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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
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

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.