn't even get an update that enabled basic features like rotation lock and the ability to take screenshots. That was unexpected and super disappointing.
  • When they make the band as visually appealing as it is functionally appealing they'll have a better shot. They also need to market the thing.
  • Exactly Daniel. It's not so much about the device itself but what it opens the door to. Which is Microsoft's intent to integrate themselves into various layers of the wearable space via their Health Platform, licensed sensor tech that will (hopefully) find it's way into devices from other OEMs throughout the industry, the influence of the Band as an aspirational device to inspire similar form and function in the band arena and strong partnerships with OEMs such as their relationship with FitBIt. It's definitely a long play. Not something that we'll see pan out in the immediate future but a powerful strategy if all their ducks line up and they add sufficient marketing support and distribution. :-)
  • How could this possibly beat the Apple ? The Apple Watch is actually going to be available, this isn't. Why did this post as a reply? Odd.
  • But I can't buy one.
  • There is one thing that the article does not consider: "Apps".- The iWatch will have more and better apps than any other device. That can make it sell more than any band and can turn any ecuation.- I do not like apple products. But I think the "apps" thing is a big thing since the first ipod started to change everything, and is the thing that will continue to change everything. Anything else does not matter
  • If MS potential in the wearables market is as huge as Apples, why do they have less confidence in it than you do?  Apple has put the full weight of the brand behind the watch and MS doesn't even have the confidence to produce it in mass.   The Apple Watch sales will easily eclipse the MS Band sales in the first week alone.  How does this play into MS strategy?
  • I get your logic, but Apple Watch is going to sell like crazy.  It's a fashion statement more then a watch.  Kids, adults, and whomever else will eat this up.  I had no interest in Apple Watch, but the form facter and bands are really attractive.  Apple gets that watches have always been more fashion statements then function.  MS is very, very smart by following the sports watch crowd which is going to be huge, just not Apple Watch huge.  I really, really hope I'm wrong...
  • Unfortunately a lot of people will get the watch because of the Apple brand.  They could care less if it has less function.  They will be able to show off that they have the apple watch.  I saw posts like "I wonder what my new watch will be able to do".  They already decided they are buying it before the press event.
  • Daniel - I'm sorry this has to be said, but you mentioned the MS health platform, and the article talked about the capabilities and promises of the platform as a whole - but what exactly have they done in the last (almost half year) that the band and the platform have been out? Out of all the promises - telling you what to eat or not eat to get you the best rest/workout etc - what exactly have they done to actually start ticking off those promises boxes? I understand this is WINDOWS central, and I know where your loyalties lie, but this is an honest to god joke so far. Maybe I'm saying this as a somewhat disappointed band owner, or maybe more as a spurned surface 2 owner (which I'm typing this on now), or maybe I'm thinking about my Lumia 900 and how it was abandoned. Point is, MSFT has a history of making promises and not even coming close to addressing or delivering on them. That's why I'm not even all that excited for W10 for phones, same crap we've always heard - wait till Apollo, wait til WP8 8, wait til WP8.1 - it's really gotten effing old.
  • Daniel do you not think it clear to most by now that there’s more than something amiss between Microdot’s Sales and Marketing departments. I cannot for the life of me understand how they have not understood that clearly there is a real market, not just for wearables, but moreso for what I would wager to be customers’ natural preference to the aesthetic of a “watch”, especially for something so personable as is to be worn on one’s wrist. So why, instead of developing only the band simply as a “demonstration” of their wearable platform to be experimented in the hope that some partner would then develop a worthy product, have they not instead developed their own Windows watch on the same platform?? The only issues they’d need to sort out are the actual “watch” interfaces (very easy to do) and the hardware (again very easy to address). A well designed, aesthetically pleasing watch running Microsoft wearable platform, compatible with both Windows, iOS and Android would be a killer. And surely, the added functionality to be had with Windows 10 and Windows 10 for phone on such a device would help sway even the most diehard of iOS and Android users? If Microsoft hadn’t made the move with the Surface line of products, OEMs would not have cued. They seem to be making the same mistake by omission now with “wearables”. So Microsoft, I do not ever wish to buy an Apple product let alone an iwatch. If Huawei can do, surely MSFT can. Amongst a slew of new devices I'm due, I will be buying the band later in the year and would have preferred something with the same functionality, but more special. Now Microsoft, where is my Microsoft watch???
  • Very well said. They are both great devices and they both have a place in the marketplace.  I don't know why one has to trump over the other, like this article, is trying to create a war between the two platforms. They can coexist, some people will buy the apple watch, others will buy the microsoft band and others will buy android wear or samsung, etc.  There doesn't have to be one dominator in the marketspace, when will people get that through their heads? 
  • Waiting for Microsoft band to launch in India.
  • Good luck.
  • Wen in India?
  • Worldwide I would say.
  • Yeah everywhere.
  • It won't happen if they don't get it in stock!
  • You know you can reply directly toward someone instead of posting a whole other comment.
  • Worth a separate post I think. These legendary wearables are pretty mythical even in the US. Outside they are all but vaporware. Even if they do rock up, most of us will need to wait until they produce a version that doesn't scratch the screen to hell upon rubbing against your sleeve. I love the idea of the MS band, which is great because an idea is all it is. It is notable that MS included a wearable with my 930. It was from Fitbit though, presumably because their own MS band is just not available. Very telling.
  • Just because of perception, Apple watch will sell like crazy for no reason
  • Yes and no. I think the high price will affect some users adopting it. Watches are very personal things. Also, the iPhone-only thing is a bummer. It will make Apple money, but since it is a close system that is higher cost, it will naturally limit itself versus Microsoft's more open Health platform.
  • I also think the actual USE of it will die off rather quickly due to the constant charging. In theory, it's not a big deal. In reality... it's a but of a hassle. Even an extra half day makes a difference for usability. My Fitbit Flex only needs charging every 5 or 6 days, and it still feels like a lit, for a device that I'm supposed to WEAR (for a phone it's different, it's not meant to be worn in the same way).  
  • Note that it will be a one day battery life on the day of buying, will be even less after a year. I'll be glad to see all those sad faces from people with black screens on their wrist in the afternoon.
  • I'm not 100% sure about it's fitness capabilities, but it looks a bit too bulky, or uncomfortable for that.
  • I look forward to watching the Apple Spring forward event and observing Apples Marketing push for the Watch in the coming weeks and months. But it seems that they have backed off a bit on the Health focus that they initially drove pretty hard with and are focusing it seems on other aspects of the Watch. My early presumption if that turns out to be the case is likely associated with the power constraints inherent in continuous health monitoring. If aspects of ones health are to be monitored continuously throughout the day that inherently requires a bit of power. Apple naturally wouldn't want to push a use that may boomerang into dissatisfied consumers as the Watch lasts less time than consumers expect. Marketing masters. They've seemed to shifted the focus a bit to less power hungry, less consistent and more sporadic uses of the watch. Again it's still early and I haven't seen the streamed event (saw one ad) and more TV spots will be hitting the mainstream. Very curious to see if their focus has actually shifted a bit.
  • It's still tough because the cult of Mac really sets in here. I think this may go down the path of the iPad. I expect at least 2-4 million units quarterly sales here. Call me crazy, but I think the market of watches will become less and less personal since Apple consumers purchase for fun and less for need. If it would be for need, they wouldn't be buy Apple!
  • Yes, but most people have never even heard of the band or any other smartwatch out there now for that matter, while the Apple watch will probably be on CNN, like the iPhone 6/6 plus were, which also have outrageous price tags
  • I've often wondered, if the iPhone had never been subsidized on US carriers and people had to pay full price for them as in other parts of the world, would they have enjoyed the success they currently have? If that had been the case I think Apple's phone marketshare would be about the same as their computer marketshare - minimal.
  • Oh, they would definitely be a niche phone if it hadn't been for the contract model. Until the small changes in the market recently, it rarely mattered if a phone cost $800 or $200, the monhtly cost was the same anyway (and the initial cost varied only by around $200 or so). It made no sense to get the cheaper phone, it actually meant you were getting ripped off by the carriers. The iPhone was helped IMMENSELY by this.
  • So true!!
  • I have to disagree a little bit. Marketing, brand trust and quality matter the most. People buy keeping in mind what is advertised. Out of sight is out of mind nowadays. This is the reason why Lumias having double the features/hardware and half the price than iPhones do not sell. I bet most of the people in the world don't know what is a Lumia. Microsoft should get serious with everything and cover its loopholes as soon as possible otherwise it won't have a nice time. No room for mistakes now.
  • Hey do not forget quality of apps... They are THE major reason why people reject wp platform... Because Microsoft's (and also previously Nokia's) brand trust, quality product has always been and is a USP for the brand.. People vie for Apple products because if we are honest it is a luxury which people can afford in down payments... And there are always people who'd go go for luxury rather than functionality... So I think that and the rich and quality app-ecosystem of Apple sells it...
  • Agreed.
  • high prices never affecting people buying Iphones .... so will the watch 
  • But it wont attract new customers who are happy with their devices..that's for sure... I mean seriously even, if you do think about purchasing an Apple watch for $350(and you are not an Apple user)... You can't even use it without and those people will will drop the idea straight away
  • As the watch only works with an iPhone, if you don't have one, you are looking at a $1000 investment. Also, not sure if older iPhones will support the watch.
  • Apparently it will be only the 5 series and nothing below that, which is a given imo.
  • Hahaha no.
  • You have not made a very convincing counter-argument to the proposal laid out here.
  • Apple does not need the external ecosystems. Not at all. Their ecosystem is large enough to sustain the watch sales. Therefore, the fact that it requires an iPhone becomes irrelevant.
    And as I pointed in a comment below, Apple will throw money behind this product to have it recognized. There should not be waiting lines (at least not for long) for a watch considering the fact that it's far less "vital" than a phone these days but, it doesn't mean it won't sell. One thing though, the Apple watch sales will obliterate the Microsoft Band sales. Day one probably.  
  • iPhones are helped by the carrier subsidy for the masses to not feel the pinch in the budget. We need to see how the Apple watch will be sold :-)
  • the product doesn't matter.  Does one have an apple and the other is a microsoft product?  nuff said.  I love microsoft. But they're beat. 
  • Cheif says no u
  • That's the same thing I was thinking.....
    We know most likely marketing will flop,, giving yet another terrific MS product no chance of relevance.....
    Sad attitude to have, but I'm a realist.. I hope MS proves me wrong.
  • Well the Band is not officially available out of the US... so there is that...
  • That was my exact same reponse!
  • The media literati have no interest in the Microsoft band! All of them will be fawning over the iwatch no matter how limited and underwhelming it turned out to be
  • Absolutely. The mainstream press is barely aware that Apple is actually LAST to market. Read tripe like for example. It's written as if Apple just invented this category. They have no idea that competing products already exist and are used every day by lots of people. In the case of the Microsoft Band, that's understandable (it is nowhere to be found in regular stores, per the usual Microsoft sales "strategy"), but Samsung Gear is everywhere, and they STILL don't seem to know.
  • Speaking of Samsungs watches since they switched to tizen there not locked to ios/Android but necessarily but Samsung just has to make an app for it to work on wp
  • And....the apple watch gets awards before being released....
  • Don't you think they missed moto360 launch? Because after this post I really think they did!!
  • Maybe, but I've been reading a number of articles that are somewhat skeptical. Even Huff Post has expressed doubt about how useful the Appple Watch is and its costs.
  • Acer Leap is an option too, for 79e: :)
  • What about Android Wear? Loads of wearables have already been released by Samsung, LG, Motorola and the platform will reportedly soon work with iOS too.
  • Only if it is significantly smaller, offers the same funcitonality, same or better battery life, and costs under $100.  That is a lot of 'ifs' away from success... and even if they succeed in market penetration it does not mean they will make any money moving into this market in force with such a low price tag.
  • Tablets were available ages before the iPad but its the iPad that made tablets popular. So sometimes doesn't matter what came before, sales wise anyway.
  • Maybe if Microsoft Band will actually be for sale somewhere. If Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad are any indication, the Apple Watch will be everywhere. Microsoft can't even get their phones out in non-corporate carrier stores.
  • This is more long term outlook/planning than immediate sales. I mean, I get it, many of you here are just like the tech media: you can only see 6 weeks ahead, nothing more. However, I think when looking at long term strategies, Microsoft could be in a better position, which is what the main thesis of this editorial is about.
  • Yes insult your readers and competition in one fell swoop mwuhahahahahaha!!!
  • Not really meant as an insult, more just a shortsightedness ;) Humans are biased towards short-term news, which is why global climate change is such a hard sell to the masses.
  • Nice example Dan..!!
  • Not sure where all this is going but Microsoft seem more interested in ubiquitous software than hardware. Perhaps the shortsightedness is in us not seeing that, idk⁉
  • I agree with the general thesis of the article, but I think it both downplays Apple's incredibly efficient marketing AND overstates Microsoft's ability to put the Band into stores where people go. Apple can be selective, Microsoft will need to blanket the sales space, and as I said, judging by how phones are sold in stores (or rather, not), I'm doubtful that Microsoft can get this thing into people's hands. IMO. I have been completely wrong before. :)
  • Well said! Actually, that's the best comment I've seen before.... You're exactly right, and I agree 100000000000000000%
  • Problem with Microsoft and their long term strategies is that buyers arent going to wait and Microsoft actually takes so long to get there that they themselves abandon the strategy. In the meantime apple racks up sales, profits and locks in the mindshare that their product is the only one worth having while Microsoft stands in the corner waving their hands trying to get people to notice them. Thats the reality of their long term strategies to date in the consumer realm.
  • Long term strategy is just a cover up for MS always being behind the curve, and late..
    It's not a very reasonable excuse if it has to be used time, after time, and we still never see any results...... Excuses, excuses.. Sick of it.
  • Ok so how is this not a long term strategy? Because from what I see this would reduce non-knowledge about its products among people and they might consider it for a change.....
  • Best Buy will be selling the Band. It was in an article on here earlier.
  • It is also mentioned in this article. Technically, Best Buy also sold Windows Phones for the last few years. They were right over there, the 521 hanging on the shelf by the Huawei prepaid Androids. Although for the past couple of months, my Best Buy has had a tiny little AT&T section (3 phones) with WP. Off to the side, and absolutely dwarfed by the Android and iPhone displays, but still, it's better than before.
  • Totally agree.
    There is selling and there is selling, on paper they are the same thing but in reality not so much. As having a few plastic models, hidden away in the back room, faulty display units or a itty bitty display is not really "selling" is it?? Lol....
  • Actually, if you go look at iMore, the apple watch will only be available thru apple, then maybe nordsturm's. So MS getting the band in best buy stores is definitely a plus, even if it isn't all of them
  • Microsofts marketing on the band sucks,as usual. 99/100 have never heard of it, and you would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn't know about the apple watch.
  • You do realize that is actually easy to change? Microsoft could do a press event for a new Band, start an advertising campaign, mass produce, etc. However, it is not all about the Band itself, it is about the technology behind it, Microsoft Health, etc.
  • Thats the sad part. It is easy to change.
  • Well, as I've noted before, Microsoft is being cautious here for a few reasons. One, wearables do not yet have mass appeal. It is also an undefined category. I believe Microsoft is testing the waters, seeing what works, what doesn't and will go back to the drawing board. They thought they knew what people wanted with Surface and Surface RT. It was only with SP3 did they finally start getting the right formula. This category will take time and it will be a lot of misses with a few hits. We just need to be a little patient ;)
  • You are right!
  • And when they are back at the drawing board.....Apple and others will be out with other better options. I won't be surprised if Google or Apple announces a HoloLens type tech of their own next hour..!! And if SP3 has hit the right mark.....Then why ain't selling in more than 20 nations outta 200 or so..????
  • The difference is that Apple does a better job getting closer to right the first time than anyone else (not 100% of the time but better track record than others).  They take their time and don't usually put something out prematurely. MS is cautious because they don't have that much confidence in their device.  Apple has enough confidence in their device that they feel that it WILL have mass appeal and define a currently "undefined category".  By the time MS goes back to the drawing board Apple would have acheived such a huge market share with supporting apps, Apple Pay partners, etc that MS will never be able to catch up. I think the SP3 is so good because of Panos and his team are passionate and quite frankly the only people at MS I'm truly impressed with.  If he could have the same role at MS that Jony Ive does at Apple that would make me excited.  
  • Lol!!! That's exactly right.. Don't fall for the usual false hope.... This thing simply will not do well if nobody knows about it... Period, point blank.
  • They haven't had to market it. It's flown off the shelves as fast as they can stock it. Seems to me it's better from a perspective point to have a hard to find item folks want than massive numbers on the shelves.
  • Yes, the 5 bands have flown off shelves onto the 5 crazed MS fans wrists....
    Lol... Don't fool yourself, dude.
  • How to buy microsoft band in India?
  • Really? Not again...
  • It will never end...
  • Its called eBay
  • Idk, due to the non-availability in europe.
  • Agreed, I would be interested in getting one but I can't. It reminds be of the Zune situation.
  • Due to the non-availability period..that will immediately allow the Apple Watch to "win"
  • If it was available in Europe (Sweden to be specific) I probably would have one. I could import one, but that would probably end up really expensive due to import taxes and such. They need to expand their "market", which seems to only include North America and India (generally). There's basically no WP devices available, and if there is, there's like 3 models, and they're removed after a couple of months. My 1520 is almost a year old, and its still the "flagship", but no store or service provider is selling them, but they sell iPhone 4s still... That needs to change if ANY device is to be really successful.
  • Stop dreaming. It will not. First, if Microsoft believed even just a bit in this product, it wouldn't have released it a Friday night at 23h30 without even the smallest press conference. Second, if Microsoft believed in the Band, they would have tried to lauch it globally. We're several months after release and the only thing that changed since the US only release it that we learned Best Buy may have them in store. US only. Third, Microsoft forgot 2 very important things with this product. The viewing area scratches easily and it is not water resistant. For a product destined to active people, this is a critical mistake. Fourth, Microsoft did not throw significant amount of money to make it visible. And it won't. It never does. Apple, to the contrary, will pour significant funds to make people believe theirs is fantastic. Even if it is not. No, the Microsoft Band won't dent the Apple watch sales because Microsoft does not really believe in it. Yet.
  • Exactly..... It's about time you guys realize that Marketing is super critical...
    Sad that nobody here has faith in that department....
  • Its the Zune all over again. No global availability, no marketing, despite being superior.
  • Heck, it's Lumia all over again❗ Terrific devices, poor marketing❗❗ You guys better start suggesting for MS to elevate their marketing persistence.
  • I just got my Band and love it at the moment. The apple watch will be the new chick in town because its bright and colorful and its "Apple". The Band is simple it tracks fitness and health while also being able to use Cortana, get notifications and send texts. That's all I need a watch to do. I mean if I need to do more either pull out my phone or make a Google glass equivalent.
  • As much as I'd like for you to be right, you really really wrong. MS will dump the band like it did the Zune.  
  • My thoughts exactly.
  • Don't really think so, I imagine the second generation would most likely run the IOT version of Windows 10.
  • Should we let it properly launch first?
  • Apparently, no need to:
  • Those are some seaworthy metaphors there. Yarr.
  • Yeah it wasn't a pleasure to read that's for sure...
  • Guess that the Apple watch will come with a taste of lemon... :P
  • "Let's be smart and watch" - did you do a little victory dance after writing this?
  • If the Microsoft band wasn't so ugly
  • Looks are subjective, my Microsoft Band looks great to me and coordinates perfectly with my attire, whether business or casual. Looks even better in real life. I wouldn't wear a regular watch that looks like an Apple Watch so I definitely would not wear a smartwatch that looks like the Apple Watch and does less for me than my Band does. Could the Band look better, yes, thinner, yes, choice of materials yes, better scratch resistance yes but in my eyes, it looks great in person when worn. We all have our own set of eyes and mind to process what we see so there isn't anything wrong with what you said. It all depends on form over function. The Samsung Gear Fit is sleeker but it also does less and has less sensors and does not house 2 batteries.  Basically it is the same trade off for form over function until the technology is small enough to not lose function while keeping the form factor/looks that you desire.
  • To own the ocean can it at least be waterproof? Pun aside, Microsoft has a good case here.
  • You can say all this and more, buy the isheeps will blindly buy millions of those watches and apple will still make profits
  • Honestly, if the band had an Apple logo on it, it would be hailed as the greatest invention in the history of mankind. Whatever Apple comes out with in a few weeks will be hailed as "magical". Why? Because it's Apple.
    Furthermore, how long until Microsoft dumps it like they do with lots of other good stuff.
  • Very true. Microsoft are trying their best with Windows 10 to crank the coolness up to 11!! They're dealing with a company that puts style above substance!
  • Apple tv comes to mind as a product they just didn't understand how people wanted to use it
  • One simple but very important factor apple has over Microsoft is availability. If you cant buy the band what good does it do having more sensors and other stuff? Plus how many people even know about the band apart from tech savvy users while the apple watch will be plastered everywhere. Really not sure what crystal ball the author is using but the band will not beat the apple watch in any way and definitely not the most important, sales.
  • I think Microsoft's slow and limited release of the band was intentional. I would not be surprised if the slimmer band that people want (mark II) is the version that gets the global release.
  • Why? And based on what, just hope?
  • Based on its a wearable. Still a new and untapped product to many millions round the world. Frustrating as it is (I live in the UK) I do believe that they're taking their time with this one and for good reason.
  • I'm sorry, but I disagree, the problems is the trend, no matter how bad the Apple watch is, it will definitely sell better than the Microsoft band, the reason? Apple is a trend, a fashion, whereas Microsoft isn't, everyone seems to hate Microsoft, sad but true
  • Agreed...but unless microsoft can ship it to counties that will buy will again dominate.. Products from apple are available globally.. select us locations to a few lucky people
  • Hope they bundle the band with their upcoming flagship smartphone not just to one country but wherever they find potential customers
  • MSFT fanboy here. this article is so deranged. the Band is so huge and ugly and you are touting its "form factor?" jeez. you can't even wear it face-up. I owned one for nearly a month and just couldn't take it anymore.
  • "You can't even wear it face-up"? Speak for yourself, I wear mines face up all the time. What you mean? Maybe your wrist are deformed or something...
  • Literal LOL!!!
  • The thing in which apple watch will outpace MS band is distribution of their watch globally where as MS is behaving like a child , only US".
    A big f""k to MS on this strategy.
    An apple a day keeps the MS fans away.
  • Hmm, the Apple watch will be promoted as a status symbol. I don't see any distinguishing thing about the watch from other smartwatches. There's no Apple logo to show off which may turn some Apple fans off.
  • It won't. Neither will succeed.
  • I think the Apple watch will sell a whole lot better than the Band but I think your right, the Apple watch will ultimatly be a flop also.
  • Can't even buy the thing anywhere. Secondly, I think the fate of the band is linked heavily to the windows phone. The latter, as things look now, is dying a slow death. And what answer do we get? The ability to put wallpapers on the start screen, rearranged settings menu, Spartan, and office. Horsesh*t. Stuff that should've been addressed a long time ago.
    We keep saying Microsoft COULD do this, and do that to change it. They dont though. They continue to misfire with the windows phone. And their big misfire with the band is non existent marketing, and hardly being available to buy in the US, let alone it being released elsewhere.
    The same constant missteps from Microsoft.
    I genuinely think they're on crack sometimes.
  • Microsoft band looks better and its cheaper
  • Excellent, well thought out article.
  • But, who will know about it❓ Lol.
  • Spread it around. ;) I already sent the article AND a link to iMore to my coworkers in IT. It is funny to get emails back that range from "Haters Gonna Hate" to "OMG THE APPLE WATCH PRICE!!!" and "I'm keeping my Band". I just provide information. :) Hmmmm...I should start signing my emails as "The Informant"
  • Great enthusiasm... But, unfortunately we've already learned with WP that MS relying on it's fans to advertise their products is seriously ZERO match for Apple, Samsung, or Google's terrific, well thought out, persistent, and relentless marketing......
    The only thing that will work is if MS has terrific, well thought out, persistent, and relentless marketing, the likes of which we've never seen... Or why even try....
  • Hard to beat the cult of Apple. I know people clamoring for an Apple Watch knowing nothing about them. They just love everything Apple and can't wait.
  • Ehm read the comments here post again. It's the same for all platforms and its "fans".
  • I'll have to disagree here. I love MS, but I don't love them blindly. MS have made tons of mistake, which Apple used to their advantage on many product levels. You snooze, you lose, and MS have snoozed ever so much since Windows 98. Hopefully it will change with their new open-minded CEO, but that remains to be seen. It's looking good, but I've only seen the reaction between fellow Windows fans so far, with is not entirely biased.
  • You are being WATCHed...
  • Honestly I see the Apple Watch taking an Apple TV role. It will do what it does pretty well but it will never be a huge seller. In fact, it may even do worse because of it'spform factor and battery life. Needless to say, i think this will be the one product category that APple is unable to set ablaze, as much as everyone is expecting them to. 
  • Meanwhile.... Can't find a band to buy anywhere! Had a family member who works for Microsoft get one since some were reserved for them about 3 weeks back.... Still no word. Microsoft may have a great product on paper, but if i can't even buy it for 3 months straight, the paper might might as well be toilet paper.
  • LOL, but true❗
  • So many things about this article... Before having even read it in it's entirety, I find impossible to hold out commenting! Apple catering to the elite? MS aiming for everyone? Lol! IPhones abound despite their price. Half of all smartphones here in Denmark are iPhones! It's a fair guess quite a few of their loyal followers are going to fork out for the Watch as well. In contrast, fitness bands are truly for the elite, or at least the minority who are either active enough or geeky enough to don a fashion-killing rubber bracelet. Paired with the extremely clunky design of the Band and it's many limitations (not least it's ridiculous scarcity and lack of global Cortana support), I don't see it taking off at all after the initial dust has settled...
  • Worldwide Apple has 19% of the smartphone market, that leaves 81% of the smartphone market for Microsoft to target.
  • Now if I could just get Mocrosoft to sell me one...
  • Come on men, public awareness is still own by apple ,, msft should focus on marketing this product no one knows what the hell is msft band!! So there's no how to beat apple, its how can you show the people why this is better
  • Well, ignoring the fact that the article tries to compare Apples with Oranges, here's what brings everything down: Will people buy the Apple Watch? Yes. "Will people buy the Microsoft Band? NO.   Why? Well, maybe because 99% of us can't. Not only is the Band just a fitness band, the Band is a US-only thing (as is customary with Microsoft), even in the US it's hard to get. Guess what? I can bet if I want an iWatch I will be able to buy it anywhere in Europe, in stores and through Apple's own website. I can't even do that for most of Microsoft's own offerings.   The Band doesn't compete with the iWatch. It will never compete. The competitors to the iWatch are Android Wear smartwatches like the G Watch R, Watch Urbane, Moto 360 etc. Those are the ones that will be competing with the iWatch. And they'll likely win because, well, the iWatch only works with other iCrap. Unlike other smartwatches (Android Wear or not) that can be made to work with iOS and Android (and even Windows Phone sometimes). Well, that and they're much MUCH better designed, have a hell of a lot more functionality and better battery lifes.   The Microsoft Band is just another fitness band. And a US-exclusive one at that. At best it could compete with FitBit. Nothing else.
  • I would have to agree with you, and I would have to file this under marketing....
  • That second paragraph hits the nail right on the head. The Band can't compete because 99% of us can't get our hands on it without paying an extortionate amount to have it imported.
  • Thanks for the response DJCBS. And my post is exactly that point of not being an exact device to device Apple competitor:-). In a wearables market that is at yet not clearly defined as to what the mass of consumers will find appealing, Microsoft's earlier entry with a wearable that is a fitness band with capabilities that one would look for on a smartwatch at a cheaper price than Apples least expensive model, with 10 hardware innovations which MS opens to OEM partners and a Health platform supporting the band AND third party MS partners marketing their own devices, Microsoft is in a very powerful position to be a powerful influencer to DEFINE, an as yet undefined space, shaping what consumers will want/ expect from a wearable. :-) I won't waste your precious time repeating the position I posit in that the "Watch" marketing position and form factor may not be the position that resonates with the market. Fitness bands, of various forms, after all are very popular, more popular I'd argue than smartwatchs such as the Gear and Pebble. That fact, and the fact that people as a whole are not generally wearing watches (regular watches) makes the Apple watch an uphill battle against the inertia of a mindset that people don't GENRALLY wear watches. Apples going to want to change that thought. They may or may not succeed. But at a price point that is prohibative for many, a mass market influence on a prominent mindset that at this point in history has more or less forsaken the wristwatch I think might be tough even for Apple. MS on the other hand is meeting the masses where they are. Folks are buying fitness bands. MS gave the masses a band. But wait theres more! They gave them a Band with many Smartwatch features, and they built a Health platform open to all ecosystems and devices, and they introduced 10 sensors that they are offering to the nascent wearables industry through licensing. A direct Band to Watch comparison is Apples to Oranges yes. Yet, what the Band introduced to the industry and how it acted as the harbinger for Microsoft's play to become the platform for Wearables through partnerships, ubiquitous cloud services and technologies that can conceivalbly be expected to be found in Wearables across the industry - all resulting in a profound Microsoft presence and influence in this growing arena - no, that's not Apples to Oranges. Apple wants to steer the direction of Wearbles via it's influence. Microsoft wants to steer the direction of wearables via a real Cloud, licensing and partnering presence in the arena. I could be wrong. Time will tell. (Pun intended :-))
  • Apple's watch will flop for the same reason Google Glass flopped: anyone caught wearing that ridiculous thing on their body in public is going to look like a total tool.
  • No way is it in the same league. I've seen several people with Samsung Gear and various other devices, and this doesn't look that different.
  • Google Glass was an extreme comparison, admittedly, but I still say the Apple watch looks ridiculous. If you're going to wear a watch, wear a watch.
  • Waterproof the dang thing already. Make it scratch proof as possible.
  • Not. A. Single. Chance.
  • I agree. Microsoft had 6 months to make the market. They didn't manage to make the Band available even in the US. Microsoft is to silent. I have trouble understanding why, if it's so easy to fix, they don't fix the marketing. Just a related example, as its highly relevant for the Band: any journalist knows Apple and Google health solutions. Microsoft isn't mentioned in the same context. The others tout their excellence everywhere. Microsoft doesn't. I just don't understand why they are so quiet and don't do the marketing so that it for once and for all the benefits of their innovation becomes clear to everyone. By the time Microsoft has finished the nth iteration of the Band, and is ready to big launch, Apple is moving the wearables where it suits them. And that's not where Microsoft wants it.
  • I think you should seperate this word in the title "beat" to" be at" :)
  • Then it would make no sense.
  • Yes it do it will change to" how Microsoft band will be at apple's watch" signifies that they will be in the apple company crying and want ideas for their own band.
  • Over 75 Million iPhone 6 units have been sold in the last 3 months. Even if only 10% of those people buy the Apple Watch, that's several million Watch units that Apple will move. I doubt the MS Band or any other wearable will approach those sales numbers. Price will only play to Apple's advantage. They know how to sell expensive stuff. And people, whether they can afford it or not, gotta have it. MS is not a brand with the "must have" appeal of Apple. If MS intends to move millions of Band units (and I'm not sure that's their primary goal), they have to do two things first: 1. Make the Band pretty (hey I've been wearing one since day 1, but let's be honest - it's kinda ugly). 2. Market Band and Health like crazy like they did with the Surface Pro 3. Out of the gate Apple's got Microsoft beat on 1 and 2 above.
  • You missed: 3. Worldwide availability. Apple will have them beat on that as well.
  • True, and confirmed: Apple Watch will be available in several countries on day 1. As MJF said once, Microsoft has a terrible habit of over-correcting. They got burned with the Surface 2013 write-off (several unsold units). Now they're too afreaid to produce too much stock so they make things that are barely available to unavailable.
  • It is also announced by apple that heart sensor was removed because of technical issues it wil be for iSlaves not for other it wil surely be for 349$.. & I know Microsoft got the potential but lacks kinetic. I hope windows 10 will revolutionize windows phone.
  • If this was $100...
  • Let me start off by saying I disklike anything Apple, but to suggest Microsoft will win over Apple with their watch is completely ludicrous.  Since when has Microsoft beat Apple at anything lately?  How about iPod vs Zune? - Massive failure.  How about iPhone vs Windows Phone? - Massive failure.  How about iPad vs Surface? Massive failure.  Microsoft has no chance in the smartwatch category either.
  • Whilst iPad sales have been consistently decreasing Surface sales have been consistently increasing. Surfaces are not released in anywhere near the same number of markets. ...... Microsoft don't make smartwatchs❔❓
  • There is a difference here - MS is not catching up to an established product category here as they have with the others you mention. On the other hand there is public perception and momentum in mobile. Apple is "cool" ans MS is not. As you have illustrated, most people wont really look at the Band and give it a fair chance because in their mind Microsoft = fail.
  • At the end of the day Apple will sell millions while only tech enthusiasts know about the Band.
  • Yeah.. but exclusive to US only.. I think the world wanna try that piece of tech..
  • It won't be a absolute rip off for a start
  • Jason, very interesting article! As much I tend to at emotional level stronly dislike Apple (to put it a bit mildly): 1) Beat how? Financially or volume, some other, over what time frame? 2) "Most of the smartphone-toting masses have forgone the wristwatch deferring to their more than capable smart devices to pick up the duty of helping them to keep pace with the time."  Really? Do you happen to have data that would show that is indeed the case for most of the masses? 3) "Microsoft with its Band was wise to meet the people where they are rather than try to persuade them to wear a device that they may not wish to wear."  Perhaps. While there is merit to this, the weakness of this argument is that people, as you yourself pointed out, or perhaps not yet anywhere, generally/significant volumes speaking. MS may be courting the "real" wearablesc(smallish but growing) crowd. Apple may be courting the watch wearing (massive) crowd, and specifically the iOS ecosystem smitten type.. Kinda going back to point 2 above. Oh and I have no doubt Apple sees cloud as the future too. The two companies are taking a very different angle at all of this and it is in my view too early tell which one will "beat" the other - more likely to me seems that Apple will make good money on the watch and keep improving it and strenghtening its family of devices and services and apps and the loyal following. MS will likely also be succesful, but as ever with a more diverse offering and likely less religious fervor in the mix. :P :D ;)      
  • I for one will be buying the Band as soon as BestBuy starts stocking it. Can't wait to pair it with my Icon. Microsoft has priced this perfectly. At 199 it's a no brainer for me. Any higher and I am suddenly not so sure.
  • That is one advantage it has...
  • Nothing is going to replace my Tag Heuer.
  • Terrific marketing = Sale
    Poor marketing = No sale......
    End of story..
    This goes for any, and everything, from cheese to curtains..... This is not rocket science, people.
  • True, most ppl I meet don't know what wp is. Or what a surface is.
  • And, how could they❓ Microsoft makes great products, but they don't want anyone to have them.. IDK why.
  • I've never bought curtains and buy whatever cheese is on sale or what is locally made. It comes down to quality. With the flood of tech stuff sheep will realize this some day.
  • Sheep will never realize anything.... They will always just make up excuses and find counter arguments like "WP is higher quality".... Lol.
    I'm not talking about you.. Just being funny.
  • While this all sounds nice and good it'll be interesting to see what happens in reality.  I understand that MS is really selling MS Health and not so much the band but the other bands out there already have their own software, it makes you think who are they hoping to sell MS Health to?  I went to my benefits web site and they support about 8 different apps for activity tracking...none of them microsoft. It seems that a smarter idea would have been to release the band/MS Health and let the users sell it.  If the band sells well, or demand is good then really start trumpeting MS Health.  With the latest announcements it almost seems like they didn't know the band was in demand and woke up when they heard about the Apple launch event.  Maybe they were making deals/ waiting on production, but thinking about how Apple's touch pay went basically mainstream in months while MS/Google Wallet was generally ignored it may not make a difference. Either way my band is ordered and (hopefully) will be on the way soon.
  • While what the article says is true there is one thing working against the MS Band, worldwide availability and that's something the Apple Watch WILL have going for it. The saddest thing is that it seems like the MS Band will turn out to be another Zune, only released in the US when they could have released it worldwide and gained a much bigger userbase.
  • The apple watch is the only device that stands half a chance as a success, and that success will be short lived.
    As I see it the market is divided up into 2 large categories. One is made of those looking for a premium device that only Apple will really be able to provide, and the other is the commodity market which fit bit already has saturated. The idea that there could be a successful midrange device between $100-250 is a joke. MS will either need to cut the price below $100, or make a device worth paying well over $250 for (and sell it under a brand that has the clout to push such an expensive device). The other issue here is that people do not want watches, or any other wearables for that matter. Yes, some people still wear them, but it is typically a status symbol or jewelry rather than a utility device. And even then it is a device you wear when you go out rather than something you keep on 24/7 like an activity tracker. I happen to be at the library right now and I can see ~20 people. There are a few women with earrings, and one man wearing a watch, and not a single one of them under the age of 50. Just where is this wearable's market everyone is hoping will come out of the woodwork for these devices? 20 years ago everyone wore a watch, and many people wore multiple items of jewelry, and more than 50% of the population wore glasses (either for vision correction or sunglasses). But look how things have changed! Practically nobody under the age of 30 wears a watch of any kind. Jewelry is out of fashion in almost all age ranges, and when worn it is worn with minimalism. Many people who wear corrective lenses have moved to contacts if at all possible (or even resorted to eye surgery), and people generally only keep a pair of sunglasses in the car while driving. Everything points to the fact that wearables are not only not longer in vogue, but are becoming increasingly unacceptable by modern standards and norms. This is a market that is about 50 years too late to really become a thing. The few people who want a trendy device with some 'smarts' will put up with whatever shortcomings are bundled with the iWatch at any cost, and everyone else will get an affordable fitness tracker that they will put on when exercising (just like people wear sunglasses only when driving). The result is going to be that Apple will make money hand over fist with low market penetration, and a few companies will eek by with minimal profits and high penetration. The thing is that MS knows this. If they wanted to then they are perfectly capable of making watches by the millions. The reason that they don't is because they know that there are not millions of customers available for their product no matter how refined it gets. The only exception to this is going to be when we can get such technology embedded into our bodies. If laser eye surgery has taught us anything it is that people are willing to put up with a very uncomfortable surgery and pay good money if it means they can have more 'life utility' and avoid wearables. If someone wants into the next big thing then they need to move into home automation. There is a huge demand for better efficiency, comfort, security, and convenience that is simply not filled (at least not at an affordable price). MS (or someone) needs to come up with a cheap affordable controller device that is both secure and runs an open standard that can run a front-end on any computer or portable device, and which 3rd parties can develop for with minimal up-front costs. MS could do this, and they have made a few moves in this direction, but nobody had really put big effort into this space yet (other than google, and even they seem lukewarm on it). But everyone is hoping wearables are the next big thing, and it is going to be a big money pit.
  • What you have are not facts but small observations. If you went out and did some real market research, completely unbiased to your hypothesis, and brought some good data then I could jump on your arguement but as of now, I say there is a need to for MSFT to get into this market and understand and dominate it.
  • Sounds like the same argument was in circulation about tablets until the iPad hit. Same argument against large phones and phablets, until the Note hit etc etc.
  • I will not buy the iwatch and for me the only point Microsoft missed is waterproof that's the only reason I'm not getting it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yeah right
  • I understand that there may be a leg up for Microsoft Band, but its not going to beat Apple Watch. This is why and its a simple explanation. Apple has a huge market share, their watches look like fancy watches. Most people who have iPhone would want to match it with an Apple watch. Apple will market the hell out of the watch which is what Microsoft lack's. There will be alot of uses. Lot of app support which Microsoft lacks. People tend to be like sheep, they will gravitate to Apple Watch because that is the trend. Apple does not find anything from Microsoft a threat.
  • I still want a Surface watch. Keep the band for the prospective market but give the rest of us who wear watches something to replace what we enjoy wearing around our wrist. But the tech and software within it, should be relevant for at least 4-5 years. that would make it more worth it. still don't want a smart watch until it can go through a 5-7 day no charge period and is completly water-proof.
  • +Surface Phone
    +Surface Watch
  • +Surface Car
    +Surface TV
    +Surface Sound System
    +Surface Xbox
  • I, too, would love to see a surface watch.
  • As much as I love this site and Microsoft products in general, let's be real here for a second.  The Apple Watch is going to outsell the Microsoft Band (or whatever Microsoft's equivalent is in the future) by something ludicrous like 10 to 1.  Why?  Because it's an Apple product.  No matter how much better a competitor's product is, no matter how much earlier to market a competitor's product is, people fawn over Apple products like they're the second coming.  Trust me, this fact drives me crazy to no end.  I've gotten people to try Windows Phones and Androids many, many times and the response is always the same.  "It seems great, but I'm going to stick with an iPhone."  The only Microsoft device that seems to win these people over is my Surface Pro 3 (because it's just that damned sexy). Apple's marketing department got them deeply entrenched in people's minds a long time ago, and it's incredibly difficult to overcome that, even with things like cross-platform compatibility.  People just don't seem that concerned with being stuck in the Apple ecosystem (despite my best efforts to highlight the dangers of this).
  • The iwatch will make people want to wear watches again. Wait and see
  • They both will sale. Which will sale more will be seen. Celebrities will get a Apple watch because well the have something most people don't which is money. Plus they will be the ones marketing and buying in mass quantities. But stastically thats a small percentage of humans.The MS band however is easier to aquire for $199 and works with all platforms. I'm pretty sure MS will actually do "some" marketing on the band. Wouldn't make sense not to if they are planning to put them in Best Buy. MS has a lot of successful products. The band will be successful overall. Will it sell more than a Apple watch, well its possible. Apple is catering to the wealthy not the average joe. MS is catering to anyone who wants something that works for a great price. Same with the Surface Pro 3. I'm pretty sure those are selling more than Macs at this point. All of the comments here seem to be bitter because the lack of marketing and apps on windows phone.  Just maybe with whatever new Win 10 phone they are working on they can get it right. MS has shown so far when they make hardware its on point. Surface Pro, Xbox, and the band are all quailty products. Hopefully their first phone will be a breakthrough. Only time will tell. But anyway the band will sell really well and the apple watch will too only because they play to their strenghts expensive and highly commercialized products.
  • Think I will wait for this sale❗
  • Microsoft needs a more market-ready solution. The current Band (which I own) is nice, but it's still on the bulky side and doesn't seem like something you would push to most consumers. There needs to be a device that is thinner, a more responsive screen (think fast and fluid), more features and just attractive. Just maintain the $199 price-point.
  • True Microsoft does need to MARKET the Band and get it in front of the public eye. Definitely. The imminent launch in Best Buy stores will help this. In order for what I posit Microsoft's larger play to materialize: to become the platform for wearable's via thier cloud based Health services and the licensing of thier sensor tech, and ultimately influencing other heath tracker OEMs to adopt form and function the aspirational MS Band demonstrates, consumers will need to know about the MS Band. Microsoft built a great "platform" for thier long play, they now need to ramp up marketing and availability.
  • Is this some kind of joke? Microsoft band against apple watch!! Its not even a smartwatch, design is probably the worst in the world. At least apple watch looks good..
  • Looks good but limited functionality and over priced. That's the point, no joke❗❗
  • "Lets be smart and watch."  ...stop it.
  • And "waters of wearable's and Microsoft owns the ocean"
    Brilliant article, Jason Ward should be a copywriter, lots of facts, vision and humour too. Love it.
  • I agree, I was never interested in a smart watch, yet, I loved watches. When Microsoft Band hit, I said "wow" a sweet fitness tracker that kinda did some smart things. The fact that the Band is all about health, and does some cool things to keep me in line with notifications, it's absolutely amazing. I like the fitness tracker look rather than the watch look, and rarely take it off...third party app potential is also very awesome to look forward to.
  • An excellent article. Thanks. It appears that this is one area into which MS is quite in time for the party.
  • If MS started stocking up for Xmas or even blackfriday and introduced additional markets like Europe, then the reception the iwatch would have gotten would have been a resounding"meh". But no, no one that doesn't follow tech has a clue the band even exists. They have made a mountain out of a mole hill for them to climb over, when they could have been plumped a mountain for the iwatch to climb over and boy it would have struggled.
  • Excellent article and...seemed like the longest ever on WC❓
  • Probably apple watch will launch worldwide... And ms band is only still available on US...
  • I've seen more than enough evidence that shows consumers will buy Apple products without doing any research. There are very few reasons to buy iStuff over other competitor products, but sheeple dutifully run to the trough. The bottom line for me is that I've lost 22lbs so far using the MS Band. For fitness and smart watch functions, no other device can compete.
  • Ugh I hate how Apple could release something and it sells like crazy regardless of price. We all,know this thing is going to sell like crazy. Microsoft needs to move fast to get thing into as many markets as possible
  • The thing is Apple has a cult-like, brainwashed following. That's not something any company would want to imitate. MS are doing things a different way, in a more solid way. They are offering solid products and services, open standards, hardware that can work with other OSs, etc. That is the way to build something that will last. Apple's Smartwatch is a trinket, a gimmick to the already converted. Let's see who has one in a couple of years.
  • Saturn had the same cult following with birthday cards for their cars... Look where that got them.
  • Some people are attached to their watches and it would be hard for them to start using another "watch". The way the Band is positioning itself will make it much easier for those people to adopt it.
  • Great article, very well thought out analysis. I'm left with some key concepts. The one about form and function and basically Apple having the power to sell whatever they put out to their fans. Which brings to question the real utility of their smartwatch (any smartwatch). It's a gimmick. It's something you buy to show off, you don't need it. On the other hand, people do buy and use health monitoring bands. MS's is the top one.
  • Seriously, the apple watch is so ugly.
  • Haha, one word. Zune. Microsoft are releasing only in the USA and can't even manufacture enough for one market. I mean I've bought one from outside the USA, I had to use a VPN, a shipping forwarder, and region switch my phone and tablet to download the apps. I expect to be able to buy an apple watch locally, with ease. Microsoft aren't beating anyone, once again they had a head start and blew it. ​ ​ ​ ​
  • You didn't read the article, did you? They're not aiming at backing only this as a hardware product, their plan is to build a standard that trascends a single piece of hardware. But even then, the Band is more clear at what it does and does it well. Apple's watch is just an expensive gimmick nobody really needs, though they'll get it.
  • A standard that who is going to use? On an android or iOS device, is just a fitness band, it's only a smartwatch on windows phone. Now take that small market and deny them devices, there is more chance of people wanting a smartwatch leaving Microsoft's ecosystem altogether than waiting. Microsoft need to stop leading with great ideas, poorly implementing or marketing them, then waiting until they are behind the market to try and catch back up.
  • Wow, $350?! I'd rather buy another Xbox One with that money...
  • Not discussed is whether most healthy people want 24/7 health information. As a diabetic for 40+ years, I wish I didn't have to constantly track my blood sugar. For most, 99.9 percent of the time one's health readings will be exactly what they were the day before, and that gets very dull. Maybe that's why such a high percentage of Fitbits rest in the bedside table (mine does). I believe that "data boredom" will apply to most who have Bands, and the product will therefore ultimately fail. Having the band collect more data with additional sensors will just make it worse.
  • Nah, it won't beat Apple. You see, Apple will actually *sell* it's watch thingy, while the Band is all but impossible to buy. Products you can actually buy *always* sell better than those you can't. You'd figure Microsoft would have leart something after the Surface RT fiasco, but apparently they didn't.   Edit: fixed a typo
  • I have a Band and love it. However, I have a hard time believing it will outsell an Apple device that will be available worldwide. Even with the Best Buy availability this month, you know the Band will be stuffed in a bottom corner next to the other trackers, while the Apple Watch gets a fully lit sign and fanfare.  Even IF someone actually made it over to the Band a sales rep will quickly swoop in and lead them back to Apple.  It's sad, but true. Microsoft had their chance, but blew it with the terrible availability the last few months. 
  • No doubt had this article ready to go before the event even started #fanboy.
  • As much as i am rooting for MSFT, i think the killer app here may ultimately be payments.  I can see people buying the apple watch just so they can flick their wrist to pay for stuff.  If MSFT band gets this in some fashion as well then i would feel much more confident. Which means softcard shutdown is UBER IMPORTANT.  MSFT needs to get an alternative in place PRONTO. Someone from microsoft call paypal!  
  • I hate Apple products. I like iPhone's design. But this watch looks ugly TBH. Doesn't look like a watch, at all.
  • I'm waiting for the successor of the Band and hope that by then several golf apps jumped on board and support the Band. If I could only wear one device that fits all purposes - and the Band certainly is a strong candidate - that would be fantastic especially if the successor would be a little thinner.
  • I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you!
  • I love my band, but I would like to see more Apple watch like functions from a wearable from Microsoft. A Lumia branded device that integrates with the phone more. Apps, would love to see apps. I really liked some of the apps that were demoed on the Apple Watch. It takes away the need to always have your phone handy. Right now the MS Band lands somewhere in the middle. It is more than just a fitness band, but not really a smart watch. I would like to see a true Apple Watch competitor from Microsoft.
  • Sorry but most Appleites like shiny new things from Apple and they will sell a ton of the $350 version. We will get another dose of people buying another Apple product as a status symbol......
  • This is a nice dream. But Microsoft has a huge uphill battle and they can't figure it out. They have 0 ability to market or get behind their own products. I like the band, but it just reeks of the kind of product MS puts out then completely abandons a year later.
  • After seeing the presentation of the iWatch I'm inclined to agree with the author of this article.
  • Haven't watched Apple event but bet their foreign market penetration will be better than msft. That is to say purchasers will soon be able to get their hands on Apple watch, could be years til the "Band" is readily available outside USA
  • Microsoft just need to release their band worldwide before the Apple watch and do a good commercial on how better it is for half the price!
  • Apple watch bends as in Band as in iPhone 6 :p
  • Microsoft Band is nice and very promising, but hardware-wise it's a beta product. Yes, it has the most sensors of any other fitness tracker or smartwatch, it may has the most open platform, but it is big, uncomfortable, ugly and made of cheap materials. I really wanted something like this, but when I tried it on my wrist I decided to wait for the second generation. I hope it is not far away.
  • This article is probably pretty funny to the apple marketing team.
  • But developers are making many apps for the apple watch while the Microsoft watch is well.... Limited. The apple watch is gonna sell like crazy that's for sure
  • If MS is serious about marketing the "Band".....they really need to make it more design friendly - ie. i have to want to wear it, and it needs to be functional.  At this point, Ill pass on MS band, cause its ugly.  Apple Watch, meh, the screen shape, the price, the glowing wrist, etc - im just not into it.  Kairos mechanical smartwatch hybrid is the only "Smartwatch" that I'd consider at this point - first and foremost, its a watch, secondarilly, it pushes notifications to your wrist, and will do health tracking. 
  • The band won't be a success if the majority of the world (and the US) can't buy it...
  • The apple watch looks way sweeter than this band ms has to offer. no ascetics what so ever . I like watches and even the galaxy gear looks really nice but this band ? In a three piece suit i would not be wearing the ms band. Maybe the apple watch in that rose gold would be serious!
  • In a very short time, the Apple watch will probably have more first party developers on board, than the Windows phone or RT store put together. Just saying...
  • I'd love to see MS implement a kinetic recharge system to power their band. You could survive for days without a full recharge and it would be better for the Li-ion battery.
  • Sorry, but its not going to win if only Americans get the chance to own one. Apple will let me buy their watch (I don't want it), but Microsoft doesnt want my business. And don't tell me to wait and be patient. All we ever do is wait...
  • You may want to have a look at this video first if you plan to purchased the Microsoft Band, I tried it on briefly last Saturday and it felt bulky and a little uncomfortable to wear.     -Rich
  • I'm not a fan of apple products. But the watch looks a lot better than the Band.
  • The only thing I don't like about the MS banned is the design, lack of multicolor display, and interactive icon menus. I think this is just a MS beta product into the new realm of wearables. I'd love to see a flexible display that semi wraps around the wrist, a thinner design, and a bigger display. Will wait for banned 2 or 3.
  • My phone is always worth me if I need to see what time it is.
  • If Apple and Microsoft were both new companies today, I would say your prediction is right on. But they arent. Apple is the epitome of "cool" and MS is exactly the opposite in the buying public's mind. That is far more powerful than the capabilities of these devices.
  • I've been wearing my Band for about 3 weeks and after the initial weeklong adjustment period am loving it. I agree with the author that, current, the Band is leaps ahead of the Watch in terms of platform breadth and function. (Although I disagree that the form of the Band is superior in any respect--particular aesthetically). However, I think that Microsoft has squandered its advantage in this regard by the slow rollout of the Band. They should've hit harder for the 2014 holiday season. That brings me to my last point and its probably more a matter of "when" not "if." The Band's relative strength will diminish significantly as soon as Apple figures out a way to extend the Watch's battery life to the magic 24 hour mark.
  • You know, i used to be an iPhone user years ago and decided to switch to Microsoft with the lumias 3 years ago and never looked back... I watched and waited and went thru painful times as my windows phone OS got better and better... Slowly. I also have a Microsoft band and is very happy with it, but the truth of the matter is that Microsoft IS HORRIBLE WITH MARKETING!!! My lumias has ois and six lense cameras with wireless charging and and all the bells and whistles years ago but nobody but Microsoft fans knew about it. Freakin sucks big time. As cool as our band is, its not gonna sell well next to that horrible ugly over priced thing they call a smartwatch from apple. It's just the truth! I'll always support my windows phones and im here PATIENTLY waiting (as I feel like im always doing) for Microsoft to wow the world, because I believe in them.... But without marketing and pushing their products, or even have products available... We will always sit at 3-4% of the market. COME ON MICROSOFT GET IT TOGETHER!!!
  • Although I would like a Microsoft product to "be better" than the Apple one, there is one major flaw in Microsoft band which Microsoft will not be able to fix in time and that is the date of Apple watch availability in Europe. No hard feelings but I really don't care about products only available in Americas. It means nothing to me and hopefully Microsoft will understand that some day. So far they don't have a clue how to sell stuff to people with money.
  • I love to see all manufactures succeed because then there will only be one winner. Us, the consumers. Granted that is a wee shine sunrays scenario, but it is not entirely untrue either. Personally I love the kind of people here for voicing their honest opinions and it's not the major that retaliates with empty argments. It's okay to be negative as long as what you are saying is a good argument. We all learn at our own pace, and when it comes to this place, I think the comment section is a great, healthy piece of the community :) 
  • People will run for the Apple Watch.
    It will sell well, I guess the $600 version will be very popular.  Apple is very smart offering an over-the-top-Sheik-version for $17.000. This makes appear the $350 version very considerate 
    and many people will end up spending $600 for an Apple Watch, 
    which is exactly the price point where Apple wants their customers to go for it.  ------------------- The Microsoft Band currently is more like an open innovation experiment 
    where Microsoft just throws a nice concept on the market 
    and watches what can be done with it.  The Microsoft Band hardware as of now is simply an unfinished piece of work. 
    Which should sell for $120 rather than for $200.
    However the hardware is good enough to get the market started.  Following the idea that the Microsoft mainly is a "perception device" (data gathering device)
    and "notification device" (alters, hints, alarms) rather than wanna-be smartphone thingy
    Microsoft should have a good start in the market 
    once Microsoft does decide to enter the market.  Now, as it is, the Microsoft Band is not really ready for the mass market, 
    it does needs a major re-work. 
    Which might be done by other companies.  The Microsoft Band really needs to evolve into a real wrist band
    - a slim wrist band with a flexible, "always-on" Mirasol color display. 
    A regular display is nonsens, really.  With a wrist band device you do not really want to
    perform any kind of meticulous interaction. 
    Things need to stay really basic, extremely easy, "en passant".  In daily life you can't really afford to expend too much of your valuabe mental energy
    on focussing on a fiddly gadget on your wrist
    that asks for your attention and interaction in order to get something done.   Wrist band devices also should not have any kind of ports.
    Wirst band devices should come with wireless charging off the shelf.  Exactly the kind of wireless charging technology that allows "remote wireless charging".  Which means that you only need to be in some proximity of a charging device 
    and do not need to take the device off the wrist - ever.  So as you work at your desk your wrist band device gets remote-charged automatically 
    without you worrying about it. How does that sound? Some energy harvesting technology might also be build into the wrist band  
    which charges a battery or a capacitor "on-the-go" as you move your limb.    The Apple Watch is a true fashion item and a plaything.  The Microsoft Band should evolve into a device
    that puts the user benefit and "en passant" ease of use on top of the feature list.  A wrist band device should not demand any your attention and concentration.  You really don't wanna expend too much of your precious attention on a wrist band device. 
    You just want to reap the benefits
    - effortlessly and without draining your mental energy.             
  • Apple could release a Rubberband with numbers written on it and the Press will claim they've reinvented the Smartwatch, followed by squillions of mindless Lemmings going out to buy it for no actual good reason.
  • +1
  • Holy shit I don't don't even know how to respond to this article.  I'm not saying that the microsoft band is a bad device and I'm not terribly impressed with the Apple Watch, but to try and say that the MS Band is going to be able to compete with the apple watch is absolutely insane.  I used to have a lot of respect for the writers and contributors to the site, but now its just a non stop parade of dillusion!  Just a couple points in case someone wants to say I'm trolling: 1) MS Band has better battery life:  This is true, but this same argument was made against the original iphone and its battery life.  Nobody cared about battery life when they got their hands on the iphone, charging your phone everday wasn't an issue and it won't be for Apple Watch buyers. 2) Price:  The smartphone market has shown that average consumers are willing to pay more for something they feel is more premium. Fanboyism is not a good thing, and sadly the WP community has developed a tremendous inferiority complex.  I love WP but I refuse to jump on the dellusion bandwagon.
  • Love the last sentence!
  • Now if someone can make analog watch face, may be 2 watch faces with different time zones, to incorporate wider screen for my MS band and I am done. Don't care much about Apple Watch :/
  • I carry a Nokia portable charger in my bag. I have seen the Band drop to 10%. Pop out on the charger and it gets to 60% in just a few minutes. I get up in the morning and while I dress I charge. I usually leave the house at 80% and run most the day. It is important for me to have a decent charge for sleep monitoring. And for $199 I got everything and more found on the Apple watch.
  • Problem is that MS isn't taking that much advantage from the head-start they have, The Band is almost non-existant on international markets.
  • Well you have to give apple some credit as they are going to make people buy a watch to use the apps they have in their phones...could that be anymore brainwashing?
  • "Form Follows Function"   Couldn't agree more. If it was conceived to be a real watch then 'I'd demand a circular face, and that's the reason why I think that the Apple Watch has an awful design. Oh, well, that thing looks bulcky, let's see if the tech press says the same thing they said about moto 360.
  • Remember. Apple reinvented the notebook, which they invented. They invented color phones and they recently invented 6". There is a tremendous fan base in place. But for the new Apple buyer, even the low end will require the purchase of a phone running this to over $1000.
  • Read the article and I'm going to disagree even though I own and wear Microsoft Band daily (I also have iPhone 6 plus). Got it in mid Jan so been using it for a while and here are main benefits and pains (in my view) - long battery life - yes, when I don't exercise or run, it can lasts 3 days easy - slim, convenient design - connectivity with other apps  - notifications (perfect when I'm on a bike and my phone is in the pocket) Pains - very limited sleep tracking. I know how I sleep but it doesn't tell me to go to bed earlier or what to do to improve it. I'd appreciate that - bulky wrist band - I'm pretty slim and I work with a computer pretty much all day at work and then when I get home as well. What annoys me is the locking mechanism (brilliant in a sense, will touch on that later) that is quite big and is getting in the way of working comfortably with a mouse. At home I usually take the band off - when sleeping the locking mechanism works in a way that it tightens easily but won't loosen easily - this is great but when you sleep in some awkward positions like I sometimes tend to then it tightens the grip and it gets quite uncomfortable that it wakes me up - green light used to monitor your heart rate can be sometimes annoying at night when you're in deep sleep and half a sleep wondering if aliens came to get you, lol   Can't wait for gen 2 though and more apps.   PS: even though MS Band was sold out the whole time I was visiting US, I'm not really sure how many they sold and if they'll get into general smartwatch market rather than a fitness band market which is the best use of it.
  • Apple Watch will be sold out during presale while MS loses more market share. Sales don't lie and although expensive and whatever bad criticism thrown at apple, the mass will continue to buy!
  • You folks are missing the obvious here. Microsoft could care less about how many of the bands are sold. It's all about the technology and patent rights and getting as many oems signed up to license it. It's the same thing they are doing with the phones... This is what the op is talking about and in all honesty throwing in a comparison to the iwatch is just click baiting. Cry me a river if you want but then build me bridge to get over it... Posted from my HTC M8
  • Firstly this is a great article. I may not agree with every point, but appropriate caveats are noted where the author is relying on conjecture or incomplete evidence, so it doesn't come off as a puff piece.  I'm looking forward to more aesthetic design being done on the MSFT band.  Yes it is not a watch, but there is nothing wrong with making this attractive.  I'm interested, as always with buying and reselling the apple product, assuming supply issues in the begining, but I'm much more interested with MSFT making the band available to as many people as possible, looking forward to bunlding like they did with the 830.
  • I'm not a smartwatch person but good article
  • I love the article if I knew there was a chance of being true, but there's not.  Apple Watch is going to sell like gangbusters.  Hell, MS can't even provide any kind of inventory, and there's zero commericals on it.  It feels like a beta and I hope they release a ver. 2 in fall and get the word out there. 
  • But isn't WP basically dead or dying really really fast?    I have a lumia (several actualy), but I gave up at the end of last year.  Microsoft is just to slow to market with its products and they always seem to bee 3 years behind the curve.  I have a iPhone too, but never use it and can't see myself getting the watch.
  • That Band works on all three, iPhone, Android and WP.
  • The "Apple Swatch" is here, swatch really was 'the image bomb' of the 80's
  • It took me 3 and a half minutet to read this post!
  • Anyways, apple will have its watch out everywhere on earth and beyond soon, while the band is still US only (along with many other MS products)
  • Yep.. Killing the brand before it started.
  • Um the Band is a watch. That's all I use it for and its productivity features like notifications and what not. I don't ever use the fitness aspect of it really.
  • Its a win!
  • Microsoft will have to figure out what real marketing is before they will be successful with the Band.
  • They need to launch it world wide, that's the issue. Limiting market is not good.
  • I've been a Microsoft user since msdos days. Sadly in recent years since XP they have lost their way. I was debating on sticking with WP or not, but what choice is their Droid or Crapple. Hate both. Onto the band, I like the idea, but can't justify paying the price tag for something that is only usable on select handset (got my l920 as a gift, again wouldn't purchase WP products). By time Uk gets USA will be on band 12
  • What select handsets? Works on most WP as well as Apple and Android... Or did I miss something?
  • My Band is a great solution for me.  Watching the infocast today from Apple, it appeared to me ( and apparently others ) that the Apple Watch is essentially a remote control for an iPhone.  I'm not sure what it does that is unique, and the low battery life is a killer. With that said, I'm curious if MSFT will make the Band work with Siri.  I have an iPhone 6 and a WinPhone but have the Band currently on the iP6+.  Some of the other software is just better there.  . It would be huge if it does.
  • Does the Microsft Band Stream Music...I already know the answer
  • Does the apple watch have gps... I already know the answer.
  • Daniel do you not think it clear to most by now that there’s more than something amiss between Microdot’s Sales and Marketing departments. I cannot for the life of me understand how they have not understood that clearly there is a real market, not just for wearables, but moreso for what I would wager to be customers’ natural preference to the aesthetic of a “watch”, especially for something so personable as is to be worn on one’s wrist. So why, instead of developing only the band simply as a “demonstration” of their wearable platform to be experimented in the hope that some partner would then develop a worthy product, have they not instead developed their own Windows watch on the same platform?? The only issues they’d need to sort out are the actual “watch” interfaces (very easy to do) and the hardware (again very easy to address). A well designed, aesthetically pleasing watch running Microsoft wearable platform, compatible with both Windows, iOS and Android would be a killer. And surely, the added functionality to be had with Windows 10 and Windows 10 for phone on such a device would help sway even the most diehard of iOS and Android users? If Microsoft hadn’t made the move with the Surface line of products, OEMs would not have cued. They seem to be making the same mistake by omission now with “wearables”. So Microsoft, I do not ever wish to buy an Apple product let alone an iwatch. If Huawei can do, surely MSFT can. Amongst a slew of new devices I'm due, I will be buying the band later in the year and would have preferred something with the same functionality, but more special. Now Microsoft, where is my Microsoft watch???
  • Spot on buddy, spot on...exactly my sentiments and hell yeah, MS, where freaking hell is my Windows Watch? But mostly it's alwys useless to ask and express our frustrations....MS is always late to the show. So some day I am sure there will be a watch too.
  • It doesn't matter how good Band is, soon Apple will invent the Smart Watch and people will buy it because Apple.
  • This article isn't about "Microsoft Band" vs "Apple Watch", it's about defining the market for wearables.. It's about "Fitness Bands" vs "Smartwatches".. Microsoft would like the market to move towards fitness bands with limited smartwatch functionality and Apple would like the market to move towards fully featured smartwatches.. And from that standpoint, the Microsoft Band may eventually win a long term war for this market definition..
  • Anyways love my Band, when I show I to others they want it, even iphone and android users. But here in the great white north it is a very rare bird. Hope MS has learned everything they can from Version One and get on with it, or give it to someone else to expand its use worldwide.
  • Now it would be nice if Microsoft sold the Band in Canada...even Apple is selling their watch here.
  • All is true what you guys say about Band's potential, but I went to MS store to try it out. It is definitely great device, both myself and my 24 yo daughter loved it. There is only one problem: It is a band and this band is too wide to comfortably wear on my rather large wrist. It feels weird having it there. The Band should look rather like The Square, that means like The Traditional Watch does. None of the bands on the market fits our wrists too well, including Fitband! Therefore, here is the wisdom of Apple, make a watch, not weird shape band. Such little things weigh more on customers decision what to buy than 10 sensors connected with huge computers in distant Cloud. What if there was a rain and all clouds disappeared? What are we left with?
  • Its almost like we see little advertising for windows phones because MS knows the platform isn't quite there yet. I think Windows 10 they will be proud to advertise much more of especially when the release a flagship Microsoft Lumia w/W10
  • Excellent article! Extremely well written. Kudos!
  • When does the band arrive in Europe?
    I know lots of friends that want this watch why such a long wait Microsoft?
    Samsung LG And Motorola watches are available worldwide at launch?
    Come on get your act together please.
  • The problem with a price like 199 is that it is neither low enough for the average person to just try out (which would be closer to $139 or $99 imo), but not high enough to appear premium. The band also does not look premium. Other than that, I do agree that the Band seems to make the most sense out of the current "smart wrist wearables". Unfortunately, Apple Watch will, in all likelyhood, sell better.
  • I agree with most or all of the points on this article.
  • There's a new "gold" standard out for douchebag detection! #applewatch
  • A​pple will have Ms band for breakfast. The iwatch will be available worldwide. The band is available only in the states and in limited quantities. MS needs to put his shit together
  • That exploded view of the Band is quite interesting and shows a lot of design and engineering work went into it. That said, it still looks like an ankle bracelet.
  • Why I think the IWatch will do great is because of the name that's associated with it, Apple. The brand is powerful. Think about it, customer service people received from Apple at the stores etc historically has been very positive, they stand by their products. When I worked at Best Buy I lost count of the amount of people that were out of warranty that had phones swapped out by Apple for little to no cost from the customer (multiple customers told me this). The Apple brand is known for being secure, "it just works" is a term I hear a lot associated with them.  Apple is associated with being "hip" these days like it or not. Microsoft has some big hurdles to overcome. The biggest of which in my opinion are their tarnished brand names. Let's face it because of lack of competition and a stranglehold on the pc market Microsoft got complacent in their ways. I mean why wouldn't they, it was working. License software to partners, let the partners sell their stuff, rake in the dough. The downside to this is in order to make $ said partners would pollute their computers with crap to get kick backs from other software makers. All while that was happening because Windows was/is the largest PC ecosystem they got swarmed by different malware. Than you have the different electronic outlets etc that wan't their cut too. The outlets add bloat ware of their own, charge outrageous costs to do upgrades, remove malware, or even to make restore DVDs. All of this falls backs on Microsoft because Windows is the one common consumer facing brand that was there going through all that crap.  Microsoft thankfully seems to realize this now, I'm hearing good things about their stores now. Similar to what I hear from Apple fans actually. Problem is that it's still going to be an uphill battle to get by all the bad feelings for the brand.  I personally work for a cellular service provider that has very limited Windows Phone support. I very much hope this changes. We need flagship devices with Microsoft's full support. When I say full support I mean where is the stuff (software etc) that really set's it apart and gets people excited. Surface pro 3 and onenote comes to mind a bit, so does project Spartan, but it's gonna take a lot more than two apps to turn the tide at all  I have posted in the past what I'd like to see from Windows Phone in the future. I want an amazing high megapixel camera like the 1020, but interchangeable lens options. I want an Xbox one controller add on for windows phones (wireless support for the controller built in to the phone, maybe mona style), oh and it would be nice to have very strong first party support for games and stuff. Hell releasing old games you own the rights to would be a step up (perfect dark, battle toads, killer instinct, etc). One note type integration in the calendar app for both phone and PC (I'm tired of having an absolutely pointless calendar on the bottom right of windows also. I should be able to add my to do lists, and or appointment via the bottom right calendar).   Windows 10 has a lot riding on it's shoulders. I hope Microsoft pulls it off. Give me a windows 10 phone like the 1520 with note 4 type features including a nice tuck away stylus (n-trig), high res screen, and everything else I mentioned.
  • That's quite a wishlist
  • That's a bold claim my dear friend, in my opinion, because almost all or, without a doubt, more than 50% of the iPhone holders would buy the Apple watch and that's a very big number.
  • Did you seriously just said the band is better because it offers much less so the battery lasts longer??? Personally, don't care for watch or band form factor, all I am missing in the band is a speaker to be able to answer calls or chat with Cortana. Apple watch does that.
  • I don't see how anyone could say that the Apple Watch will beat the Microsoft Band without sounding like an idiot. The two are in completely different categories in the wearables market. The Apple Watch is a smartphone companion with health tracking features, similar to the Samsung Gear 2, while the Microsoft Band is a health tracker with smartphone companion features, similar to the Samsung Gear Fit. The Band and the Watch are completely different animals, so it's like comparing watermelons to pumpkins (Didn't want to make the apples to oranges comparison here because it's too expected). I'm sure the Apple Watch can go toe-to-toe with the Gear 2 very well, and I'm sure the Band can outperform the Gear Fit. But until Microsoft releases a smartwatch that is more a smartphone companion than a fitness tracker (possibly called the Windows Wearable), the Watch will never be able to compete with the Microsoft Band.
  • I always view Apple more as an apparel company and less of an electronics company.  I do this because I don't believe we've ever seen a technology company like Apple, with such a rabid following that views a piece of consumer electronics as a fashion and status symbol.  When the latest Nike Air is released, is it really any better than a similar shoe from another manufacturer?  What did the shoe cost to manufacture?  How much of the consumer response to new products is just a result of sheer marketing brilliance?  When comparing Apple's offerings to that of "competitors", in an attempt to forecast sales, you can't do a straight technical comparison.  If you do the comparison based more on brand status and marketing success, as you'd do for an apparel company, you will see why the Apple Watch will certainly annihilate the Band in the marketplace.
  • Is it going to be released in the UK by anychance
  • This is all good but MS needs to have some inventory. That's where they lose potential adopters: lack of inventory. I can't deal with not being able to pre-order, back order, or just swing by the MS store to get one. I'm looking at switching to a Droid phone or an iPhone because of this.
  •   Now that the band has more widespread availability, should I get one now or wait for the second generation to come out? Also, a cool feature would be if the device sensed an erratic or slowed heartbeat and called 911.
  • Well pleople always compare Apple and Microsoft without even quostioning what both companies do.... Apple is a consumer electronics company and Microsoft is a computer software company. This being said Microsoft approach on devices is just a showcase of what other companies can make with its software and this way set up trends. Also I think Microsoft is slowly getting into the devices market  but as other users have said it's products are not a fashion as the Apple products are. On the other hand Apple needs to sell its devices because it's what they do.
  • If MS Band were to beat Apple Watch, MS probably would need to make it available world wide first. Just my 2 cents.
  • You're out of touch with reality if you think Microsoft Band will win over Apple's iwatch.  How well has Windows 8 done?  How well has Windows Phone (any version done)? How well has Surface done?  Nobody wants Microsoft hardware and it shows (I'm a Lumia 1020 owner myself).  Developers on Windows Phone are dropping like flies.  It doesn't matter if Microsoft products are better than Apple.  Apple is what everyone buys and they don't care about price.  Apple will sell more watches on day 1 than Microsoft has sold their Band to date.
  • Despite my flamming username, I am very friendly to Mircosoft and Windows.  Meaning, I had a WP8 previously, and I will admit it was the best phone experience still to this date.  I'd actually like to tell a story of how I swithced from a hardcore Windows fan to an Apple fan.  I hope this story can shed some light on these forums which I hapily read, as I love all tech news.  I hope the light I shed will show why Apple's user base continues to grow, no matter what product or service they release...DESPITE ALL THE VALID POINTS YOU ALL MAKE DAILY IN THESE COMMENTS.  I agree with everything said about Microsoft, you all are the best to know.  However, when it comes to Apple it is unfair to call every user a sheep or a zombie or an elite or any number of incorrect labels.  Of course there are many who buy Apple to show off, but those same people are buying a BMW to show off, and expensive clothing, yet I don't see any hate comments towards BMW or Lululemon.  Those clowns want to be seen with all their material posessions, and so you all see them waving their gold iPhones around like the sheep you so describe.   But then there are those us of (ME!) who just love tech and still chose to buy Apple.  So, with those remarks out of the way, let me begin!  I think you'll enjoy the first bit here    First let me say Windows Phone is better to use, in my experience, than iOS or Android.   Reasons why I love(d) Windows Phone: Butter ... The OS never lagged, even with mid-range specs it flew threw every task! Social / People ... I so enjoyed the 'People' section!  Seeing Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn updates all in one feed is still only achievable on WP.  Contacting groups of friends through the 'People' section is still one of my fondest memories. Tiles / Colors ... The colors schemes for the tiles is refreshing, and I love the black background in everything, easier to read.  Tiles are a fantastic mix of Android widgets and regular icons.  Well done, still best in show there. Xbox ... As a gamer, and pre-Microsoft playing nice with other mobile OS', having my friends list in my phone was untouchable.  Even better, was the phone games giving me gamerscore  There were a myriad of other reasons I loved my Windows Phone, I'm sure I missed some good ones.  However, one day I dropped my phone and the screen shatered.  I was forced to go to the store and buy a new phone.  Sprint had ZERO new windows phones at the time  and I was forced to chose either a lame fragmented Android platform, or use an iPhone until Sprint carried some of the newer Windows Phones I knew were coming out soon. Then something happened.  I like my iPhone.  Alot.  There were apps I never knew existed.  Like Uber.  AirBnB.  Watch ESPN.  Google Maps.  YouTube.  Instagram.  Snapchat.  Monument Valley.  I'll stop the bleeding now.  The thing is...these apps matter, they became part of my daily routine.  Taking an Uber is 10x better than trying to hail a cab.  I can much more eaisly keep an eye on my rental propoerties with AirBnB.  Watch ESPN is incrtedible while laying in bed.  Google Maps is the gold standard.  Who knew Snapchat could be better than texting.  Monument Valley, by far the best gaming experience on a phone. Who knew that even my iPhone was kinda 'boring', it did a lot of fun and useful things without any fuss.  Oh and then there was a new found world of interopability with the +50% of people who also have iPhones.  See the key to Apple's success is not marketing as you all so mention.  Although it is rather good.   The secret is getting users addicted to the eco-system of iTunes, Mac OSX, iMessage, FaceTime, Touch ID, Apple Pay, iOS exclusive apps, new Photos app across both OS'.  Someone said it above "It all just works".  So seamlessly too.   Here are some ease of use examples I encounter whilst being an Apple user, outside of 3rd part app support, that make me say "Dangit that worked so perfectly, I can't live without that functionality." FaceTime / iMessage ... My entire family has switched to iPhones over the years, and it has become too easy to switch mid-phone call and see their faces.  It seriously just works perfectly every time.  If I switch back to Windows Phone, what then?  I will need to convince everyone to donwload Skype?  So they can launch a seperate app, with a seperate login?  It won't happen.  FaceTime is TOO easy. New Photos app ... Edit a pciture from my phone, the edits are immediately reflected on my Mac
     Saves a lot of duplicate photos and time Touch ID ... never type my password in to purchase songs/apps from the App Store
    ​Saves time and frustration​ ​Apple Pay ...  Can't live without this feature as 90% of my retail shopping is at Whole Foods and Walgreens.  Everything else I do online.
    ​And we have already seen all the new retailers who have signed up for Apple Pay This feature will only become more indisposible, as again it is TOO easy.  Combined with Touch ID, its so simple. That list could seriously go on for a while.  Core iOS fuctions which users can't live without.  Positively life altering.  Now I meantioned some very cool features of my Windows Phone experience above.  Yet none of them actually changed parts of my life for the better, they were just useful or fun. Especially since I can have the complete Office experience on my iDevices (using Office 2016 preview on my Mac!) and Xbox companion, I find less and less reasons to go back to Windows. The irony is that I work for a top 3 Windows PC manufacturer.  And guess what, at work, +90% of employees have an iPhone.  The only ones who don't are executive who are provided Windows Phones.  Windows 10 has me very excited for the future of Microsoft, but with some serious doubts about making ground agaisnt Apple and Google.  Just look at the PC, as I am forced to face the reality at work, it is declining.  Our 5 year financial plan does not incorporate growth for PC's, and lets leave it there.  Mac's though are growing gangbusters in comparison.  We sell Chromebooks at work, and those are exploding in growth as well.   I read articles on this site every day that get me very excited about switching everything back to Windows.  But then I get that haunting feeling of being a black sheep.  Not having the new games and apps.  Being the 'green bubble' in other people's message threads.  Not being able to see my friends via FaceTime (seriously it is a daily use for me). Here's what Microsoft needs to do.  Throw their cash at developers to support Windows 10 across all platforms.  Like seriously throw money at them.  For multiple years.  Until Windows Phone has meaningful marketshare, and developers can make profits on Windows 10.  Without the apps Windows 10 has no chance.  Users won't be happy if Apple / Google users get better games and apps.  So quite calling for marketing spends, Apple spends $1B annually, Samsung $4B annually, and Mircosoft did $3.5B last year.  It would have done better to support developers with cash flow for an entire year than sponsor the NFL where broadcasters refered to 'iPad like devices' down on the field.  The king is dead.  Long live Microsoft.
  • Wrist-worn smart devices are succeding as a category. Successes within that category will be defined on different facets of user experience demands. A high-quality device with a balance of form and function usually works with smartphones, but that mix needs further layers of personal expression for watches. This is not about MSFT vs APPL vs GOOG, this is about all of them versus the entire watch industry. It's about replacing watches with something dynamic, something that gives and receives customisable data flows that we interact with, and are proud to wear anywhere, anytime. Focusing too heavily on health, with no considerations for personal style, MSFT's offering is limiting its reach. The Band isn't competing with the watch industry, it's competing with the fitness band industry, which will be obsoleted eventually by smartwatches. Further, higher-end fitness sensors have thier own market going for more than 20 years; Brands like Polar, Garmin and Suunto have a full range of quality and pricing. Wendy-Weight-Watcher's of the world are buying fitness bands, but 10K-Tom's still buy Polar, Garmin and Suunto. The latter won't change much with the MS Band or Apple Watch, but the former will disappear. The warning signs will be when we start seeing 30-minute fitness band infomercials on tv. TL;DR: Smartwatch is the category, fitness bands are a subset. $200 for an excellent fitness band is more expensive to me than $350 for a smartwatch with half the sensors but allows complete OS integration and a range of personal styles.
  • Now  watch preorder yesterday. Sell out like crazy like everyone wants to get it. Bet  watch will beat band at launch day 1.
  • they should make it recharge while fapping,
  • I've had my MSFT band for about 8 weeks. I am very impressed by it: as a sports/training device it is superb and in particualr it includes a GPS run tracker with associatated heart rate monitoring - it can also link it into the RunKeeper App via Microsoft Health.  It does a good job on mail, diary and SMS alerts and is very readable, and also includes haptic alerts.  It also has weather updates and a UV monitor that estimates burn time.  The big plus is the battery life, which is certainly over 2 days. I measure the success of the device in that it has helped my keep my running up for 8 weeks, and I have therefore shed 5KG and has got my 1K split time down from 7min30 to 5min 30.