Watch out, Apple: Microsoft Band is coming to 765 Best Buy stores this month

Microsoft may or may not have intended their first foray into health and fitness to be a hit, but the Microsoft Band always appears to be selling out. It now seems that Microsoft has been building up inventory of the wearable, seeing as yesterday it finally went back on sale online.

Now, Windows Central has confirmed that 765 Best Buy stores in the US will begin selling the Band sometime this month. The information comes via internal documents detailing the launch event, although a date is not yet set to our knowledge.

The Best Buy stores are positioning the device in their increasingly extensive smartwatch display area, with a live demo for customers to interact with before buying. All three SKUs (small, medium, and large) will be available to purchase.

Microsoft Band and Lumia Icon

Best Buy employees are advised to watch three videos to familiarize themselves with the Band, including:

  • Meet Microsoft Band 
  • Selling Microsoft Band 
  • Meet Microsoft Health 

Hard to find, change in strategy

Up until now, only Microsoft Stores have been selling the Band, making it rather difficult for people to see and evaluate the device. Inventory has also been an issue, with Microsoft Stores – online and physical – often running out of stock. We have heard of a retail push in 'early 2015' before, so this Best Buy partnering makes sense. Microsoft already has a current deal with Best Buy to feature Windows tablets and laptops, including the Surface Pro 3.

Launched in the middle of the night during the 2014 World Series, with no media event, the Microsoft Band is considered a demonstration platform for the Microsoft Health service. Unlike other recent announcements, the Microsoft Band never had the full push of the company behind it.

Microsoft Band run

However, with the Apple Watch set to be (re) announced on Monday, with expected sales in April, Microsoft seems to be positioning themselves to get ahead of Apple. Instead of reacting to the Apple Watch, Microsoft could save some face here by getting the message out before the Cupertino hullabaloo hits consumers.

Pricing of the Microsoft Band is expected to remain at $199, well below the starting price of $349 for the Apple Watch.

Windows Central will bring you more information about the Microsoft Band and Best Buy push as soon as it becomes available.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

313 Comments
  • Haha, of course Apple would price their watch at 349$. No surprise there.
  • Don't forget the price STARTS at 349, the Watch Edition be priced up to 19.999$ (according to the rumors).
  • Only $20??
  • no.... $20K
  • So he meant $19,999 not $19.999 lol
  • Many places swap the meanings of "." and "," for digit groupings common in Europe. Not everyone does it our way (United States)
  • Except for the US must countries use a . Instead of a ,
  • Considering he use a US Dollar symbol, the formatting should reflect the proper formatting.
  • The British Empire uses the , for grouping as well.
  • Agreed, Nik. Never seen this "." business before. BTW, you're in NZ too, right?
  • I'm still buying one,,,, just bought my band online thru a link from PC world and I put my order in
  • Exactly. I don't think Apple has anything to worry about. Microsoft could sell the band in all Best buys, Wal-Mart's, and Targets with Apple only selling their watch in Apple stores and they would still outsell the Band. I am hoping Microsoft makes a more watch-looking device in the future though.
  • Yes, bjax, I want a smartwatch, not a smartband, with full WP capabilities, in a worldwide release. Here's my money right now$_$
  • Some countries use a decimal like the comma is used else where. At least as early as the late 1970s HP had an option in their calculators to swap the use of the decimal and comma to accomodate this difference.
  • In fact the whole world, except from US and UK, use the comma as a decimal point. That's the normal, not the other way round.
     
  • Actually in Canada we have a split personality. In Quebec they use the comma for the rest of Canada it is the decimal place. 
  • Uh no, comma for thousands grouping in all of Canada.
  • The whole world? I doubt it.
  • Are you tryig to insinuate that people in the US are just plain backwards because we use a comma instead of a decimal point and drive on the right side of the road instead of the left?
  • @v_emman You might want to check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_mark because if population is used as a basis your statement is flat wrong, assuming that the chart is correct. Regardless, it is important to note that the decimal and comma are used differently and that US NIST, amoung others, specify to use a space as a thousands separator due to this different.
  • Australia, UAE, India and the Philippines use commas for grouping.
  • v_emman. The UK uses a "decimal point" as er... a decimal point, and a comma for separation of 000 for ease of reading.  The "pennies" / (dimes in US speak) is a division of a pound (dollar) so a decimal point seems to make sense. The commas merely make interpretting large numbers easier to comprehend. I think the UK method makes the most sense from a logic perspective :/
  • How is using a point instead of a comma as separation of the fractional part making most sense logically?
  • If you live in the US, our way is normal. Using a comma is definitely strange.
  • Who is dumb enough to believe that?
  • Ok, I thought most rumors placed it at 10k? 20k sounds pricey even by Apple's standards.
  • Reports I'm seeing are for a $30K real gold "luxury version" on the high end.
  • LMFAO.
    $19,999.99
    or
    $19 999.99 NOT
    $19.999.99 Learn MATH.
    Using the decimal for purposes other than the decimal point is very moronic. Use some logic and have some common sense people!
  • Of course, you don't become the most valuable company in the history of Capitalism by charging sensible prices for your products even if they fewer features than the competition.
  • Actually, yes you would. That said, Apple's success isn't about product quality, it's about fostering a perception of superiority, even when reality contradicts that perception.
  • That should be on a billboard.
  • +1
  • jasongw, I think you missed the point that blackprince was being sarcastic :/
  • Possibly. Hard to tell in text :)
  • Honestly, Apple's products are consistently decent or better, so they are a rather safe bet. Naturally, it is their phenomenal marketing that creates those profits though.
  • Apple products are a good way for me to tell quickly whether a person is stupid and/or clueless. The Apple Watch will be the ultimate. Anyone wearing this thing is without a doubt a moron. Hahaha. I'm kidding of course, mostly...
  • +1
  • I can imagine the watch battery dying halfway through the day, but people continuing to wear it because they look "cool."
  • They're releasing a battery strap so you can make it through a whole day. Just another $250!
  • Lol, you know it!
  • +920 simplest, quickest moron test ever.
  • Depends.  Now that Audible is fixing their app I can come back to WP from an iPhone 6.  That iPhone is expensive as hell, but I can say it was rock solid, great app selection, the phone is paper thin, unobtrusive, very very ergonomic, and everyone makes damn sure their accessories will work with it.  Hell, even Microsoft's own apps have more functionality on iOS than on WP.  Why do I prefer WP? My M8 for Windows is more responsive, I like the tiles, mapping is better, and Cortana is leaps and bounds better than Siri. But mostly, iOS native mapping and Google maps pissed me off repeatedly. When I tell it to do something I expect it to do what I tell it, not change a planned route midstream with no notification or warning it was doing it. I also picked up an iPad Air 2 for Christmas.  It's still the best tablet on the market, even more so now that it's so damn light. Out of two windows tablets, an android tablet, and an SP3, the iPad is my go to device for reading, internet surfing, and hitting the airport/hotels with.  I really use the heck out of it with Xbox Smart Glass.  So much so, I may just get a iPad mini to keep by the couch on a permanent basis to drive my TV/Xbox/Cable box. A lot of companies do certain things well.  Apple does consumer electronics pretty top notch. An Apple watch though?  Nah.  I see no reason to start wearing a watch again.  I certainly wouldn't pay more than $30 for a watch I couldn't wear in the shower let alone over $300.  I wouldn't buy their computers either.  The OS isn't as functional as Windows and costs way too much.  Add to that, competitors are putting out comparable build quality computers for less now.  In some areas, nobody has put up a comparable device against Apple, particularly in the iPad case.  In all other areas... routers, all-in ones, computers, headphones: Better can be gotten for much less money.
  • Correct. Apple does consumer electronics well. In my mind consumer = moron.
  • I can't imagine how many of these they will sell.  Hell, I can't imagine how many bands they will sell.  Crazy...
  • Is it compatible with non WP devices? If yes -alot, if not -not much. ~3/5 Americans have an iPhone, then Android phone, WP isn't doing great here. Fact. So do your calculations on how many Bands will be sold, and Apple will sell tons of its Watches
  • It's compatible with ios, Android, Windows phone, and Windows. Plus, it actually works whether you have any of those or not, while the apple watch doesn't do much of anything without an iPhone.
  • Going by Microsoft's track record, the band is compatible on everyone else's platform, is easier to use, and has more features than with Windows Phone.
  • I'm going to buy
  • I have been skiing this week.  Try to corridinate the movements and interations with several differnet groups of skiers.  You might say I am the host of the skiing trip.  I have tried a number of different approaches in the past.  Walkie talkies, designated rendevous times and locations, cell phones.  All these methods work ok but are either clumsy to lug around and use (I am wearing gloves, skiing down mountains, etc..) or unreliable (you end up waiting a lot for people to rendavous).  I was thinking yesterday, if I could incorporate the band into my glove.  Using Cortana and the band would allow me to quickly communicate with people on the moutain without have to stop everything and pulling off my gloves and pulling out a cell phone.   This would require something more like the fitbit system.  You take a simple fob and insert it into a band.  Maybe Microsoft could build a communication fob to fit into a defined pocket that people could incorportate into clothing/equipment.  The problem is the battery.  Is this seperate or integral.  DO I need to know my heart rate while I am sking?  I notice my cousin funbeling around just try to get to his watch.
  • I could buy an XBOX One with that money lol
  • Good point!
  • The funny part will come when you tell an i-fan that, and they try to justify how their watch is in fact so superior to everything including the XB1.
  • Reality distortion field. Brainwashed
  • We all know that every Apple product is "truly remarkable."
  • And it'll sell 75 million in its first week of launch. As you already know, it already received some kind of award for design excellence at the MWC, and its not even out yet!
  • Holy shit, what the hell did I start?!
  • FIrst comment to a Microsoft Band article mentions Apple. 80% of the comments on this article mentions or references Apple. The obsession here of anything Apple is becoming ridiculous.  These types of obsessions usually show a deep inferiority complex.  That's a shame. Most Apple watch buyers will not need to hate the Microsoft Band to love their Apple Watch. I can't wait for when some of the fans here would get to that level. 
  • Are you high? I mean, had Apple not been mentioned in the article I wouldn't have said anything about them, nor 95% of people here. Mention anything not Apple to an apple fan boy and they'll go on for hours about how their product is better. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't do the same or Google or Sony fan boys wouldn't either. It's part of being a loyal fan and there isn't anything wrong with it sir. Such as following a sports team, you defend your team to the ends of the earth! So, with all due respect, shut your howling screamer.
  • But 100% are joking. The problem here, is how easy you can make fun of Apple.
  • Dude, head over to Apple Insider, the hatred over there for Microsoft is off the charts.
  • If it can't stand the shower, it's a non-starter.  That goes for Microsoft's Band too.  In the Band's case, the bar is a little higher for waterproofing.  My exercise is laps in the swimming pool.
  • I just bought my band online thru a link from PC world and I put my order in
  • Wow good thing 2 Best Buy stores are near me. Hope their inventory lasts so I can at least get 2 haha.
  • Finally! Can't wait to see what my employee discount is! ;D
  • Luck you ;-)
  • When in India ?
  • Time to lay that joke to rest. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • .....i actually think he's serious
  • He must be! MS should know that India has a large market for their phones too. They'll get good sales here too,not just in some countries.
    Also, no Surface till date available.
  • Frankly, lot of people are actually waiting for it in India. And there is nowhere else to get that question answered except for here.
  • And that question can be answered here ---- how?
     
  • Oh god.
  • Hopefully soon because w/o those markets WP might not be having a good day. Least MS could do in my opinion.
  • Yeah hoping for the same. MS must push it's sales soon to other parts of the world,and soon,not like they did with the L930 in India.
  • Hahahaha
  • Microsoft does make great products. Too bad the best of them are only made for the US. That's so 19xx, in the global era Microsoft should sell worldwide like Apple does.
  • Yes when in Alberta! Um I mean Canada but not including Quebec. Lol or just Canada as a whole. Health Vault gets tricky up here. Um . . . TELUS Health Vault powered by Microsoft but not available in Alberta. So yes release the Band in Alberta and skip the rest of Canada!
  • Sounds good to me!
  • I think India is better off waiting for the ver2, l am in UK and last week I was in India for 2 days. It was very hot there, when I came back to UK. My band refused to charge, closed inspection revealed that charge points on the band were covered with black stuff, may be dust got stuck underneath. I have to give it a thorough clean few times. Now it worked but still little flaky. Also I have notice few small bumps on the metal around charging port and HR monitor. I think this metal is not suited for an environment with high humidity. MS needs to update this before realising to countries with high temperature, humidity and dust. MHO...
  • Oh sorry for your Band,but I don't even think MS knows about this^ happening to their Band in India. They just want to test sales in limited markets(with limited stock! ).
    Ver1 is very new,so probably Band2 will not be released until next year.
  • I have reported this to MS, I think mixer of salty sweat and dust is causing some sort of corrosion on the metal around charging port and HR monitor.
  • When in spain???
  • We only know when in India!
  • Let's say Europe :)
  • I don't think any time soon :-) That's the reason I am buying it from US through my sis.   If this is supposed to be a joke, then it should be "Wen in India ?" :-) stay with the format ;-)
  • Too late in my opinion...by now, anyone who is interested in the apple watch will probably hold out to see what the watch will offer before buying anything. MS should've ramped up production and done this months ago
  • +1520.3
  • This ^^^ they should have ramp up production for the holidays, now it's a lost opportunity.
  • I know what you mean, but I see it as this might be the right timing. Apple hardcore fans won't change their mind whatever is shown by another company. And re-launching the Band at the same time as Apple, MS can offer an alternative to those undecided or willing to change. And also take advantage from all the hype generated by the media about Apple's watch.
  • I agree. Perfect timing.
  • I dont agree... The people who want a band are going to get a band...similarly the people that want an apple watch will get the apple watch. I doubt many people who were looking for a Ms band are switching to an apple watch... If they were decided on getting an Apple..the band wasn't going to skew their decision or vice versa... Ms did the right thing.. Start of small...make sure their essential services were available...listen to feedback.. Make sure they didn't over produce and then quietly launch... I think they did an excellent move...
  • This
  • When I was in my local MS store two weeks ago to get a Surface Pro 3 I checked out the band. I need a large and it is far to big to be comfrtably worn, upside down. I would love to see a v2 device so I can check it out. But alas, for now, I will get an iWatch Sport to match my iPhone 6. -SAB I used WinPhone 7 starting the first month for more than two years, WP8 for 1/2 month and recently WP 8.1 for two weeks while I got a new screen on my new iPhone. Cortana is definately more useful than Siri, Here maps is better than either Google or Apple Maps. Driving mode on WP is very cool. WP OneNote OfficeLens is killer for office folks. WP notifications are lacking. Once again no MLB app. If Maclaren would have materilized I would have made do without great apps like Accompli (now Outlook for iOS) and TempoAI. Lack of a great phone (again) has lead me to abandon MS Phone, and possibly all of MS.
  • Yes and no. Yes, that was the time to do it. No, because it wasn't really ready for a full launch. That said, now that they're doing this, they need to aggressively market all the things it does that Apple's watch will not do, as well as the $150 cheaper price point.
  • No point to aggressively market this band. It won't be a high volume seller. They should just wait to pump all their cash into the Windows 10 launch.
  • Naaa, the price difference and the different application of the band (band not watch) still sets it apart for the Apple Watch.
  • I want this Microsoft Band but I don't live on the US, how can I get one? I want this so bad ;-;
  • Batches of 5000 pieces, for us only, wow. Apple watch to produce first batch and 1000 times more devices. Keep on pushing the states, LOL
  • The stupidest thing about the Apple watch... ITunes music... Hahaha. Listening to music on a fnckiug watch
  • which is only more rediculous than listening to music on your phone.
    -SAB
  • There are middlemen companies which you can send your online purchases to and have them ship it to you wherever you live. But its not cheap...
  • I live in the US, if you feel comfortable trusting a stranger with $200 plus shipping lol. My email is infinitebrain@live.com and I don't need any compensation, just the shipping cost and the cost of the band.
  • My local Best Buy I have renamed That Android Store that I will never visit again. I wish MS the best of luck selling the Band. It's a fantastic device. Go Microsoft Go!
  • Mine has a really nice combo of Samsung, Apple, and MS.  Each have their own little section with good sales reps. 
  • If we wp phans hide our faces we will never be seen. It is important to express our opinions to the sales reps that listen. I only fear that I may look like gandolf in 20 years wielding my phone and yelling.
  • Yep. I've talked many people at stores out of buying MacBooks and into buying Surface pro 3s
  • Wow! Kudos
  • Nearby ones have huge Windows sections that have tons of laptops, pcs, and even windows phones.
  • My Best Buy has a dinkly Microsoft section and not a single Windows Phone.
  • Samsung is up front with a huge area. Microsoft then apple in the store that's close to me. Surprisingly, Apple is in last place. Lol one iMac on display and the iPads. That's it.
  • I think you meant retail push in early 2015... :)
  • And probably the apple watch will have "amazing" deals if you tie yourself to a two year contract which will allow you: Up to 1 hour a day of time viewing, 500mb of alarms and unlimited "ticks and tocks"
  • Plus it looks really special in slow-mo over a white background with some Euro wanker telling you what a breakthrough in innovation it is!
  • It doesn't have LTE, 3G or 4G. What contact could there possibly be?
  • They're just making fun of Apple, over simplifying everything. Much like when everyone immediately turns down Widows Phone because "it haz n0 apps." True? Technically yes. Oversimplifying a far more complex situation? Probably.
  • I am really interested in the unlimited ticks and tocks thing.
    -SAB
  • Great news!!
  • Us only ofc. When a worldwide release?
  • Maybe when they can actually meet demand in the US first.
  • Awesome that Best Buy delivers in the UK! Take that Apple.
  • I want the band but I wish the screen didn't scratch as easy.
  • There's quite a few protectors out now. 
  • I'm running mine without a protector and the screen is flawless.... The bezel is a scratch magnet but the screen is just fine.
  • Yea that's my only problem. After they get some better material I'll get it. Maybe a stainless steel version omg yea.
  • The protector that Congress with it works well. I bought one DAY ONE and it has been to 12,030 feet a couple of weeks ago in blizzard conditions, worn every day for workouts and for the "Adventure" of client visits, corporate meetings, etc. ;) Not a single scratch. Very sturdy compared to the condition of others' wearables (fitbit band splits are as common as Apple charging cord splits).
  • "Congress"? Ha. Typo.
  • I wish they'd gone with a different material, maybe Gorilla Glass or something. Even with a ton of scratches it's still very usable though, I'm on my 3rd (lesson learned, don't use a wall charger) and having kept this one covered it's still in great shape.
  • I am a die hard Microsoft fan. One of them who religiously follow them. But it's been a while Microsoft has done something which has made apple watch out for. :/ Hope the band does. Band is a great product, solid thing. But less production has hit it hard. I know its a prototype kinda thing, which MS builds for other OEMs to see and rebuild but I think, MS now should get over it come in the hardware business completely. Both with Band and Surface Pro 3 (worldwide availibility). Other than it, only HoloLens is on a level that can stand up and shout watch out apple. Lets just hope Band does it. Come on MS. Behind you forever. :)
  • Actually it has. If you look at the products themselves and NOT to the ridiculously negative shit that's said about everything they do, you will see that they have put everyone on notice.
  • Technology wise they always outplay everyone. But if it doesn't sell then sorry nobody is watching out for at least not apple which enjoys very firm and loyal fan base and media backing which MS lacks.
  • Microsoft should bring surface and other devices like band to rest of the world by using Lumia brand or via Nokia priority stores.
  • I don't think we compare a Smartwatch with a Band fitness. Can we?
  • Comparisons will inevitably be made. There is overlap, for sure.
  • Agree, Daniel. I hope Microsoft markets this as "The Band that can replace your smart watch and fitness band", similar to recent marketing with the Surface Pro that was two years later than it should have been, unfortunately. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if my Surface Pro was "like an iPad" and I had to say "It's way better than an iPad, it's a full-blown laptop that can also be a tablet"... I could have retired to an island ahead of schedule. ;)
  • Lot of my friends think that band is a smart watch ( though, it works like one, almost)
  • It is really a hybrid device that supports apps, notifications, clock (of course), a plethora of sensors and GPS. If anything, smart watches may not be comparable to the Band from a feature and functionality perspective. For that matter, other fitness bands can barely hold a candle to it.
  • The difference between the two is function over fashion. Like always, MS products will do far more for far less money than Apple products but won't look nearly as sexy.
    Now that the MS Band has an SDK, there shouldn't be anything the iWatch can do that the MS Band couldn't. On the contrary, the MS Band will do far more for consumers since it has more sensors and more battery life.
  • I hope so. But just like usual, devs will be coding for Apple Watch day 1 and MS band will have to wait even though its SDK has been out longer. Just look at Twitter and its updates to Windows Phone 8.1 and iOS 8. The latter got a new update on its date of release which was 4 months after WP8.1. And we got the WP update just some months ago.
  • Band IS Sexy in a "Darth Vader", SR-71, F-22, and Star Trek sorta way... Oh wait, those things aren't historically considered "sexy" to the masses, though us engineering types find them VERY sexy. :)
  • I use my Band almost exclusively as a smart watch.
  • Band is actually a cross between smartwatch and fitness band.  I use it mostly for reading time, messages, email, Cortana, stocks, weather, steps/Calories, heart rate, etc.  MS does need to come out a more polished smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch and Android Wear watches.  W10 will give WP another chance to grow, but it needs a matching smartwatch to make it a complete package.
  • While they are kinda separate, they still have overlap. The Band has some "smartwatch" features, and the Apple Watch has some "fitness" features. Much like comparisons are always made between the Surface Pro 3 and the Macbook Air and/or the iPad Air. Separate, things, but similar enough to cause comparisons.
  • I use my Band in lieu of a smartwatch. It tells time, provides notifcations, has apps. So, yea, the comparisions are warranted.
  • BTW - There were in stock this morning and now they are sold out. 
  • Hope they sell a lot, but FFS MS, when is it available in Europe?
  • Yeah, it's weird
  • Nice
  • Love this and MS! But honestly a little confused about how we are supposed to get excited about this announcement? Can't keep it in stock in their own stores or online, so what makes me believe I will be able to pick one up at the Best Buy down the street?
  • It now means that someone "higher-up" has realized the band needs Production Ramped-Up and be made available to the Masses. Finally, Microsoft stops worrying about their so-called "Partners".
  • I don't think that's it at all. It's that the background infrastructure is finally mature, whereas it wasn't at launch.
  • I'd assume they won't be available at Best Buy stores in Canada
  • Of course not. Why would anyone want to sell something up here?
  • Although I do think the Apple Watch will be overrated, it is the first iteration - and every first iteration of an Apple product is a no-buy. It will of course sell like hotcakes so every who is poo poo-ing it needs a reality check. 
  • No one really knows what "hot cakes" looks like in this market. I'm going to hazard a guess and say that if they move 2 million units in the 1st quarter of availability, that will be pretty good. By comparison, the Pebble has sold 1 million in 2 years of availability. I think that Microsoft could sell 1 million Bands in a quarter if they had the supply chain and stock.
  • Not necessarily. $350 and up with no possibility of contact subsidies since it's not a connected cellular device. There are only so many people who can lay out that kind of cash for a device that offers nothing but brand recognition over a fitbit, which already works with iPhone.
  • Ehh, it's still going to break several records for the smartwatch category. It's inevitable. Even though I personally feel even Apple doesn't know how exactly the Watch is supposed to make people's lives easier (It can send drawings and your heartbeat... What?). After all, Apple didn't have one flagship feature ti carry it forward. For the iPod, they had the rallying cry of, "6,000 songs in your pocket!" The iPhone, "Today we're releasing a phone, a web browser, and an iPod. [Keeps repeating this] Are you guys getting it? A phone, a web browser, and an iPod." For the iPad, they promised to fill the void left between the iPhone and the MacBook that netbooks failed to accomplished. All of these had those tagline features, Apple had a vision of what the product was supposed to be. With the Apple Watch, I just get the vibe they pushed it out just 'cuz.
  • I think a feature they're going to push will be security, in terms of authentication. Doors, hotel door, cars, unlocking devices, Apple Pay, etc - that may be an avenue they take to push this.
  • That could work. But I think the NFC chip presently only works with Apple Pay, it's locked to everyone else. Much like its current implementation on the iPhone.
  • So, Microsoft is selling its Band in enough stock to get AHEAD of Apple. What? They should satisfy their customers more by making things global, ample and affordable instead of just making competition to rivals.
  • +920
  • Microsoft never said that they were trying to get ahead of Apple. We don't even know that (real) Apple will be able to get ahead of (perceived) Apple. It looks like a nice piece of hardware but it has been stripped down from the original vision. Health monitoring is a fraction of what they advertised during the reveal and battery life is atrocious if it is used regularly. People will buy it but people will expect something really revolutionary. So far, it is doubtful that Apple has delivered on that. Over the years, they have released many products that flopped so it isn't outside the realm of possibility that could happen for, "The Watch" too.
  • Uhh ... US only ... well. I wouldn't but it anyway. Classic watches ftw :)
  • Lot of my friends think that MS' band is a smart watch ( though, it works like one, almost).
  • Hope I can buy the Apple Watch in the UK and I bet MS will release some apps for it... We have Apple Stores and all Apple products are available day one here... Also there's a population of 70 million potential customers here...
  • Yep Apple is a global brand, that is why they are so successful. No point in MS band, if we cannot buy it in Europe. Microsoft need to think about killing off all their Consumer markets, when they only sell products and services (aka Band, Zune, Cortana, Xbox Rewards etc etc) in US only.
  • Uk
  • Really seems .....smart ! Microsoft is doing it right !
  • I work at best buy!!! Getting one on discount! So glad I didn't buy one at Christmas!
  • They need to push this and their phones through WalMart
  • Smart move Microsoft. Better to lead than to follow.
  • Except the apple watch will be available world wide. The Microsoft band can't be purchased outside of the us
  • Worldwide?
    No.
  • 1st world-wide*.
  • If Microsoft can get this device available in more countries then they'll be in a good position against Apple watch. Otherwise it won't make a difference even if Best Buy sells the device .
  • So they wait until the apple watch is launched before they make their retail push when they've had months to build unopposed momentum? Another genius move by Microsoft, they'll be buried in the inevitable media love fest with the iwatch. Price wont matter to apple fans, they'll sell by the truckload. But I'm sure Windows 10 will save it...... /s
  • Apple Watch has not launched. Nor is it expected to until later in April. Arguably, the $350 starting point for the Watch is going to be higher than what a lot of people will spend.
  • @Daniel Rubino But most of the world can't buy one! The Apple watch will be available everywhere let's see which sells best...
  • The Apple watch will be available in Europe, the MS band isn't. So Apple quite rightly deserves to kick Microsoft into the dust yet again.
  • I have no doubt Apple will outsell the Band. Apple buyers dont hesitate. When Apple puts out a new thing, they can count on millions of sales just because its Apple's new thing. MS buyers understandably are much slower warming up to new products. They have to prove themselves for a while and MS has to demonstrate that they will stick to the new thing and not kill it right away if its not a runaway success. Apple obviously has more robust distribution and manufacturing capacity as well since they regularly can count on millions of sales and strong worldwide sales. The big question for me will be how the Apple watch does after its initial launch bump. I fully expect they wont be able to sustain sales like they do with phones. The Watch is just not a universal device everyone needs like a phone. Although, you can never underestimate Apple marketing's ability to make people think they need things.
  • I'm pretty sure Microsoft has had this in the works for awhile they just have to get their inventory in check
  • What makes you think MS hasn't built up momentum? They keep putting them back in stores and they keep selling out. It was not going to bo "unopposed" either way because other watches exist.
  • Microsoft needs to make a slimmer, sexier version of the Band. I'd also like to see Microsoft make a nice, simple, sexy smartwatch that doesn't try to re-invent the smartphone. Then release it at an attractive price that Microsoft can also make a profit on.
  • Dude... a "sexy smartwatch"? LOL! You guys need to stop.
  • I wonder if windows 10 will ever be extended to a future band
  • I want one Microsoft band, and I'll have here in Mexico!!!
  • Funny title. Apple out sells Microsoft in just about everything..
  • PCs to Macs are still about 10:1, so not really. Also, enterprise. Also, cloud solutions. Also, office productivity. Also, gaming. Also, living room entertainment.
  • Lol yup yup go Microsoft
  • That's a kickass reply Daniel..
  • Daniel, this is no time to use common sense and real data. ;)
  • I'd wager that PC to Macs are around 100:1. Haven't seen many people using one, really. Plus add all those using Windows on mac via parallels, vmware and boot camp......
  • It really depends on how close you are to an apple hive. Drones tend to stick together so you tend to see environments that are all Apple or mostly MS with just a few Apples. On average it is ~10:1
  • Good point on that front as well. The typical Mac we come across in the business world is running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 via some virtualization. I'd say from IT experience in the business world the number is close to 1 Mac per 50 PC's EXCEPT the odd case where a biz owner bought Macs for the whole office. In that case, that tends to be a REALLY small company (Less than 10 employees).
  • Wait... you mean that iPhones & iPads aren't "everything"? Now I'm confused.
  • Dammit Daniel. Beat me to that reply. I've learned that trying to convince the Apple faithful that Microsoft is ONLY behind in mobile is (wait for it...) fruitless. They are always shocked to learn that Mac only accounts for 10% market share. As Microsoft has recently learned, when people see a "brand" on TV shows and movies that depict businesses and famous actors using that product, people actually start believing that everyone uses it. For instance, the Surface Pro 3 owes a large part of its sales success to the simple act of showing NFL folks USING the device on TV. Soon after, our corporate clients started asking about it when considering new laptops/tablets.
  • Microsoft is declining in each one of those categories. To be proud of declining market share is nothing to brag about. I really like windows phone but I'm not going to be delusional about it.
  • See, this is what happens when people pay too much attention to the shitty blogs, or to how many little glowing apple logos they see when they go to starbucks.
  • WP out numbers iPhones in my office, just saying.... PCs outnumber, actually it absolutely surrounds and clobbers Macs, .. just saying..
  • Not big news since each store will probably only get 5 each and its back to looking for alternatives, including myself.  Are these things being built by one person on the weekends? Why are they so hard to mass produce these things and get them out there?
  • They aren't building to many for risk of it not selling through inventory
  • You must have an inside source into Microsoft supply chain, marketing and strategy. Do tell!
  • I had the same assumption. They may not have expected the thing to catch on like it did. Now that many people want one, they're trying to make enough to keep up while not going into overdrive like they did with Surface RT. No sources, just an assumption.
  • C'mon Jazmac, even I got 2 during the 2nd time release and my household got the last 2 we wanted few days ago with the email they sent out to those who put their email down.
    I think they now know they have good product to sell and don't have to worry about building inventory.
    Remember, it was originally launched as test pilot for potential partners on what they could do with all that sensors and platform free.
  • I want a Microsoft band!
  • Do you think they are going to release an updated band with Windows 10?
  • Good now they need to have a sell where you could purchase a Lumia and get this thing for some amount offer have it the other way around or just throw a starter Lumia in there to showcase the sync features
  • Yes! I'm getting one after I can see it in person and try it on
  • This must be why they were out of stock. They were building stock for best buy!
  • About mother loving time. Those OEMs missed out big. We are talking loads of sensors, works with all platforms, integrating with Cortana.
    Let the Hullabaloo starts, I'm game.
  • Best Buy has done a much better job with the sp3. My global survey of IPhone users (my sister in-law, nephew and his girlfriend) shows that zero 0% of IPhone users will by the "Apple I watch"
  • What if it turns into the Apple Me Too Watch? Will they cave? Taking a break from Twitter I see. ;)
  • I think the show offs will buy it. For the folks who buy their iPhone on eBay/don't have discretionary income there is no compelling reason to own it? That being said, I am usually wrong.
  • That's it, I'm getting one.
  • They're late I just hope not too late.
  • They are not late. We just saw the first somewhat compelling product hit market less than a year ago. This is anyone's game. The real question in my mind is who wants these band/watch devices and if there is a true mass market for them outside of the few odd ducks that currently already have a watch. Seems to me like a toy or a gimmick that people will try for a few months and give up on.
  • Yeah. There's still a good chance.
    I don't wear a watch anymore but if I had the band or another fitness wearable then I might be able to use it for 6 months or more before getting bored by it.
    But I'm hoping that I don't get bored by it if I buy it that is.
  • I'd strongly consider one of the battery life was longer.
  • This is one reason my band is at the drawer. I could have used it at last weekend full marathon but it wont last more than 3.5hr. It died on me once at mile 22.
  • Odd. I don't, and haven't had that issue with mine.
  • Run faster then ;-)
  • Make it worldwide for crying out loud
  • As always #Coming Soon :P.
  • Another lost opportunity
  • yes, but has MS finally commited to the band? will there be a band 2.0? I have no interest to purchase one unless there is a commitment and i yet to hear one. They are riding a wave right now, but what happens long term?
  • I sure hope so, it is an amazing device. Going for the Acer band myself.
  • Along those lines, is there any way to know now if the Band will be compatible with Windows 10? Would hate to buy one now and not have it work when 10 Developer Preview is functional in a few months or new devices are launched this summer or fall.
  • It interacts with apps, not directly with the OS.  I don't see why the OS version would change anything.  Consider that MS Band works with both iOS and Android so I can't imagine that Windows 10 is going to be an issue.
  • Microsoft should honor their word on actionable data of they want to get ahead and get momentum before Apple watch is on sale. What are these tons of sensors if the software is so plain? Once consumers, I mean, not the early adopters found out the companion app is plain, it might be too late or a steep climb to get to the top of market share. Just look at how Surface started.
  • Still not in the UK have had to go for a fitbit surge in the meantime
  • Lol... You guys seriously think this thing will be more widely used than some watch? Ok.
    This doesn't even belong to the same category as the watch and I bet
    Microsoft by the end of the year will come up with some kind of watch.
  • How Best Buy will demo the Band without a windows phone?
  • Considering it is a platform agnostic device I am sure they will be able to demo it with any phone you want.
  • Partially
  • Serious question. I've been looking for a Smartwatch for some time that works with my Lumia. I know a good bit about the Microsoft Band and I think it will do what I want it to do. My question is, those of you that use the band as more of a watch than a fitness tracker, what are your thoughts? Should I take the dive?
  • Yes, as someone who uses my Band every day many times a day, the fitness part is nice but the real killer features have to do with everything that stops you from having to pull a phone out of your pocket/purse. If it did NOTHING else, I would wear it for the Cortana integration alone. Being able to push a button and speak into the band to do everything "Cortana-related" is a real amazing feature. Then having the "sleep-tracking" is my next favorite feature and has changed my health, attitude, and otherwise given me insight into what type of sleep I need to be more productive. Now, being able to quickly read alerts and email via the "scrolling" feature is yet another thing that stops me from having to pull the phone out of my pocket. The band is great, fairly-priced, and battery life is fine. Charge it while driving or in the shower and you are set.
  • I think yes. I love the non-fitness features and use them everyday: Alarm, timer, texts, reminders, sleep tracker, lists, emails. The fitness tracker is just a bonus now. I plug it in during my shower each morning and that's it. May not be enough if you use GPS for long runs, but enough for us slugs. I'm a woman too, and find the size, comfort and looks just fine for all except a very formal event.
  • Mmmm but Apple will offer their watch also outside US, right??? Microsoft only sells and make shipments of the Band for US- Only.
  • For as much grief as everyone gives Microsoft, no one can argue that there had been a dramatic shift with the new CEO into the realm of what can only be described as "Sound Logic". Listening to your most faithful users and partners yields returns in that area that no corporate meeting or focus group can offer. This is EXACTLY what Microsoft needed to do with the band, whether it was a "surprise hit" or not (I tend to believe it was a "toe in the water" and the love for the product in it's "beta" form was not projected... But rather was a pleasant surprise). Either way, I like the response to the demand. Immediate effort to produce as many bands as possible to satisfy "pockets of demand" in the U.S. via online and Microsoft Stores, all while silently preparing a massive retail launch ahead of Apple for once, proactive as opposed to reactive. Best Buy is THE place for this to happen. After all, back when the original Surface Pro was launched in Best Buy-- Best Buy was an "Apple Stage" with Apple products everywhere and Microsoft products barely an "honorable mention". Many like me might remember how that product launch was completely botched with a supply-chain error of horrific proportions where you had both Microsoft partners (my company) and the general public pre-ordering the device only to arrive at the store on that fateful February morning to find that the devices hadn't been put on the trucks... Because supply never arrived at the factories. Whoops. Yet another instance where Microsoft had people lined up to buy their product and the couldn't satisfy demand. It was TWO MONTHS before I had my now-beloved Surface Pro in my hands. Still in my hands, still my only device asking with my Lumia 1020. I still refer to the anger and frustration of that day as a "Balmer Moment". I guess I'm STILL not over it. ;) Anyhow, glad to see Microsoft's new leader exercising "sound logic", listening to advice from users and partners, and otherwise running a business that can quickly react to unexpected demand. This is how you build brand-loyalty similar to the Apple-faithful.
  • So... does this mean that each store will get 2 units? Or has MS finally figured out how to mass produce something?
  • I don't see how these two are related, apple's device is.. A watch, a premium stylish watch to waste some time, and the band is just.. Well, a plastic band with a screen that doesn't make any sense to use, I hope they sell enough to consider making an actual smartwatch next time
  • Watches are obsolete, bands are in, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/22/obsolete-things-decade_n_800240.html
  • I can't imagine you have the Band if you think this. I found mine immensely useful and intuitive from day one. As a woman I just wish I could get it in red or something wow.
  • Well, you are partially correct. The band is IMHO much more simplistic. But the Apple watch is nothing special and no more special than many Andorid devices. But let's let's be honest, the Apple faithful have never really coveted anything that makes much sense, they covet Apple products. They are in most cases, and I am happy to defend this, prople who don't really get tech and want a simple, easy-to-use, not very complicated device.
  • As a former Bestbuy employee, you need to aggressively showcase products if you want a potential buyer. My concern, even with the store I worked at, none of the displays ever worked.... Who else can vouch for me that when you go into a Bestbuy, the products themselves don"5 even turn on.
  • True people break.. I seen people doing it
  • Yeah every time I go into Best Buy I have the urge to bust some sh#t up.
  • It's a valid concern. I'm lucky to be a stone's throw from a Best Buy that features Microsoft products that actually ate showed to be turned on and (gasp) displayed correctly. It was an alarming trend not even a year ago to see the Surface Pro 2 almost intentionally allowed to run out of battery and/or separated from it's keyboard, put into a dark corner of the store or display, and otherwise "hidden in plain sight" from the consumer. It was as if the store employees had been paid to recommend Apple products instead. I would make it a point to make a big deal about it when I found a "disabled" Surface Pro. Now, I find myself having to "fix" the Surface Pro 3 Keyboard in their stores because they chose to attach the security cable to the top of the keyboard, thus making it very difficult to prop the keyboard in a slanted position. Training and product positioning... Very important.
  • I Love Microsoft Band...  
  • Honestly Microsoft Band first product from Microsoft i do not want to buy because of the thickness and screen size, im still waiting for a decent smartwatch Microsoft......
  • I'm a small woman and find it very wearable. Maybe not elegant, but the iwatch would look just as dorky because of it's size. It's about function; same reason many women wear men's watches.
  • iwatch looks like a kids toy nothing Pro about it
  • I just bought mine
  • All fine and good but the iWatch will most likely outsell the band by a margin of anywhere between 10-30. :) but good to see MS being more aggressive with the Band.
  • How Apple continues to fool people into overspending when there are perfectly able and drastically cheaper alternatives amazes me.
  • It's the mind share. iThings=luxury to a lot of people. Im a performance kind of guy and don't really drink anyone's Kool-Aid, but im a staunch MS user.
  • I feel there are too many gadgets on the Microsoft band for me.
  • Can't wait to finally be able to buy one. Damn, its ridiculous how, Microsoft isn't manufacturing more of these bands.
  • iSheepWatch is expected to have 4 hours battery life with medium usage #epicfail !!!! My Band with latest firmware update lasts 4 days :)
  • Of course this Best Buy US not Canada :(
  • My jaw LITERALLY dropped right now reading that headline.
  • Getting an acer leap+ because of the none-availability in europe. I'll get the 2nd iteration then (if MS will release it in europe).
  • When for New Zealand?????????
    Fitbits are everywhere, but I want the Microsoft Band.
  • One would think insurace companies would be all over health bands
  • Can finally use my gift cards!
  • Not good enough that the MS Band is not in the UK yet... What's going on?
  • Honestly, they should have done this back when they announced it. Any momentum they had has either been lost, or not as great as it was. Its a shame
  • Microsoft, why US only and no love for your friendly northern neighbor?
  • Nice headline, but I really don't think that Apple will or should be too concerned about this.
  • When is MSFT going to refresh the band with gorilla glass?!??! I would be all over the band with gorilla glass!
  • I think I might order the Microsoft Band but I'm from Portugal and surly it will stop @ customs
    Its time to ms push their band to the world
  • I'm seeing a lot of "When in India?". So here's my take, "When in Saudi Arabia?" and "WhenInPhilippines?" This is not a joke. Hope Microsoft will finally realize that there's a whole new world outside the US.
  • Stop being so self centered, when in ANYWHERE OTHER THAN AMERICA?
  • Hope a fix for connection issues is addressed. Take it from a person who has had one since October. Wait till gen 2, if the platform makes it that far.
  • I think they should advertise the microsoft band as a FUNCTION/PERFORMANCE Device over STYLE/FASHION. And mind you, advertise it to hell. Like for every apple watch advertisement, they should be there too, to make a substantial impact as to make the public aware of their differences. Well, that is if they are willing to offend their partners in this smartwearable category.
  • What about people who don't care much for health? I just want a smartwatch for full notifications and 2 way voice Cortana. That's all. I think there is even a bigger market for that, given that most geeks I know don't care about their pulse, and those who do don't care about the band and go for smth else.
  • Just figure out the pebble situation.
  • I'm sure Apple doesn't care one bit what Microsoft is doing with their band. Yawn .....
  • 1 in every store
  • Why sell it in places full of hater employees, it'll just be more damaging. Open up nor MS stores or rent out space at Best Buy and put your own employees there and not Best Buy employees.
  • To get it outside the US, ebay for a premium or www.bigapplebuddy.com for a small extra charge for the service (about $40)... I got mine in the UK last year... Works great.
  • when will be available microsoft band in india ?
  • No one knows.
  • Can you buy online at bestbuy?
  • Tried to get one via mail forwarding service outside US. While xbox services like my european credit card the store rejected it and 4h (!) of talking to different customer service representatives didnt resolve the problem. They tried to blame my bank but everything is fine its on Microsofts end. Joke: Last microsoft US billing is only 3 days ago, but staff is to stupid and treats one like a moron. Pretty frustrated as I already visited 4 stores in FL in January without luck. I own all the Microsoft stuff but this customer service sucks! Rethinking my next purchases...
  • So you were trying to get Microsoft to deliver your item to a mail forwarding address?!!
    No wonder they refused.
  • If you manage to find a retailer in another continent that will ship a physical product to an address different from the credit card billing address, especially on your first order, I'd be very surprised. It would kinda make credit card theft quite attractive.... "Hi, you're through to Microsoft, how can I help you today?" "I'd like 25 Surface Pro 3's please. I've got a credit card." "I can help you with that, do you want them sent to your billing address?" "Nah, send them to my, errr, brother in Nigeria please".
  • Too bad I gave up trying to find one and bought a Fitbit Charge HR. Maybe when v2 of the band comes out I'll upgrade to that.
  • when is it comeing to uk
  •  More availability is always a good thing. Now I'll be able to try one on and see what size I need.
  • There's a way of checking: http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-band/en-us/sizing
  • Okay. Thanks.
  • Got mine ordered Friday Night. Can't wait to get it!
  • In México Please!!!!!
  • Hoping they expand with a watch!!
  • This is too arrogant from MS I suppose unless release globally.
  • Yay another store to tell me they're out of stock.
  • Next month Europe please :)
  • Watch out, Apple? This is another new low for Denial Rubino. I'll stick my neck out and predict that Apple will sell 20x as many of whatever they put on the shelf as Microsoft Band. I don't even like Apple products and expect their watch to underperform.  Who knows, maybe this artcile was meant to be ironic. 
  • Maybe it was, did you ask him if it was?
  • You can buy it on ebay if you don't mind paying a slight premium.
  • Slight? At least a 75% markup if not more.
  • LOL. Try over double the retail price.
  • "watch out apple?". Seriously?! They are going to sell more apple watches in the first week than Microsoft will sell in the entire year.
  • Lord help us, the insanity begins: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/03/08/apple-watch-ready-to-start...
  • This actually pisses me off to the point that I won't buy one now. Microsoft has been sitting on stock to be prepared for this partner release with Best Buy. Meanwhile, people have been trying to buy the damn thing and having to wait due to a false "shortage". MS had a chance to hit the market hard before Apple, but they wanted to play marketing/stock games and I hope they get stuck with a warehouse full of bands that'll never sell. I'll happily buy an Apple Watch AND a Jawbone UP3 when they are released instead.
  • One advantage of selling the Microsoft Band in Best Buy stores is that customers can try on the different sizes to get the best fit. Having to return a product by mail because it doesn't feel comfortable or fit properly is a double hassle.
  • Or they could just use the online sizing guide.
  • Yeah, wach out, Apple. MS is such a threat by still selling them US only after almost 6 month while Apple will sell their watch
    worldwide from the beginning.
    Sorry, but I hope the next MS Band version will be available worldwide from the beginning so it will have a chance to be successful.
     
  • Why the F*&^ are they not releasing it in UK.  More and more stock in US only.   Damn.
  • Have any of you guys been to best buy? Microsoft is simply throwing money away giving it to them. They initially had a nice Microsoft display which is still nice but now located behind the Apple displays. So in short, this was strategically done with the hope that people would buys Apple products before getting to the Microsoft section.
  • Now that the Aple Watch has been announced, we see that it will record the wearer's blood pressure.  This is a feature that many have asked about for the MS Band. This is a much needed feature that is needed by many persons as a health tool. PLEASE include adaptation to the software to add a calculated BP on the MS Band in a near-future update.  The Apple watch will be available to people to buy in mid April.  We NEED TO GET AHEAD ON MS Band features.  Will someone pass this info to MS Engineering Inovation staff? Thanks.  
  • You'd need to contact Microsoft to get the suggestion passed on... I've not seen that Apple's Watch records blood pressure. Do you mean heart rate?
  • when it coming to uk