Microsoft reportedly planning a Microsoft Band 2 for later this year
File this one under obvious, but WinFuture.de, who recently "confirmed" specs about two upcoming Microsoft flagship phones is now saying that the software and services company is planning on releasing a Microsoft Band 2 later this year.
Important things like details are missing from the report, although it does say that "the second generation has already progressed very far" and it is being internally tested extensively.
I suppose that Microsoft releasing a second iteration of their Microsoft Band nearly one-year after the launch of the first is not news. The launch would likely coincide with the big Windows 10 push, which starts with Windows 10 for PC this summer and progress through Surface Pro 4, Mobile, Xbox One, and HoloLens throughout the rest of the year.
How could the Microsoft Band not be included in that roadmap? I think the bigger news would be that Microsoft canned the whole project.
It should be well understood at this point that the Microsoft Band is a Gen 1 device in limited quantity as Microsoft feels out the waters for wearables. The idea that any company has this stuff figured out is certainly immature. Everything from price points to features to design is all up in the air in 2015. Apple is clearly taking the high-price / 'jack of all trades' approach. FitBit is dipping its toe into the smartwatch category with Surge. Pebble is still a thing (though probably not for long) and Android Wear runs the full gamut.
At this point, Microsoft has likely taken a lot of the feedback from Band 1 and began fixing them for Band 2, which gets a more robust rollout this time around. In that sense, I expect some changes in design, more resilient materials, added features but likely the same price point.
Microsoft learned from the first generation of the Surface and Windows 8 that building something in secret does not always work out. Just read Panos Panay's mea culpa on this topic. This reason is why the Surface Pro 3 and Windows 10 is resonating so well because now the company is building the product more openly.
The same goes with Microsoft Band 2. Do a slow rollout, garner feedback, go back to the drawing board and do it bigger and better. Toss in some reactions from developers using the SDK and see what apps people are using, and you have a much better idea of how to build a successful product.
The big question I have: Will Microsoft Band 2 actually run Windows 10 or just bootstrapped firmware like the current version? You would think the a Band 2 would jump to Windows 10 for obvious reasons, but so far, we have no idea what Microsoft plans are in this regard.
Since the WinFuture.de report lacks actual details (but the idea is highly plausible), we turn to you to ask what do you want to see in the Microsoft Band 2? Do you want a greater focus on smartwatch features or health? Should Microsoft try to make it as a proper smartwatch or a wearable accessory?
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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.