Why Microsoft Band is in short supply (it's not a marketing conspiracy)

This week, Microsoft entered the health and fitness wearables business with the Band. The Microsoft Band is meant to crush the competition, take on Fitbit, Jawbone, Apple, and Android Wear. Therefore, it makes sense that Microsoft wants limited supplies so that they can garner 'sold out' headlines everywhere, creating the appearance of high demand.

The only problem with everything I just wrote is it is entirely wrong. Let me squelch some myths here about the Microsoft Band and what Microsoft is trying to do.

Myth 1 – Microsoft Band is built to compete with the fitness wearable industry

False. Microsoft Band is best thought of as a demonstration device for Microsoft's sensor and software technology. The bigger story this week is not the Microsoft Band but rather the Microsoft Health platform, but since Microsoft Health cannot be photographed or worn, it is less impressive.

Enter in the Microsoft Band to demo the capabilities of the Microsoft Health platform.

Did you know that everything in the Microsoft Band could be optionally licensed out to any manufacture? Microsoft said it (opens in new tab):

"Microsoft Health is designed to benefit our partners in many ways. For new entrants and startups we have a complete offering that includes our app, and APIs as well as cloud storage for their data. Existing services can upload their data to Microsoft Health and take advantage of our advanced algorithms and the powerful machine learning from our Intelligence Engine to give their customers insights. New devices can license our 10 wrist-worn sensor modules to gather robust data including active heart rate, sleep and GPS ."

See that last sentence there? It is super important. If the Microsoft Band was meant to be the be-all, end-all of fitness wearables, why are they so eager to let every company license all of that 'exclusive' technology? This proclamation is a significant indication of Microsoft's real strategy here.

Microsoft does not want to put companies like Jawbone or Fitbit out of business, they want them to collaborate with Microsoft. Yes, this means Fitbit's next device could utilize the hardware/sensor setup found in the Band. At the very least it means those companies can tie into Microsoft's Health platform so that even if they do not use Microsoft's sensor technology, they can share the data.

Trying to convince those companies to join you while destroying them in their market is not a great strategy, and it is not what Microsoft is trying to do with the Band.

PCs, the Surface and history

Think of Microsoft's core business: the PC. Microsoft sells licenses to other companies to make awesome hardware. When those manufacturers are not doing a great job, Microsoft can do something like the Surface. Once again, the Surface was not meant to obliterate their partners, it was designed to light a fire under them to make better hardware. The Surface is intended to set the standard, which is why it is less important how well it does and more valuable to see of other OEMs can make some excellent two-in-one computers following it.

The Band kickstarts this process by setting the bar. Microsoft does not necessarily want the Band to take over the fitness industry; they want those companies to license out their hardware and software, just like PCs.

The Microsoft Band has to do well, but not so well it scares off potential partners.

Myth 2 – Short supply is meant to generate headlines

I always hear this reasoning: companies purposefully make fewer devices so that it creates the appearance of high demand. Therefore, people want those devices even more.

Sorry, but this theory is bollocks. Everyone knows the business is about getting the product into people's hands. If you do not, you risk that they may buy something else. Lines are good, but you can have lines and ample supply of something. If Microsoft wanted to do that with the Band they could.

No, the more rational reasoning for the Microsoft Band's limited supply is two-fold (1) Secrecy and (2) This is a demonstration device.

Did you notice how there were no leaks of the Microsoft Band? No photos, no sightings, nothing coming from some production line in China. Had Microsoft opted to go full blast on this release, we would have known about it weeks ago. Instead, out of nowhere, it was announced Thursday night, and it was ready to buy the next morning.

Think about that and the logistics involved! You need to keep the operation small and tight in order to pull that sort of launch off.

There is also the reason mentioned above: the Microsoft Band is only a demonstration device meant to show off the Microsoft Health platform. High sales are respectable, but Microsoft's primary goal here is not necessarily to sell millions of these things, but to catch the attention of the partner manufacturers while stirring up excitement for consumers.

Having said that, I am sure if the industry as a whole snubs Microsoft, they are more than happy to ramp up the Band's production and go all out with it. I am not sure that is a fight smaller companies want to have though.

Microsoft and Fitbit

According to our sources, early next week Microsoft and AT&T are going to announce the Lumia 830 for the US market. I have reported earlier that a limited-time promotion involves giving a Fitbit Flex ($99 value) to new or renewing customers who purchase a Lumia 830.

I can already hear people exclaiming how 'dumb' Microsoft is for promoting Fitbit when they just announced their fitness band. However, as noted above, Microsoft is not looking to push Fitbit out of the way. Instead, Microsoft wants to work with them and doing this promotion is one way you can accomplish such careful diplomacy.

Make friends, not enemies (but don't be afraid to make waves either)

In conclusion, Microsoft is not being stupid, obtuse, or shortsighted with the Band and its release. The device itself is intended to highlight their Health platform and to lure companies into the Microsoft ecosystem. Yes, it will likely go to other markets in the near future, but do not expect Microsoft to go full blast on this smart accessory.

Microsoft is playing a long-term game, and that involves trying to woo potential partners to side with them (and keep Google at bay). Although it may cause frustration for customers who want this exciting wearable right this moment, Microsoft has to tread lightly here if they want friends – and not enemies – in this business.

While many of you just want to own this very device, Microsoft is thinking where they will be in this market two or three years from now. If you switch positions with them, the strategy they are pursuing is a very interesting one. Why settle for just the Microsoft Band when there could be half a dozen products utilizing the same technology, all with unique qualities?

Competition is good, and Microsoft wants it badly for the Microsoft Health platform. Microsoft Band is the kickoff for that strategy.

Daniel Rubino

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.

  • I honestly think these fitness bands are a fad that will fade soon
  • You would be very wrong. Fads don't generate millions of dollars in revenue. This is also more than 'fitness' as the Microsoft Band crosses over into smartwatch territory with alerts, notifications, Cortana and more. This is just the beginning of IoT (Internet of Things) and putting computers in devices and wearables. How that technology evolves and changes is the exciting part - it won't be all health and fitness. But make no mistake, this technology is here and it is staying. It is like saying in 2006 smartphones are a fad (everyone told me that who had a Razr).
  • Daniel, please send me one. It will be like your GOOD DEED OF THE YEAR. I'm in Algeria so there's no way for me to buy one and we can't shop online. You will be making a kid's chrismas wish come true (a 26 years old kid, lol). I bought a 1020 recently and I live in MS ecosystem and this band is making me drule especially since I go running and walk a lot.
  • Aramex forwarding?
  • Buy it on ebay!
  • I am so tempted. At $500 cnd not happening.
  • Be an adult and buy one for yourself.
  • I live in the US and still can't buy one lol
  • I agree it is not a fad, but your argument that fads do not generate millions of dollars in revenue is not proof of that. Remember the pet rock?
  • Yeah what about games like rock band? It was a fad that is completely gone now, made a lot of money while it was around though.
  • Because its a game. This is not even the same planet. This can be improved and changed over time. Its adaptable I suppose. Remember that Apple has one too... And they do nothing wrong... /s lol
  • Not sure what point your trying to make. I was just saying fads DO make millions of dollars is all....
  • That game may be gone but rhythm games in general are still around...
  • Or Rubik's Cube
  • Must I even say it..... Silly bands
  • My pet rock isn't a fad! We've been together for years!
  • Yup, the Firby, tickle me Elmo, Fannie Packs lol
  • Beenie Babies?
  • I'm patiently waiting for Redmond to ask for volunteers to implant chips into their head. I'll be replying to your articles without moving mahahhaha!
  • Fad diets do, car design fads do, clothes design fads do create millions of dollars in profits. Wearables might replace the smartphone, might become implantables, might be in clothes... Who knows. Either way, make that money now!
  • You're wrong about fads...  they can and often DO generate absurd amounts of revenue.  See: Beanie Babies, Backstreet Boys and the Matrix trilogy. But wearables?  Yeah, no.  Not a fad.
  • I think people are being a bit too pedantic in contradicting Daniel. Fads don't make as many millions as things that aren't fads because they don't survive long enough to do so.
  • Microsoft and all the other companies that make/sell smart watches need to add medical alerts from companies like MedicAlert to these devices. That way if someone that has a medical condition need's help (ambulance, etc.), they can get it at the press of a button. This would also be useful in the event of automobile accident's, fires, etc. to get help as fast as possible. IT'S A MUST FEATURE. If this was added, the devices would sell like hotcake's. 
  • I've fallen and can't get up...
  • It's a must have feature. You're right, it only take's one time to need it, to realize how necessary it is.
  • Good point. It can't be all that hard to add emergency notification to any wrist band. It could be very useful for most everyone at a small cost and little inconvience, and, most importantly, one only needs to really need it one time to make it indispensible. Cost/benefit wise.
  • Mistakendly reported your response Daniel (got click happy), SMH.  Loved it though!!
  • So they don't want to make a whole lot because they don't want to make enemies. So in theory, they are keeping supply low, but not because why people think, but so that they don't tread on the other guys. So, it is in their best interest to not make too many more, or they risk alienating other manufacturers. So there is still a bit of a "conspiracy" here, just not the one people thought.
    Because personally, I prefer Microsoft devices because they tend to integrate into the Microsoft ecosystem better than any third party.
  • And very high-quality...
  • Sorry Mr. Rubino, but history is filled with fads that have generated millions of dollars in revenue. As for the rest, you are most correct. Good day sir.
  • I totally agree with you. Till now, our interaction with these smart devices was pretty one sided. However, the development of wearables and the sensor technology will enable these smart devices (like tablet, PC or smartphones) to interact with us. This also makes these devices more intelligent.
  • You couldn't be more correct!!
  • Sorry, Daniel pet rocks were a fad and so are these.  Most people i know with one of these fitbit type devices wear them a few weeks then they sit on the dresser.  Why?  People get tired of chagring them and after a few weeks folks just say who the heck cares how many steps I take a day. Any person who is properly motivated to work out doesn't need one of these to modivate them.
  • Heeyyy, I still have my TV Brick and luvvin it all these years...
  • While I sort if agree, there was a study done that showed something like 70-80% of those who bought a fitness band/smartwatch stopped using it after two months or so
  • Wrong. These bands are heavily used by gym goers and athletes...
  • I agree there is a tremendous amount of potential for wearables.Lots more than even the geekiest among us knows about too. Right now, I can honestly say that I am not interested in getting one.  I am physically disabled, so a lot of this fitness stuff I can't really benefit from.  And I cannot speak, so the voice commands wouldn't do me much good. The thing is people really don't have access to their phones all of the time.  They need to reach for their phones. It's either in a pocket or on something.  It's not before you.  You always have your wrist. They still need to figure out how people are going to communicate with it, though.  Is it always going to be by talking  to it?  Probably not. Probably anything that could be controlled electronically, someone is already dreaming up ways to pair it up with a device like a watch. 
  • Excellent job "1armedGeek" of bringing perspective relevant to a disability to this thread. Brings up a really good point that I've already run into after 3 days of wearing my band. How do I interact with it when I don't have the ability to press either button with the opposite hand? Before the community jumps to the obvious "easy jokes" here, first ran into it while holding my daughter's Halloween candy haul and other cumbersome items and wanted to set a quick reminder via Cortana via the band. My immediate thought was that it would be nice if I could "tap twice" with my chin, knuckle, forehead, etc to have Cortana start listening. Easy thing to add via firmware assuming touch screen hardware can distinguish between accidental and intentional activation. I believe it can, since several things apparently require a "long press" to confirm. Anyhow, great comment that is sure to start people thinking as to how to make the product better.
  • Although I don't necessarily agree that fitnes bands are a fad, fads can and have created millions of dollars in revenue with fear of dating myself I can vividly recall the pet rock fad that inexplicably swept the nation in my youth. Why so many people would purchase a common rock still baffles me.
  • I agree with you almost entirely but; "Fads don't generate millions of dollars in revenue"... You should aske Apple on that one point!
  • But on the same hand very few people think they actually need one other than athletes(wannabes too) or IT geeks. Wearables yes they are here to stay but I doubt anyone today will guess the final outcome correctly.  
  • I feel the opposite. Especially the one for WP. If you read everything it can do... It's fascinating the possibilities. Helps track your health and gives you an extension to your phone. Possibilities are endless. Didn't want one until I took the time to see what this is actually capable of. The Band specifically, sold me on the idea.
  • It not only tracks but learns your routine and makes suggestions...amazing!!!
  • I'm a quite lazy person when talking about fitness (although I like long walks and swimming), but I still want this band since it helps me interact with my WP remotely.
  • I use the Band to track my sleeping patterns. It's so cool to know: How long it took me to fall asleep, how many calories I burned.  How many hr of restful sleep and how many hr of light sleep. etc..
  • Oh yeah, the sleep. It's the most mysterious thing for me, I have so much questions. Hope this band will be available soon worldwide =\
  • Same here. I do run a bit, but in mostly into it because it lets me control my phone to a certain degree.
  • I disagree. My new Nokia Lumia 830 counts my steps just having it in my pocket. Something my Lumia 1020 couldn't do. And you know what? It's actually motivating me to be more active. Now I just wish it could track my heart rate so that I can see if I'm pushing myself hard enough. Time to get a fitness band I guess...
  • My nintendo 3ds count my steps too...
  • My Lumia 635 can do that too. I guess we have Nokia and their SensorCore thing to thank for that. But I've been rather concerned about my health recently (I'm 17 and I still weigh only 100 lbs, and I have a tendency to get lightheaded at times, since, apparently, I don't have enough sodium in my blood), so I'm probably going to get a Microsoft Band sometime this year. But that's just an estimate.
  • How long have Polar fitness watches been around? Since 1977.
  • And as a Finn, I worry about how much longer they will be, unless they partner up with somone (say even Nokia).
  • This stuff will be huge for people with actual health conditions. Add a glucose meter and every diabetic will have one possibly covered by insurance. "Fitness" bands may be a fad but the devices are probably going to be in all kinds of places.
  • Except fads don't generate hundreds of millions of dollars...plus that's wat they (Apple etc) said about the Samsung Galaxy Note..look at them now!
  • No, I don't think so. Instead, I think that as they become more accessible to more people, and the technology shows a clear path to better health, they'll become ubiquitous. I can easily see a future where parents buy them for the whole family in hopes of inculcating healthy habits and lifestyle choices from a young age. This is technology that can make lives better, make no mistake.
  • I believe Milli Vanilli and Justin Beiber generated millions of dollars.
  • I've seen enough family members who are not interested in tech get addicted to Fitbit to the point that they will never go another day without one to say that this market is definitely not a fad. We've had Fitbit for years and still use it religiously.
  • Yeah, I read an article about people becoming obsessed with meeting challenges and causing themselves some physical discomfort
  • It's not just a fitness band though....
  • +925 Yes, they are a fad.  Half the people here would buy microsh*ts if they were sold and advertised by Microsoft
  • They are not going to fade. See "The running man" fitness band. http://www.dvdactive.com/images/reviews/screenshot/2010/2/running0.jpg http://www.moviepilot.de/files/images/0429/4032/the-running-man-movie-03_article.jpg  
  • That second one was an explosive collar, which I guess might be incorporated in some sort of fitness band. Exercise or die.
  • I tend to agree with fitness bands being  fad - but wearables certainly are not. I may be splitting hairs here - but I'd much rather have a smart watch (a very smart watch) with fitness features, than a fitness band with smart watch features. One of the main problems I have with the Band is it's shape, it seems very unwieldy. There is a reason why wrist watches have the shape and orientation they do, it's a very natural form.
  • You'll have to try one on. I thought the same thing as a former watch wearer. You almost forget it is there after a while. Now, would it be better with a curved-glass screen? Yes. About the only things that have made me notice it from an everyday perspective are: 1) Narrow-cuffed clothing, where I have to twist the wrist a bit to slide the sleeve cuff over it (minor). 2) When written on the inside of the wrist, it slightly touches the surface that your keyboard rests on while typing. Now, I imagine that might speak more to improper "typing form", but nonetheless, it is a reminder that it is there and that a curved screen would be better. Band 2.0, coming next Fall with the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Phone 1! ;)
  • So only 10 months to save up $3,000. Doable, but I won't wait. Will have Band v1, Surface Pro and new WP in Janauary.
    -SAB And sell them in the Fall. Done.
  • You should have a video to more articles. Talking about it. Even if you replace podcasts. Just an idea. I enjoy watching them on YouTube. Like tech buffalo or whatever they call themselves. Makes it more personal. Just an idea! Plus your videos are very well made. Not annoying for example lol
  • The idea has crossed my mind. Matter of us expanding, possible getting a proper office/studio setup ;)
  • Why not! You can only get more viewers! That can't be so bad ;) Plus I like being able to go to one source for everything. Thanks for replying and considering my opinion. Keep it up!
  • I expect this idea will convert into reality sooner rather than later! :)
  • Probably :)
  • It doesn't hurt that you're easy on the eyes, either.
  • LOL.
  • Something as simple as what Steve L. From AAWP does would be a cool start. Especially using a Lumia 1020 or Nokia 808.
  • "Something as simple as what Steve L. From AAWP does" But with accurate information.
  • Windows Central world headquarters, yeah!
  • And also I would maybe like to see articles posted to Flipboard. That actually would be pretty cool. Just a thought
  • I've been thinking of this ever since I downloaded the Flipboard app. However, I prefer using the WCentral app due to the "comments" section, "video links," and "email notifications" whenever someone replies to your comment. That's just me though.
  • That's a good idea, BUT I need my data safe, also reading has its benefits!
  • I think the Podcast would have to be an ongoing thing for it to be replaced. It's been MIA for months.
  • I never watch videos. And I never say never. If I have to be subjected to videos, at least give me a transcription too.-SAB
  • My version would be in addition to the written article.... So we'd have written... Pictures... And video. Everyone wins
  • Who will use this ? Seriously
  • Me
  • Maybe the people who bought it and love it..
    and the people who wants it.. Is not meant for everyone, so don't feel obligated to buy it too...
  • Who needs a smartphone? Why not live in a cave? Seriously what was the point of your trolling comment?
  • Not a troll, just reality. La cible est trop réduite pour ce genre de produits, peu de persones vont être intéressés. Nous attentions tous une montre connectée, sans rapport avec le monde du "fitness"... Why fitness ? (yes, use a translator from french, couldn't find the right words in english)
  • Fitness is at the core of health. Heart rate, pulse, exercise, and so forth are vital keys to that part of a person's overall health. Then, add sleep monitoring (another important step) and then nutritional intake from apps like MyFitnessPal. So in other words, these devices can play a vital role to help one live a better (and prolonged) life. So...yes, a fad is not the right word. I'd get this over an Xbox One any day. :) life is fragile
  • It's really not that small of a market. There's a reason there are more and more companies making fitness devices these days. People are buying them.
  • Nobody!  They just sold to a bunch of Microsoft Band(s) to "Nobody" and it's now out of stock! (glad I bought two) So the rest of the "somebody" are left out in the dust, and pissed about not getting one.
  • Uhhh! I will and am!
  • I plan on it
  • And me
  • Me and millions of others.
  • Sorry for that comment, didn't know mass people were interested by this "band". Sorry !
  • Who the heck is "mass" Grand ? Why every thing has to be a populace thing ? That's so adolescent.
  • On an article citing that it is sold out online and in the store you didn't know 'mass people were interested' so you thought you would take the time to add value by posting the equivelent of "Look at me! I exist!"
    As your claim of not trolling, if you post trollish comments such as you did, you are being a troll.  If you are generally interested in understanding the benefits you should first read about the product, the other comments and then if you still don't get it and are generally interested in why others would want this, you simply ask that.   If you think something is indeed pointless, then you say why so others might have a discussion.  Simply saying the equivelent of something sucks or is dumb is a pointless without details is a worthless effort and is the definition of a message board troll.
  • After almost two days of wearing Band, I would recommend it to all the WP users.  Band is actually a cross between a smartwatch and a fitness band with rich amount of sensors.  Besides the fitness data, it also provides all the basic smartwach features that includes time, weather, email, phone call, text messaging, social, calendar, alarms and Cortana, etc. No keyboard and speaker.  But who needs those features when you have a Lumia in your pocket.  Band serves as a wearable companion to your Lumia with quick and convenient notifications and viewing. Its value is not just a data collector and tracker for the Micorosoft Health Platform, the potentials could be huge with the future integration with MS Cloud and HealthVault.  The machine learning tech of the Cloud can generate and answer all sorts of health related questions.  In addtion to see the collected data and history, it could tell you why the changes, why it happens, what's the medical implications, etc.  This is the big piture of Band platform.  That's what I'm buying into.  Of course, Fitbit Surge will do the same as Band does.  I have finally realized why the Band is recommend to be worn on the palm side of the wrist.  Its position is more natural for viewing the screen than wearing it on the back side of wrist.  Also the elbow gets better support on desk or bed.  You don't have to twist your arm and hang your elbow in the air while viewing screen.  When you view a normal watch, it usually only takes a second.  But when you view and use a smartwatch, it could take many minutes.  You elbow will feel tired quickly.  But with a wrist worn screen, chance of it to rub against the desk top is higher, so the screen shield should definitely be installed. The Cortana on Band works amazingly well.  Just holding down Action Button for 2-3 seconds, you are ready to talk.  It is that easy.  WP users are the major beneficiaries of using Band.  This is the smartest buy I did this year. Now I'm waiting for another surprise announcement from MS about Lumia 1030.  Is it going to happen tonight?  :-)
  • Can you dismiss notifications from the Band, i.e. they will not show up anymore on the phone's notification center (that's one are, btw, where WP8.1. needs improvement - I dismiss/look at toast notification and it still shows in the action center AND the tile.. arrggh)?
  • Great comment and my experience and thoughts after having this band for the days are "crystallized eloquently" in your comment. I would add that this has the ability to give you more of what is everyone's greatest commodity: Time. More Time in your day, More efficient use of said Time due to less important moments missed per the excellent commercial, and ultimately... More Time alive with the health benefits!
  • Tried today in Orlando at two stores, no go.
  • Why? Too bulky?
  • Me. You have no idea, and I don't say that in a condecending way. The Band has so much functionality it's so useful. The health tracking is great, but the remote interaction i have wth my phone is by far the best. So, a ton of WP users would definitely would want to use this, with you included if you tried it. Guaranteed.
  • Me.
  • Still trying to find one to buy!!!
  • I want one. I have a Fitbit and love it, but this band can do so much more. I hope Fitbit partners with Microsoft on this since I also have the Aria scale and would love all my data to be in one app.
  • Well, I've been using mine since the moment it went on sale. I used it at the gym yesterday and plan on using it every morning when I workout. It's also a perfect smartwatch bringing the minimalist design and presence of windows phone to a small comfortable wrist band. And the thin inverted design is pretty brilliant, packing a lot of data into a very compact wearable.
  • I can't even find one to buy. People are interested in this.
  • Whoever asked who will need this is because his blindness block his vision to all the potential this devices has. Mobile, health, monitor, you guess it...
  • No dude. I mean really. Seriously. Really seriously. You know?
  • All I know is that I want one really damn bad. I've been through the kreyos, Nike fuelband, Nike sportwatch, pebble and every damn thing that halfway works with WP... and this is the first that has notifications with a well-executed social health platform. I was mortified when I pushed through a 10 hour work day, rushed straight to my local Microsoft store (about a 40min drive) and they were out of it.
  • Oohhh, not good. Sorry to hear that!
  • Thats why I went first thing in the morning. I had a feeling they wouldn't have it if I waited.
  • Would've if I could've, but I didn't have that option.
  • There were plenty in OKC when I picked mine up.
  • I guess ppl in OKC aren't into fitness.
  • From someone currently in OKC, you're wrong.
  • Sold out at both Utah locations by second day.
  • Between this and the fitbit surge I think this is the best way to go for smart wearables now...now if we can get longer battery life
  • I agree. I personally prefer a watch design like the Surge, but I think this will be a better device overall.
  • With heavy use it will get about 30 hours...considering what it does...thats pretty awesome.
  • When it will launch in India. Waiting!!
  • This article is a joy for eyes and soul.
    Go Microsoft :) !!!!
  • Uhm... If people want to buy it, Microsoft needs to provide it.
    In my opinion they didn't expect so much 'success' and that is why they are on the service more than the hardware but things might change or adapt now, it is certainly a better approach than many others
  • The things I wrote in this article are more than just speculation, it is from numerous sources 'familiar with the matter'. Take that as you will though, as we are entitled to our opinions.
  • After a little thought... Makes sense; software business. After all this is why Microsoft is what it is. Microsoft band and health app is a thing
  • Exactly right on the article. This is a return to Microsoft's traditional long-term, strategic planning that got them the growth in the market for so many years. Bravo to Satya for turning the ship around and bravo to Daniel for recognizing it.
  • Though, should we discount how it was reported that the Band has been 3 years in the making?
  • Its almost as if he didn't read the article. ​
  • Microsoft's new CEO has clearly shown he is focused on promoting the cloud services side of Microsoft, and sees hardware as just one avenue to that. Also, licensing provides Microsoft a lot more money than hardware. Daniel's analysis makes perfect sense.
  • Exactly, MS is first and foremost a software company. Only that software cannot 'exist' without hardware, or at least needs to run on some hardware, that's why they are often 'forced' into the hardware space, especially when highly integrated companies like Fruit Inc. present solid competition... Anyways, exciting times ahead! :)
  • Microsoft left the "Zune" era some years ago (even though people called the Zune a "flop" all over the internet it provided a lot of technology, also for the phone you hold in your hand right now so the Zune was for sure not a waste of resources). Agreed, Microsoft was late to the mobile "world" the Zune was a stepping stone to the direction Microsoft went to protect all that was achieved in decades before. The surface line is a good example of that path. Microsoft set the standards for better things to come and kept the prices of their quality devices HIGH so their partners would and could produce similar or cheaper products. I think Daniel is completely right and this is how I see it too. Microsoft under Ballmer made smart decisions for their future and we will see a lot more, we are at the beginning of better  and cheaper things to come and with that Microsoft need their partners/OEM's, Nadella knows this and with him on the wheel I see great partnerships and awesome products soon to arrive. This is no time to be greedy.....   t
  • Exactly. The Zune devices provided the UI concepts that you now have in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 Windows Phone 7.x and 8.x Xbox One Band And that's besides giving teams the expertise to create Surface and Band. And THAT is besides actually being a superb music player and ecosystem that were miles ahead of their competition.  
  • Zune's metro style lived on as all of those brands.  Actually hardware design is pretty similar to Surface as well.  You know the same people who designed Zune also worked on Surface.
  • I just know that I really want one. Hopefully they can get more in stock soon. I don't want one from another company, I want the Microsoft one. Microsoft has been making some stellar hardware and I'm sure this is no different.
  • Can't wait to see the first MS phone. Excited and nervous at the same time...
  • This is why I was not a business or econ major. Wouldn't have thought that up.
  • You meant surface pro right?
  • 'Surface' as their general product line, which has changed since its initial release.
  • Very interesting article. Although MS doesn't want to compete with Fitbit and other companies, I still hope MS will release this beauty worldwide (I want it so much...). Also nice to see MS creating another platform in the cloud, which is HUGE. Just imagine how much easier it will be to manage health data when it will be available from anywhere, any device. It's only the beginning, but I already see a bright future in it (is there a competitor which has a similar platform?).
  • I disagree, I think MS would love to sell 10s of millions of these and have a massive new revenue segment for their business. It's a nice theory that they want to put this out as a demonstration device and license the tech to Fitbit/Jawbone, but I'm not buying it.
  • I hate to tell you this: it's not a theory. You won't find many rebuttals to this from people in the know, I can guarantee it.
  • It's just a fig leaf over the fact that the Band won't sell multi-millions just like Surface. "Oh we never intended this to be a hit, it's just a demonstration device". Nobody bought it about Surface, and nobody will buy it abou this either. Remember we live in a world where Apple is blowing everyone's brains out in profits on consumer devices. Either Microsoft should get serious about this or get out of it altogether and leave hardware to the big boys.
  • Microsoft is trying to work with their OEM partners, not destroy them. Apple has a very different strategy which is NOT working with other companies. When was the last time you saw Apple license anything to anyone to use to make their own Apple-hardware? The fact you gloss over this difference is shocking. Microsoft is not trying to be Apple.
  • Yeah how horrible to emulate a company that rakes in from $8 to $13 billion EBITA per quarter. That's such a horrible place to be Daniel...
  • You are still failing to point out that Microsoft is not pursuing that strategy. You are merely suggesting a reason why they should. Satya has been very clear about what Microsoft is and isn't, this is not hard to decipher.
  • What I'm saying is Microsoft is a corporation. Their #1 job is to make massive amounts of profits, not to be a charity giving us devices. Sure it might be nice for some of us, but investors don't like it. The only reason MS stock has been up th last few months is the 25K layoff that MS has been doing. Investors like it when you cut costs that help improve profits. Investors do not have any confidence in MS to produce consumer devices. I guarantee you that if MS dropped XBox, Phone and all hardware and went 1000% on Azure the stock woudl go to $60 in a month. MS just has this jones for competing with Apple. Apple envy all the way.
  • The stock may go to $60 in the short run, but it would damage it in the long run. Solely looking at the bottom line is failing strategy in business, especially in this case, Evertthing is tied together and needs to be there to support everything else. There is no problem taking some inspiration in Apple, they are a good company. However, while they have been manufacturing their own devices, they have been very clear in their their intentions - with the Surface and now the Band. Even Xbox is a delivery system for their products and services.
  • Just because MS is choosing to license their product (those new oems are making some real gems out of WP aren't they? /s) doesn't make MS right, does it? Control your product or expect fragmentation in hardware or sub par equipment trashing MS's fragile name in the mobile space.
  • Sure, their job is to make massive amounts of profits, but this is their business model and has been for decades. In the beginning they had other companies make the computers for their OS. Yes, do they want to sell millions of Surface devices, of course, but they also know they other companies make up the majority of the computers in the world. They know that hardware is but ONE stream of revenue. The MS Band is a platform, much like Windows 8. They know that they must transition to other forms of revenue. They see the cloud as everything. They see their Heath software as a platform for others to use. Just because Apple is a successful does not mean that every compay should copy exactly what they do. That does not guarantee success. When Apple was near backrupt years ago, did they copy Microsoft? No god, there are more than one way to make billions. And by the looks at the last quarter, it looks like Microsoft is doing pretty well. Surface is another billion dollar business. Please get your head of out the sand.  
  • Like I said, if the band technology goes the way of WP OEMs, it is sure to turn to shit. If you are telling me to get my head out of the sand, then get yours out of your ass and realize OS software, band, and WP are separate entities and cannot be predicted to work out the same way business wise. I'm hoping the band does not go the way of WP.
  • Which is why I LOVE Microsoft products over Apple. Apple is a horribly-proprietary company.
  • Yet whenever I see pictures of an Apple store, it's always jammed with people. Juxtaposed with the MS Store you only see 2-3 people inside with the exception of Friday when the Band launched. I'm not hearing any stories of people in MS stores right now. It seemed like it was a one-day surge of foot traffic due to the overnight hype.
  • Any company would love to be Apple, so would MS. However,  in fact, MS is like Apple in one important respect - both are making huge profits; but, through different strategies. Not everyone can have the same strategy.
  • 100% correct. Many NOT in the know want to believe that Microsoft is trying to be Apple, but only because that premise supports their argument. As you said, the new CEO had been very clear both publicly and with Microsoft's Partners (like us) as to the overall goal, where the battle will be fought, and with which devices. I think many seek to over-complicate what is essentially a very straightforward message. One word: Cloud. Auxiliary word: Who's?. No cloak, no dagger.
  • Ha! Had to reply to my own post as my own internal grammar police siren started sounding and I saw that auto-correct/swipe had left "Who's" instead of "Whose" in my comment. Whew, all better now! ;) Whose cloud are YOU on as opposed to "Who is on/in the cloud". ;-)
  • If you think about it... They are doing both... Getting serious about it and leaving it to would be partners (Fitbit, Jawbone, etc.). Why would any of them seriously consider licencing hardware and/or software from Microsoft without a little demonstration that the public wants it first? Because that's how PCs work? Actually PCs prove the point - before Surface there was only one or two convertibles and they sucked - after Surface every OEM has at least one or two either hybrids or convertibles and they are much better than what was before. On the why not just go all in? Easy - there's no (or very little) overheads to licence tech out compared to making profits on top of hardware - especially of you look at it as make money selling one device or make money licencing your tech to a bunch of other companies? It brings to mind a quote I read somewhere about what MS is doing with Satori and all the things now leveraging it and Azure - they don't want to be making the user interface level - they want to be the ones powering all those user interface level devices instead. The fact Siri now uses Bing (and by extension Satori) on the backend highlights its not a bad tactic to take.
  • Microsoft is taking Google's "Nexus" route with this. They are making a device to showcase the capabilities and lead OEMs in the direction they want. How many millions do you think Google makes off of the Nexus line? (hint: not many)
  • The fact is that Microsoft invests more in cloud less on hardware. And keeping less supply of hardware is better.
  • Exactly! Inventory (especially tech inventory) is expensive, whereas software costs you nothing to keep hold of. ;) it's nearly all pure profit!
  • Exactly. Apple is not really a software company but a hardware and design company and as such suffer high levels of risk from fickle consumers which is why Apple feels it necessary to "trap" people in their ecosystem, i.e., make it very expensive for them to leave...
  • Consideirng how many of these Health&Fitness wearable do not have Windows Phone OS.  Sparkpeople, Nike+, Bobymedia, Withings, Jawbone, (used to be Fitbit). They have NO intention of making app for Windows Phone OS at all.  Microsoft came out with Microsoft Band, and they can run on all three os: iOS, Android and Windows Phone. I almost bought Nike+ band, but decided not to because meaning that I'll have to switch to either Android or iOS and i DON'T WANT to.   
  • WPCentral Weekly Call (front image)it's time to switch to WCentral :)
  • Hah, it's an old reminder...we don't even do that call at that time anymore ;)
  • Can't get em all
  • Myth buster
  • I generally agree regarding the aim of Microsoft, but when you release a product in limited supply and the store employees have taken up a significant amount of that supply, you haven't achieved your goal ... I am talking to you employees of the Oakbrook, IL store of which I counted at least 6 gone from stock because of you
  • Do you mean employee theft of devices? I'm pretty sure MS has security procedures against that kind of thing.
  • No I mean while I was attempting to purchase one I noticed how many store employees had one on their wrist, which means less stock available
  • How is that a bad thing? Employees need to have first hand experience with the products they sell. If that depletes the inventory, than the customer get to buy the next time around. In any case, a sell is a sell. Employees are customers too.
  • Absolutely.
  • Yeah, definitely dont want MS Store employees to actually own MS products...
  • Not necessarily.  Just because employees are wearing them doesn't mean they were retail stock.  They could be (and probably are) demo devices sent to all stores for demo usage...
  • They needed to wear it to understand how it works so they can sell it, because they had no clue it was coming, it was that secret! Spoke to an employee at a MSFT store by me and he said they knew something was coming but didn't know when. He said he showed up Thursday morning and his manager opened a security sealed container and gave them out to wear and put out on display tables...
  • And that was pretty much exactly the story I received from the Specialty Store I visited early on the release morning. They didn't know until the night before and were scrambling to get brochures, display, and stock out. All were wearing the device, which made it easier to take it off to show people and let them try on different sizes. Made sense. Was also great to see each and every employee with a Windows Phone!
  • thats a good story you were told, but at the store i was at there was a display with one of each size. i didnt have a single employee offer up the one on their wrist. i was directed to the display to get an accurate sizing. generally when new products in short supply launch, employees are given a no buy order. considering most retail employees (not sure of MS policy) are given a company discount, you end up with less revenue per sale. and in turn the full paying customer takes his business elsewhere.
  • @Capt What you said is just plain silly. These employees didn't buy these bands and mostly likely were demo models strictly for employees. MSFT customers are not like the crazed Apple nuts...we can wait...
  • How did we not know about this band?? We have seen their patents and a few pictures of it.... Weeks ago. We knew it was coming
  • Look at the patent image. That looks nothing like this device. I am talking photos, production line leaks. Heck, we didn't even know about the 'launch' until that night. Compare this to previous releases of hardware besides the Surface: you honestly cannot say this is the same.
  • Typing this with a Microsoft band on my hand and now I feel like I wasted my money after reading this article....lol great device but I hoped Microsoft would be 100% on their own train lol.
  • Look at the Surface. You don't think they are 100% behind that? What other modern computing device gets as much support as the Surface? Same with Lumias.
  • Daniel, I wish you would be a bit more objective about Microsoft stuff. You're starting to sound a bit like a cheerleader. Have you read user reviews of things like inaccurate pedometer function and scratches?
  • "like inaccurate pedometer"
    I am literally wearing a Fitbit Force and Band on the same wrist (mentioned it on Twitter this morning). I do not agree with your assertion. If anything, I find the Band more conservative in step counting, which is good considering it is on the hand. Such technology is likely to over estimate foot activity. Regarding scratches, we actually do have something coming up on that. Finally, you are now resorting to ad hominem attacks (criticizing my character) instead of my arguments, to which I will say 'fuck off'.
  • I will be looking forward to what you have on the scratching issue. Oh and another thing popping up in user reviews is wrist discomfort due to the inner rigid material.
  • There ya go Danny Boy, kick some ass...
  • He's not saying this is a throw away device with no future, he's saying it's a proof of concept, like the surface. Doesn't mean it will be forgotten...far from, it will evolve and most likely be the platform that introduces new innovations to the platform before OEMs have access to them.
  • And also get iOS and Android to experience WP software (Live Tiles) via the Health App...might persuade them to switch to WP...
  • Also a good point.
  • What happens when intel starts making other chips beside Broadwell at 14 nm?  Dont they have some little IoT chip?  Could that handle the senor set, GPS and stuff for a Band?  Would that make the hardware smaller, which would allow the band to be more ellegant (lighter, comfort, style, etc ...)
  • You must not believe everything you read, be critical of what you read and use your own common sense. This concept is the same Microsoft uses for the Surface (tablet Pc) and WP. Fact is they get revenue and profits from licensing deals, AND from selling their own devices. These product/devices have to become profitable otherwise MS will lose a lot of money. The Surface Pro 3 will have a revenue of almost or over 2 billion this fiscal year and is already profitable (in the meantime Ms licenses Windows 8 to partners to build their own Pc's or tablet Pc's). The Ms Band is no different. Ms is committed 100% to the band, the Surface and WP.
  • They should keep on offer for those who use surface devices. Anyone who wants to buy sp3 gets 50% or 70% discount to buy Microsoft band
  • That would make no sense. Throwing in a Band for huge discount wipes out the profit margin on the SP3.
  • You are probably right in the case of the Band, but you're silly if you don't think keeping stock low initially is a marketing trick that is used often.
  • I have only heard this on internet forums and comment sections. I have never seen any real evidence or reporting on it. Care to share?
  • Apple does this every year with their new launch of the iPhone and iPad. It is purposefully kept low so it drives up demand for the product because it is seen in "limited supply- gotta get one now!" I can't tell you how many times an iPad launched in a tech store I worked at and customers would just go mad wanting the device now. Preorders had to be filled just to keep them happy. (However, to be fair, I don't think Microsoft would do the same thing again because they are focused on software, not hardware. Inventory is horribly expensive- remember the Surface RT's $900 million write-off?)
  • Then again, this is just me making an observation for the retail and ordering side for Apple, so hey...I could be wrong :)
  • Once again, this is theorizing/speculation. They are selling 8-10 million of those on launch weekend, no? Everything I have heard points to legitimate supply issues and not being able to manufacture enough in time due to extremely high demand. I mean, that is a thing in technology. It is well known that getting your hands on enough memory or screen tech (controlled by Samsung and LG) does affect production plans. Happens to HTC all the time.
  • The evidence is right before our eyes. The one time MS took a gamble(produced 3 million Surface RTs before launch day) it failed horribly and led to a $900 million write-down. Since then MS is scared of that repeating and so they only produce an inital batch of no more then 20K units. That it's sold out is due to very limited supply, not huge demand.
  • "That it's sold out is due to very limited supply, not huge demand."
    You do realize that logically those do not follow? You can have both 'very limited supply' and still have 'huge demand'. So you cannot negate the claim on demand unless you have some hard figures to back it up.
  • We know they have about 60 stores in the US. Assuming they allocated 100 Bands per store + another 10K online, that's 16K sold already. Do you call that huge demand in an era when Apple launches a device that sells millions in a weekend?
  • re: soldedman My question is why are you here in this comment section? You are Apple lover and think they can do no wrong, and Micorsoft is a loser company, so why spend so much time and effort in here? I see this all the time in tech websites, there is always a couple of guys out there (looking at you Arrow) who go to MS articles and make hundreds of comments on products that they have zero interest in. Really, HUNDREDS of comments, which must take hours and hours each day. I would never even think of wasting my time on that, unless you really have nothing else to do in life, other than stir the pot and that is how you get your rocks off.
    It's product for god sake, if you like it buy it, if you don't then don't. How hard is that to understand? All I hear from you I know better than a billion dollar corporation. If that is so, why are you spending so much time in comments section.    
  • Not that I expect any of your arguments to make sense, but other than the "60 US stores", all of your other numbers are made up so you haven't really proven anything.    Also, demand for a product can be high (who said "huge demand" other than you?) without reaching iPhone levels.  After all, the iPhone is an established product line while this is a brand new product line.  The article simply claimed that demand legitamately outpaced supply.  It didn't say anything about the demand being "huge".
  • I like the MS band. But I won't wear something that not only tracks my position but also takes my hate m heart rate. Tech is becoming a little invading. I don't like turning gps on my phone all the time. I won't get this kind of wearable. It's a tracker, but not health tracker.
  • "I like the MS band. But I won't wear something that not only tracks my position but also takes my hate m heart rate. "
    No offense, you are speaking out of ignorance. The GPS is only (optionally) enabled in Run mode. GPS is not on it 24/7, the battery would drain in hours, not days. When you enable Run mode, it asks if you want GPS on or off since it does not make sense to enable it if on a treadmill. HR can also be disabled in Settings as I have shown in my previous videos. You can be conspiracy minded but you still have to explain how such technology, if it were on 24/7, would not kill the battery within hours. This isn't rocket science. The firmware is already being dissected by some computer geeks, with much of the code already revealed. Nothing nefarious has been found and the burden of proof is on those who make the claims.
  • I have some tinfoil to sell you, it can be shaped into funny hats.
  • Coming soon: Microsoft Tin Foil Hat.
  • Soon™
  • You sir should then not be reading or commenting on tech sites but be preparing your emergency bag and evacuate yourself to a cave lined with iron...
  • If someone would wanna track you they don't need your GPS, just the phone is enough to track you by your g2, g3, g4 signal. And if you live in a big city chances are you are identified by cameras on the streets, intersections, subway etc every time you pass by. Scary stuff :)
  • Meh.
  • Meh to your meh.
  • MEH to YOUR meh
  • This is a great product, which could own the market. It only makes sense to partner if you can't compete. Surely the first step to establishing a platform is getting people using it, and to do that they need to sell volume, and fast before the watch market matures. The strategy just doesn't make sense... so it's probably true. :-/
  • It is always possible that they are more interested in selling this to partners. In fact, the patents alone could be worth the investment. No one can call them a patent troll if they actually release a product with the tech. It also showcases their capabilities as an AI and data analytics platform. This is just a peek into their capabilities. Now, just imagine what they could do if you tied traffic sensors into their platform. How about seismic sensors? The list goes on and on and anyone who is building the next generation of tech is watching this very closely.
  • Another disastrous US centric release from Microsoft... Let's see Zune failure, Surface RT failure, Band... Time will tell... This just upsets your worldwide fans... How many people in US? 330 million that's a relatively small market...
  • "How many people in US? 330 million that's a relatively small market"
    Also one of the wealthiest markets and tech saavy ones around. Plus, tech media starts here (not proud of that, but look at the major tech rags and where they are based).
  • Stfu they shouldn't neglect their intenational consumers just because the USA is more wealthy & tech saavy.
  • What's the point of offering it to other countries if they cannot afford it? Why not sell, measure sales, and see how well it does before chucking it to loser ass countries like yours?
  • Sold out in most areas and online within a few days with NO marketing whatsoever....and that's a failure?
  • There was a huge surge of tech media articles on Thursday night along with MS Twitter activity. That is marketing.
  • Good article. Had no idea what their intentions were with the band until I read this. Very informative
  • +929
  • +800
  • This really doesn't appeal to me after I have thought about the fitness technology of it. Cortana integration is nice. But I rather just pull my phone out and do what this band can do. I dont care about heart rate and steps when I workout. I ride a bike anyways when I do my cardio. So this really doesn't benefit me. I guess this helps people. I just wish this was more to a traditional watch like my Casio g shock I wear everyday with Cortana integration. I never have to replace the battery in my g shock because of the tough solar face. Not really beneficial to me.
  • Microsoft's set the bar quite high.
  • Yea, that makes a lot of sense.
    Well said Daniel, Well said.
  • I think what they're doing is a great idea. Licensing all of these things out and getting Fitbit, Jawbone, and the other bands to adopt their platforms and technology, it can give them a serious one up on Android wear (and to a lesser extent the iwatch). The Verge had an exclusive on it, but on the recent Vergecast, David Pierce talked with Yusef Maundi (?) about the future of the platform and how they want to do stuff like use all of this info (that they would collect from their partners and their band) to have their number crunching from the cloud to be like "I've noticed that when you eat a light breakfast and a red bull, you're more productive around 3:00 pm and since you have a meeting, you should do that this morning" and stuff like that. Personally, I think that vision is much more interesting and will attract more people compared to Android wear which boils down to "Google Now on your wrist". @Daniel I also think you could've went farther with the Surface comparison. Like the Surface, Microsoft updated new models every 6 months until they got a hit. Now with the Pro 3, it came out in the summer and will be an entire year before the next one comes out (assuming it comes out with the debut of W10). I expect the band to be the same, so I expect v3 to come out within a year, which is when I'll finally buy one.
  • I agree that the data intelligence aspect to this is the single most interesting thing to come out of the Band release. The hardware is pretty much meh, but the software and platform look killer.
  • FYI: His name is Yusuf Mehdi. And you (and Daniel) get the beginnings of the intelligence and power potentially in those back-end services. This kind of smart service is what Band aids. (Sorry, couldn't resist)
  • MS should make the Band and their tech only work with WP. This will surely make WP more popular and increase sales.
    I will get one when stock is replenished.
  • They made the best move, making the band multi platform. Many android or ios users who buy the band want a better experience they will consider a WP now.
  • I avoid all Apple products and services because they do exactly what you describe.  They have nice products, but I don't want to be locked into buying only their products in order to have things work.  MS is doing a great job of making their platform/products open and flexible.
  • If the point of Band was to sell hardware that would be true. But the point is to get people using the back-end services. And for that you need as broad adoption as possible. Think back to the mid 1980s. Microsoft released Excel for Macintosh before it went on Windows and Word was available on MS-DOS, Windows, OS|2, Unix and Macintosh. I'm pretty sure that didn't kill Windows but it VASTLY helped set up the Office products as the defacto standard.
  • I'm trying to decide if you're being sincere? The approach they took is the right one, I think. 85% total functionality on any platform other than Windows Phone, the remaining 15% when on WP (the Cortana integration and text response). It's a nice way to start building a halo affect toward other products much as the iPod did --even if the wish truly is for more licensing partners rather than product sales.
  • The band is nice but I wish it was ip 68-69 I live in the tropics I have water everywhere.
  • The Microsoft Band is IP67. More info at: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-band/en-us/support/safety-guide So, no, it shouldn't be taken swimming or submerged below 3'  
  • I know that's why I'm not buying it and that's why I wrote"I wish it was". Anyways it can't be IP67 cause it says very clearly" Light rain and hand washing shouldn’t harm it, but do not immerse it in liquids of any kind. This means it should not be worn while swimming or in the shower." It's IP64, ip67 is temporary immersion in water.
  • This is a nice article and I would urge everyone to re-read it and replacing "Band" with "future Lumia devices". Because if anyone thinks Microsoft is interested in keeping the Nokia-old-model of phone development, they are in for a disappointment.
  • So they're going to start making Lumias that run iOS and Android? Interestings....
  • I think he means you will see less Lumia models and a more concentrated line of phones, while they also try to keep their OEM partners happy and leave them a seat at the table ;)
  • Yup, that's exactly what I meant. Based on everything I've heard from Satya and the Microsoft corporate leadership, Lumias will be placed within the same strategy as the Surface and now this Band. Which makes sense and I'd venture it has already started with the Fall being left to the HTC M8 and new hero devices only coming along with Windows 10.
    Though I think Jas00555 knew that ;P
  • I saw that all over the article. I'm not so against it, but I would like to see MS more aggressive in making the Lumias a showcase of what the WP OS can do. I believe that if they do that then releasing a high-end phablet, a flagship every year, and an entry level phone with flash (every 2 years) will be enough. That leaves the mid and low for the partners to play with. But also satisfying the fans who want high-end.
  • I agree. I think MS is failing to advertise WP. They are not aggressive enough with WP. They are horrible with advertising their hardware. The MSFT Band looks promising but they REALLY need to aggressively market this device. Let me go on my Windows Phone rant for a minute... EVERY OTHER COMMERCIAL SHOULD BE A WINDOWS PHONE COMMERCIAL! It's a wonderful platform and this band is just a good, maybe even better. If anyone at MSFT's Marketing department is reading this blog, please read this. VERY AGGRESSIVE ADVERTISING IS A MUST!!!
  • Great article as usual, and I haven't seen any "Microsoft Band sold out" headline on major tech sites except here, so it confirms your point, Dan.
    BTW, what's your opinion on the alleged "fragments of game code" in the Band's firmware?
    And according to you, what are the chances of the device getting out of the US?
  • Thanks. It will go to outside the US, they have pretty much said as much (on Twitter), though I expect a slower, more focused rollout. Re: game code, there are lots of things they were toying with. I know music controls were there at one point too, so that is very likely to come back in the near future. They likely want parity on all platforms, so they have to be careful about rolling out features to make sure it works flawlessly on all three OSs.
  • Yeah, I think Microsoft is getting it right and has the best strategy, but unfortunately I'm already imagining thousands of people queuing for a 'smartwatch' with a fruit logo on the back :(
    I feel that Microsoft doesn't often get the credit it deserves from consumers, hopefully the Band and Windows 10 will erase people's clichés on the company.
  • A major issue with Microsoft Health, the platform they're trying to launch, is that it doesn't work with the Lumia 520/521, two of the most popular Windows Phones ever released.
  • How many people with $50 dollar phones will buy a $200 dollar health band to go with it?  Microsoft isn't as focused on Lumia phones as you'd probably like them to be. Read the article again, this is about expanding their health platform across all devices, competitors included.
  • Excellent article, Daniel. I think the reason people have a hard time understanding this perspectinmg is because theuy don't understand the Microsoft business model. Their model does not revolve around the sale of consumer devices, it revolves arount the licensing of their technology and services. Microsoft delivered a mobile-first, cloud-first device to show off their health services and to demonstrate the market demand for devices in this market to make deals with companies who are in this space. When you look at how much companies like Apple and Samsung paid Microsoft last year in licensing you will see how different their model is from Apple. Apple makes the largest part of its profits from the sale of consumer devices.
  • Well said.
  • Exactly. Well-worded, well said. Excellent understanding of what Microsoft is and thus does (Services/Software). Also an excellent treatment of what Apple is and thus does (Hardware). Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck. Hey, a duck!
  • They had a lot of them at my Microsoft Store, even tho they were selling like crazy (they sold 10 in the small time I was there) and the rep told me they had been selling really good. So no "short stock conspiracy" on this one, I agree.
  • It makes sense actually, they must have weighed up hope much profit would come from making an fitness device vs house much will be earned from years of licensing and app usage /ads etc
  • The only issue I see here is that according to the content of this article we will never see the full extend of what hardware Microsoft could possibly achieve because of the 'fear' to scare of Partners with far superior Hardware. :-/
    This fact is somewhat disturbing but it would explain why for example the Surface does seem to be hold back in functionality. Not that it isn't a great device, but something is always missing with every iteration (like SIM card support high resolution front camera etc.). The issues I have with the Band, it just does not come through as the full potential hardware MS could have achieved. I also fear now, that we will also never see a full feature flagship smartphone from them and that they should have never bought Nokia. What have you done, Daniel?! :-(
  • I would not say 'never'. I see all of this as an either/or. You either join with us OR we will unleash our hardware. Microsoft does not want to be in the hardware game, at least not like their OEMs. But they are not afraid to show them how it is done either. It is a tacit threat to their partners and I think Surface IS sort of headed down that path, getting larger with each release.
  • Agreed. The Surface in its latest iteration is better thought through than any competition out there - my opinion - but still, it feels incomplete, as if MS suddenly was hold back by some reason.
  • I think it's more likely that the things you feel are incomplete have more to do with limitations of current hardware technology/components.  Personally I'm amazed at what they have packed into the SP3 and I feel like they are pushing the limits rather than holding back.
  • Don't get me wrong, I do also think that the surface is ahead of its competition, though I do not understand why there is no SIM card support to not be reliant on Wi-Fi or other extra devices to be connected, or a GPS module to have more effective/precise means of location services.
    The above two components are by far uncommon and I see no region why they should not be integrated.
  • Agreed. This isn't really that different from what Google has done with Nexus devices. They go out of their way to avoid market saturation. However, Google is interested in setting a bar for device sales that feature their services. Microsoft is selling the compute, storage and algorithms for anyone on any device. Google's model assumes a certain level of engagement from users through its services through saturation of an endpoint platform. Microsoft is providing better services across any platform. They are actually using Android and iOS against their competitors.
  • I disagree with your statement about them buying Nokia. They were about to dive in to making Android phones to make $. I truly believe they would have abandoned WP if they started making huge profits with Android. Nokia did a phenomenal job of delivering variations of WP. Other manufacturers were not as vested. MS would have lost market share.
  • If Nokia went Android they would gave suffered the same fate as HTC...Nokia's management knew this and wisely sold to MSFT or else they would have been bankrupt by now...Stealsung rules Android...
  • From the looks of the pictures.  It can do more than track fitness.  Check emails and texts as well? 
  • Of course. Even launch Cortana to do whatever (send a text for instance).
  • So you can launch Cortana and dictate anything to be sent via text? No limitations to preset messages?
  • Yes, you can send SMS messages exactly like that...I'll do a video demo probably for Monday.
  • Hmm, that's pretty awesome. I haven't seen the feature clearly promoted, so I was unsure. Yeah, a video demo would be great! Phone-related Cortana features like calling and such...
  • I have gone for runs with the Band.  Before, I use to use my Lumia for GPS, Sports Tracker HRM, Sports Tracker App, and listen to music.   Now i just use the Band to do the GPS and HRM and just listen to offline music XboxMusic on my phone.  An hour of run/walk uses so much lesser of my cell battery.  The Band is Green guys. In the end of my activity i know will have cell batt and not only that i dont fidget with my cellphone during the run...much safer! 
  • okay so is a beta device not meant for sales but to display what microsoft has in store for the future.  Its also made to sell its sensors to OEMS. I was gonna wait for the true watch anyways
  • Amazing article Dear Daniel, thank you. I'm agree with your opinion about the Microsoft strategy. Hope they will success more and more in future.
  • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
  • Good take, Daniel. It is no coincidence that FitBit released an updated WP app with Cortana, announced a high end band also inclusions Cortana the same week Microsoft throws their chips on the table with a great device and announces it's cross platform. Throw in the list of other partners and it becomes clear what this was and that it was entirely intentional.
  • The only reason they're trying to partner up is they have zero confidence to be closed-ecosystem and win like Apple.
  • What you're not catching or defiantly ignoring, is that MS is the "Mr. Wonderful" of tech. They care most about licensing their IP. Everything else is secondary. It is a safer and more reliable strategy to keep the money rolling in. So when that next game changer comes along, you still have patents they get to pay you for and your proprietary devices aren't squeezed out of the market. Ask Apple why they moved to an x86 chipset...
  • Apple switching from PowerPC to x86 didn't change their walled-garden ecosystem.
  • Nicely stated Daniel.  I agree with you one hundred percent.
  • Thanks!
  • I just want one. If I had just left earlier that day. Ugh.
  • I think that they wanted to test or try how well Microsoft will sell these bands , and then making the decision to make more of it , or expanding it world wide , and yes they succeeded in this , all the amount was sold in day or two , good job Microsoft ! can you guys reach some sources and tell us how many bands Microsoft sold?
  • "can you guys reach some sources and tell us how many bands Microsoft sold?"
    I'd probably be able to work at 60 Minutes if I could get that info, lol. I'm getting good, but nowhere near that level, sorry ;)
  • At least we know the band won't get "Kinned"! LOL
  • Lol
  • I never thought about the Surface as setting a standard..... hmm. Good call.
  • Not that the Surface is at ask bad, I love it, I just sent see its purpose as that exactly.
  • Daniel this strategy could also be disastrous i think. If the supposed demonstration device turns out to be a big big hit, MS could be forced to produce big volumes of this devices then the partners could feel threatened and abandon the partnership. In the same note if the device is so successful and people's clamor for it is very high and MS produces small volume to appease their partners then action could be perceived as teasing or half hearted effort and could lead to erosion in MS integrity and will eventually lead to trust problem which is very hard to recover from. In both of these situations msft will lose one or the other. It is interesting to watch how MS will react if this thing turns out to be a big hit.
  • Good article!!!
  • Daniel, Any thoughts on how this device would be marketed/sold in the rest of the world. I think your remarks are spot on with US and Europe markets. I wonder who they would license to in China, India, Indonesia? Might me a nice second part of "the story".
  • The problem in going slow and playing the 'nice guy' is that you come second or last. Google are all out to kill Microsoft, so Microsoft needs to get higher volumes of version 2 out in Spring 2015. Because at the moment all the Tech press are blogging that Microsoft is irrelevant, or coming from behind. Microsoft needs to show it still has its roar.
  • I think they did everything right on this product.  Now that I've ready your article Dan, I know they have.  They went into it with the idea of collaborating with others and that is what Microsoft has been expremely poor in doing over the years.  I was an avid Microsoft Phone user (even when it sucked as Windows Mobile), and I jumped to Android and ultimately iOS because Microsoft made it so difficult to work with other developers and companies (apps are still slow to come on Windows Phone).  I was actually an avid listner of the Windows Phone podcast when you and Phil used to do it. BUT, it seems the new regime gets it, and it shows big time with the Microsoft Band.  I cycle a lot and regularly use MapMyFitness. The band will be a welcome addition because I don't currently have anything to monitor my heart rate, etc.  Kudos to them for clearing the fog surrounding the Bellvue campus and seeing things more clearly.  If they keep on track with this thinking they will definitely have a hit on their hands with this product an/or technology.
  • "I was actually an avid listner of the Windows Phone podcast when you and Phil used to do it."
    Hah, those were the days! Thanks for sticking around.
  • Love your editorials, Daniel. What Microsoft is doing here will be beneficial for the consumers and I am so glad that they aren't going down the Apple route. P.S: Thank you! Some of your articles have been pretty useful for my internship application.
  • Nice, glad to hear! And thanks for the comments. Good luck.
  • Good article Daniel
  • this hamburger button makes me cry
  • That's all cool...but I still don't have one. I don't particularly want what others are going to do with Microsoft's vision. I want Microsoft's vision. Any word on the next round of bands coming to stores or online?
  • This is what I want to know. My two closest MS stores are sold out. I am hoping MS doesn't say this is all we are making since it was just a demonstration of what is possible not a long term product.
  • It's easy to see why people are wary of the motives you outline. Microsoft has had a tough time breaking from their past as big bad scary company that wants to monopolize. Don't get me wrong, they want success. But they want to earn it in the longer term and software and services provide a higher return to that end. So this makes sense. This revised strategy is why they offer so much more on competing platforms. This will ensure they remain a part of our lives even if something like WP, Surface, Band, etc fails. I, for one, live this strategy. It's long term just like their unified OS. I also love their hardware. Sidewinders , keyboards, mice, etc... Surface 3 Pro, acquired Lumia, and now Band. All innovative offerings, they just have to keep going because in today's fickle consumer instant gratification me me me pass up the Joneses world its a must or you get left behind. Look at Sony and the Discman, cable tv and streaming media, etc.
  • Does it work with Virgin Health miles?
  • Proud to be a WP user.
  • That's ok. The customer they are trying to reach are Fitbit, Flex, Samsung, etc. Windows phone, iPhone, and the like are just tools to showcase the software. Microsoft = Software...not hardware.
  • Then they probably shouldn't have bought their biggest hardware partner...!
  • Sorry but that's against all evidence. Microsoft desperately wants to be an Apple.
  • So far Microsoft has said Jawbone UP will work with the MS Health app. I've plugged my spouse's UP to my 920 with the Health app installed and nothing happened, so I guess it's not there yet. It's not clear if Health will support the UP directly or "absorb" the information from the UP app. If it's the latter, well, UP doesn't have an app for WP so I guess support is only for iOS and Android users. There's no information on Fitbit supporting the Health app (even if it seems logical considering their relation with MS), so right now, if you're on a WP, it's either Microsoft Band or nothing. I'm not planning on spending $200 on that, but I would spend $60 on an UP. Now all we need to know is: WHAT will work WHERE in WHICH device and by WHEN.
  • This theory would explain why they crammed in so many sensors and made it ugly, but I am not sure about the weak supply
  • It's not ugly, but I'm worried about the comfort on the wrist due to lack of inner padding.
  • Oh no, it's ugly.
  • No it isn't. The Galaxy Fit is ugly.
  • I'd rate it more "average" than ugly
  • Should have said "bulky" not ugly
  • Read every comment by Daniel and i might say he's got a point..sometimes I feel some articles are biased but surely this article about Microsoft truely states their strategy...we have saying in Hindi "khud jiyo aur dusro ko bhi jene do" meaning for their own's survival let others also survive..
  • bravo   p.s.-I love my band
  • The article makes sense and agree with Microsoft strategy. But at this point in the game, Microsoft should sell volumes to as many market as fast as possible before Apple and Google can counter Band and flooding the market few months from now. You can't rely on Fitbit or Jawbone to just jump in. For those who say this is not a competitor to Apple upcoming watch, remember that our arm real estate is limited. Consumer will buy one or another.
    Then as soon as Microsoft establish that Msft Health is the platform to use, other makers can buy the license but Microsoft has to get this to as many consumer as possible fast.
  • Any idea when the next stock will arrive in stores?
  • I hear two weeks and most stores will be out of stock by today/tomorrow (they may have a few on hand for size replacement; return rates due to dissatisfaction are very low so far)
  • So whatever their true thinking, I hope they will be able to ramp up production before the holidays. And produce a couple more colors while they're at it. 
  • Fitbit and Windows have been getting along pretty well so I predict them to be the first to use those 10 sensors.
  • Really hoping its released internationally.. I wanna get me one..
  • Good read. Particularly the use of that marvellous anglo expletive 'bollocks'. So verstile in everyday life, always gladdens my heart when it hops a continent.
  • How long will it be intell there back n stock?
  • I hear new shipments come in two weeks.
  • I guess I see how the band sets a standards as far as sensors go, but this thing is butt ugly and cumbersome. MS did not do what they did with Surface with this band.
  • I went to the Scottsdale store and picked mine up day 1 and so far u an result looking it. I had written the Garmin vivofit for a few months and I can already see how much more accurate the Band is compared to it as well as how much easier it is to use and the extra capabilities when paired with my L1520. I'm running half marathon this Sunday and am juiced to use the running and HB parts of the Band. Great product in my opinion and the Starbucks thing is just cool.
  • I'm very interested with your take after your half marathon run. I'm a marathoner myself and I'm set to replace my Garmin 620 if battery life is enough and HR is consistent.
  • I'm really curious about the HR as well.... I also use mapmyrun in the past and Microsoft health says it links to mymyfitness but I have yet to see how it connects...
  • Though I Agee with this article, I still think they made a conservative amount assuming it might not sell. Luckily they were wrong and hopefully some large new shipments are underway.
  • Well. Make bussiness not love. If there is a demand for it than to hell with all your potential partners Microsoft! Shame, I was really looking forward to buy it. Well but the same went for Surface, which never reached my country (Czech Rep.). With Nokia distribution all over the world Microsoft should really fully step into the hardware bussiness and never look back.
  • Great insight as always Mr. Rubino. Many misinturpret what MS is trying to build these days. The last thing I want is for them to become Apple and have to buy their hardware to use their software (which is a HUGE problem when it comes to (the lack of) legacy Apple devices worth using. It's no surprise that Apple is no longer selling competitors to Beats or iWatch in stores.
  • Great write up by Daniel. From reading this, it safe to say that Micorosft is trying to make their Health platform the backbone of the wearables industry. Like Android did with Smartphones.     
  • This article is the biggest piece if fanboy, apologist bullsh*t I've ever read...
    Seriously? The competition are launching devices that leave the Band far in their wake, and you're arguing MS are focusing on piquing the interest of 3rd party developers? By releasing a sub-par product which focuses on a service that's only available on an OS that's a very distant third, and to less than 10% of said OSs customers at that?!?
    All I can say is that if that's their strategy, then they are really, truly, utterly screwed... To sum it up, this article looks like it's been written backwards; you've already decided what to conclude, and you choose your interpretations to fit that conclusion, no matter how far fetched.
  • Kinda agree with you. They have to get as much consumers to use Microsoft Heath as fast as possible before they start using another platform. And relying on partners is not the best strategy at this point.
  • I think you're being a bit unfair to Daniel. You are right about the "reference design" being a bullshit theory. However, the Health platform works for iOS/Android... Did you notice that on Thursday evening the Health app became available on all 3 platforms?
  • This device is compatible with IOS, Android and Windows Phone, as is the Health service, so I think your arguments are out of ignorance of this device, you may want to read up on it a bit more before commenting. Name a device that has comparable fitness+phone features for this price or less?
  • You're kidding right? The apps showed up in the iOS and Google Play stores before it was officially announced. And you don't need the most recent update to use it. What other device on the market tracks all of these things, allows them to work with the three latest phone ecosystems and combined all of that data in one place to track overall health?
  • So what device left the Band far in their wake? And do they work on iOs and Android?
  • Its pretty hard to argue with anything you say Daniel, my only issue with it is that if the Microsoft band does not sell in enough quantities because of limited stock it will hurt the perception of Microsoft health and of Microsoft itself, and that helps no one. Obviously it also sucks that Microsoft's own fans can't get a hold of device and help promote the image of Microsoft. Even if they don't want to scare potential partners they should make it available everywhere because when the apple watch and other competitors come to market a lot of people will buy them simply because they can't get a Microsoft band.
  • Microsoft left the "Zune" era some years ago (even though people called the Zune a "flop" all over the internet it provided a lot of technology, also for the phone you hold in your hand right now so the Zune was for sure not a waste of resources). Agreed, Microsoft was late to the mobile "world" the Zune was a stepping stone to the direction Microsoft went to protect all that was achieved in decades before. The surface line is a good example of that path. Microsoft set the standards for better things to come and kept the prices of their quality devices HIGH so their partners would and could produce similar or cheaper products. I think Daniel is completely right and this is how I see it too. Microsoft under Ballmer made smart decisions for their future and we will see a lot more, we are at the beginning of better and cheaper things to come and with that Microsoft need their partners/OEM's, Nadella knows this and with him on the wheel I see great partnerships and awesome products soon to arrive. This is no time to be greedy
  • Myth #1 sounds like the Tesla strategy, but, unlike Tesla, not starting "on top" of the market will probably make it less effective.  But that being said it's always the safest bet to license the hardware and software from the same source.  If this is Microsoft's strategy going forward, releasing standard-setting devices and not really expecting them to be money-makers themselves, I hope they can control their production so they don't get caught with a ton of inventory like the Surface 1 (or which ever it was).  I would have to guess they have learned from that mistake.  I do own a Band.  Does anyone know why the UI on the Windows Phone Microsoft Health app doesn't have the standard UI design (swipe to the right and left to go between screens, etc) ?  My only idea was that they made the UI identical on all 3 platforms so a user could easily switch between them.  Which then is frustrating because the UI is unoptimized for all the platforms, which to me means it will never be a true first-class experience.  Maybe that's part of their standard-setting. Thanks for any thoughts. -m (PS:  My band lasted for about 35 hours on the first full charge, which is pretty darn good)
  • Hamburger menu is superior to panorama control. It just is, ask any UX designer.
  • Actually, I don't really care which is superior, just that the interface is consistent. Are they dumping the panorama control OS-wide? The hamburger menu is simply that, a menu.. maybe effective but boring and not visually appealing IMHO. -m
  • I'm sorry, but in my experience most UX designers wear iRose-colored glasses, and it's like pulling teeth to get them to see any other way of doing a UI. Source: current project at work
  • This article nails it, this is an olive branch to the fitness band industry. In fact it could very well save them from the likes of Google and Apple who are direct competitors. Microsoft is pushing for "technology in the backgrouind" which is a lot differen than the Google and Apple approach of technology always being in your face.
  • Do you honestly think the fitness device industry gives a flying f*** about MS? They're all watching what happens with the Apple Watch. They couldn't care less about an MS band that sells < 100K units.
  • So they care more about a watch that is less comfortable to run in (guessing on this one because of size), is exclusive to one platform, has less sensors, AND is more expensive? Hmm.... Not buying this one
  • Never underestimate the ability of Apple to put one over on 10 million people.
  • I just can't see the fitness industry caring that much about a wearable that won't be available for at least 30% of their users. I'd imagine that it would be easier to go with a cross platform solution. Who knows, maybe they couldn't care less about the Microsoft band, but I really don't see them focusing on the Apple Watch either, unless Apple unveils some revolutionary new sensor that no one else has.
  • Don't forget Fitbit is not onboard with Apple either.
  • You can buy all of the other companies product outside of USA - Microsoft stop people to get theirs products... If you then go to USA and buy the product, then you cant install the app. It is only for people in USA. So this health thing or Cortona or ... It's just stuff you can read about.... It's so stupid!
  • It appears all to be consider beta software, so I can see it's limited availability.  Cortana may not be available in enough languages beyond english to be worth even trying to release at this stage. I do hope eventually it does have worldwide release. -m
  • I see since Nadella came on board, the software giant is making smart moves after smart moves. I am glad to see a company that seems to understand what they are doing. They are not following the competition. Look how well the surface Pro 3 is doing...
  • While I agree the new people are helping make better/different decisions, much of this stuff must have been in the pipeline before Nadella..  Maybe the stuff in the pipeline is just being executed differently (which is totally fine). -m
  • Daniel, killed it with this piece. Thanks
  • It's they didnt' relize how many they would sell, or just marketing 101 would tell you, on a hot device, make understock, sell out quick, create hype in the marketplace (and it looks like they have so far) and in about 2-3 weeks flood the market with them and you will almost double your sales...(not exact by any means but, it's an example).   Trust me, in a month, there will be tons of them available...and MS will be smiling alll the way to the bank....   I'm not sold on it right now, neat device no question but, not a fitness nut, Not sold on the look as it looks like a fitness device. If I end up buying one, I will wait till the market is flooded with them (2-3 months) when I can score one on ebay for like $100...   I'm dispointed, I was hoping for a WATCH with fitness features, not a fitness device with a watch on it...
  • I think the simple reason that they are out of stock is they didn't expect to sell as many as they did.
  • Talk about low expectations. Jeezus MS, have more confidence in yourself.
  • So both of you know the amount Microsoft expected to sell in the first place?
  • No I don't know how much they expected sell, but given they can't keep up with demand, they obviously didn't have enough supply. Usually a company will produce supply according to the expected demand.
  • Everybody is right, they didnt make enough..AND also its for the hype, which ever you think MS did is what they did.  One thing for sure though is that it 1-upped every other fitness band out there and it got everybody talking about Microsoft Health, HealthVault, Smartwatch vs Smartbands and expectations.  And it is also putting doubt in even the most loyal Iphones users anticipating the iWatch. Check out HealthVault.  I know it got me to think about how organized I am when it comes to prescrptions, insurance, doctors visits etc..., let alone who is taking what medicines and what it is for in my family.  That might not be your role in your family but somebody is.
  • Agreed there!
  • Daniel, the piece was spot on and makes a lot of sense. It actually helps clarify MS's outlook etc really well. From a UK perspective, what is your 'gut' telling you as to possible timeframe for a wider release of the Band? Not asking for specifics which you probably aren't privy too anyway, just a gut feeling, spring, summer? Possibly never?
  • I've heard it's an MS Store exclusive thru the holidays, then it goes wider to retailers. So my guess is post-New Years for other markets.
  • It's an interesting strategy Microsoft is taking, and not just with their devices. I think it's fantastic.
  • Thank you... For pointing out and clarifying the rationale related to the band.. Could not have said any better myself.. (No wonder Dan is editor-in chief..)
  • Well-written and thought out explanation, Daniel. Exactly correct about everything Microsoft is doing these days. They will fight the fight on a battlefield of their choosing and tilt everything in their favor through their cloud and strategic partnerships with vendors and both traditional and would-be competitors. Win there, win everywhere.
  • Well said!!
  • 10 sensors!
  • It would be very interesting if some premium watch makers got onboard with this and included the same OS and some of the same sensors in a more traditional watch design (more like apple watch).
  • Yup, that could happen too. You don't even need to license all 10, just a few. Any data is still data for MS Health.
  • I just hope they don't use this 'set the standard' strategy for Lumia smartphones. They ARE, pretty much, the industry for Windows Phones.
  • Thank you for writing this, Daniel. I was fighting an uphill battle convincing the portrayers of "doom and gloom" that this is all planned by MS to bring more big names to their platform.
  • Cool ideas. May be true may not be. Seams like opinions to me. I see a band. I know they will make more.
  •   I think Microsoft Band is the best thing for Microsoft , and it's a win win for all three OS users. (iOS, Android and Windows Phone). Jawbone, Withings Pulse, Pebble Steel, Nike+, Martian Notifier, Misft Shine, Basis Band, Pebble Watch , Samsung Gear, etc .    None of these weareable would be benificial for Windows Phone users, because there ARE NO app for us(Windows Phone users).  I almost bought Nike+ or Pebble Steel, but go against it because they don't have Windows Phone app .  I am heavily invested in Windows ecosystem( although i have iPhone 5, and iMac) as a backup, but rarely use them. Developers don't care, and they are either bought out by Apple or Google and signed a contract to NEVER write app for Windows, but either way.  I am grateful that Microsoft Band is here and will continue to improve just like like Surface Pro 3(I still have Surface Pro1 and still using it). Thank You Microsoft!
  • True this is a boon for Windows Phone users, especially with the Cortana integration.
  • I just checked out and signed in with HealthVault.  My Mom, who is a nurse, would totally love it.
  • Uh oh: https://gigaom.com/2014/10/31/first-look-at-the-microsoft-band-a-health-... Read Tom's review.
    It took 9 attempts to pair it with iPhone 6 and each morning, it seems to have lost its connection and I need to spend 30 minutes to try to get them to communicate to sync the information collected from my sleep.
  • You must've linked the wrong review because I don't see that anywhere in that article. Actually, he even says "Pairing to my phone was quick and simple."
  • It's one of the comments.
  • I really don't see one person in a comment sections problem being relevant to how the band performs. The overwhelming majority of comments and even the author of the article said it works perfectly.
  • One of the comments? How do you know it is even for real? You're just finding random strangers with no last names on the internet and using them to validate your claims? Weak man, that's just weak.
  • Unlike some people I attempt to look for dealbreakers on a Gen1 device instead of hoping and praying there is nothing. If after exhaustive search I find nothing, then all is ok. However just go over to the Band forum and you'll see a lot of complaints about: comfort, inaccurate HR readings, inaccurate pedometer, battery drainage on the smartphone, scratching on the screen area
  • Who the hell goes to a wearables forum to go "oh, its ok. I have no problems with it". The majority of people in these forums and reviewers have rated the expedience very positive. Even CNET gave it a positive preview.
  • I'm really wondering if the return rate is going to be very high. I'm already mulling a return myself and wait for v2 when MS fixes all these problems. I mean bloody hell, why would you not design this thing to be comfortable for people with bony wrists?
  • I'd venture on the side of no. I'm not just blindly saying this, though. Sure, if you go to support forums, you'll see overwhelming complaints. When I go to mainstream, unbiased sites with regular people such as twitter or facebook, the satisfaction rating seems to be high. Sure, I'm sure some people will return it, but I can't imagine it being that high. Who knows, I may be wrong, but I'd bet on low return rates.
  • Agreed. Very well said.
  • Hahaha I knew it!!!
  • I'm probably going to get a Lumia 830 if they do come to AT&T next week to replace my aging, cracked screen 920 but, I would have loved to seen a deal to grab a Microsoft Band with the purchase or at least the Fitbit Charge, not the aging Flex. I had a Flex for over a year and while I faithfully wore it and updated statistics, the battery won't carry a charge anymore and I'm ready to step up to something with more features. Having peaked at eBay this morning too, it would seem the sellout was also from people just thinking they could double the price and make some pocket change. Sorry, $200 was at my ceiling for something like the Band. I'm not going to pay between $300-400 because you say it's new, shiny and not available anywhere else. Daniel, any thoughts on if Microsoft will do a second purchase round for the Band or the next evolution for them if other manufacturers don't jump on board? Fitbit already has their roadmap in place through January 2015 with the Charge HR and Surge, so who's left to bring us something of this quality?
  • I hear new stock arrives in two weeks for the Band, but it won't be as much as the initial launch.
  • So MS has even smaller confidence that they can continue selling these. I can see them going back to the drawing board and fix the issues. But riddle me this! Why has Microsoft used the general public for beta testing instead of funding it themselves? Their own user testing would have found all the issues that people are finding. If MS ends up coming out with a much improved Band 2 in a few months that will be a serious betryal to people who gave MS the benefit of the doubt and bought one now.
  • You're trolling and baiting now in comments. "All the issues"? Go talk to anyone at a Microsoft Store and find the rate of returns due to complaints. Their answers won't back up your baseless assertion. You cannot just say "all of these issues" as a point of argument like it is established fact. You have not made that point yet, so no, I won't bite. Show me in the press and reviews where there is a consensus on "problems" with the Band. You can't. I will concede it does not bend like an iPhone 6 though, which is clearly being beta tested by the public. I'm sure Applie is hard at work on an iPhone 6s that will fix the problem, even if it is a serious betrayal to people who gave Apple the benefit of the doubt. /snark Look, I am going to give you a fair warning: quit trolling our site and other commenters with your baiting arguments or I will remove your account. This will be the last time I respond to you as you are a one-note record on repeat.
  • Hi Dan, when you say it's technology demonstrator, does that mean it could change drastically in coming months and maybe we should wait and watch for some time before buying the band. I very much like the product but scared that the hardware may get outdated very soon.
  • No, not at all. They took 3 years to reach this point, it won't radically change in the coming months. Now it's mostly up to software/firmware changes.
  • Hopefully a curved, more comfortable screen will not take long to produce.
  • All good points. But I think this was a limited release to get it on peoples wrists and get people talking...if they sell out, great, go wide and advertise the hell out of it. If it flops...no big loss. Seems like a safe and effective way to launch a new product category for the company...the exact opposite of apple introducing a new smart watch that's coming out sometime in 2015, maybe, and is now having major manufacturing problems. Could be a huge fail for Apple...but the band is clearly a huge win for MS.
  • My two cents. Microsoft did not make this band for the sole purpose so that fitbit will make better ones. Microsoft made this because finally they care about quality of their products.
  • If they cared about the quality, why design the screen in such a way that they literally beg you to attach a ZAGG right away?
  • I think this is such a smart idea...and I LOVE how this band works on every platform, BUT works best on Microsoft's own Windows Phone (Cortana). Microsoft should ALWAYS go this route with all their products. "We offer great experience on every platform, but theres always something a little extra if you use ours".
  • Cortana integration has nothing to do with Microsoft offering "a little extra". It's very simple actually. Apple does not allow Siri to be controlled via Bluetooth. Google Now also can't be accessed over Bluetooth. That pretty much means only Windows Phone.
  • Daniel does this mean youre abanddoning the fitbit? I see so many "unranked" friends on there now. :(
  • I have not decided. My hope is Fitbit and MS play nice, so that I can use their leaderboards or something similar.
  • Forgive my lack of knowledge, but if manufacturers license Msoft's technology and use Msoft's platform, does this mean that these licensees' hardware would have to work with Windows phones? Or, can these licensees develop their hardware to work only with android and IOS? I understand Msoft's strategy, but I would also like Windows phones to not be ignored.
  • No one knows, but I doubt a stipulation to the license would be they 'have to' make it work with Windows Phone.
  • Thanks for the response. If Msoft's priority is their "background" software/platform/cloud, then what will keep Msoft from dropping out of the phone business entirely? Is it realistic to rely solely on partners to develop products for Windows phones, given the current sad state of affairs? If Msoft's platform proves to be a success for partners who currently develop products for ios and android, will this make Windows phone fall further behind? In other words, will Msoft's success with their cloud/platform come at the expense of its phones? How will Msoft's cloud/platform encourage partners to develop products for Windows phones, if at all? There have been plenty of comments about Msoft placing Windows phone development secondary to that of IOS and android. Should we expect this to continue, or even worsen? :(
  • I 'm liking the Band even more... So I was having coffee at my local Starbucks, while surfing the net on my Surface Pro3.   My Band vibrates, so decided to check and see what is the notification for... Cortana is telling me that I have 17 mins(with the current traffic) to get home if I leave now. http://i.imgur.com/LIdubr7.jpg  
  • Yes MS is definitely developing a nice ecosystem of hardware/software. I just wish they had not rushed the Band to market and ironed out the kinks first.
  • Uh Dude, the guy just pointed out a positive traffic feature, which is not possible on any rival product. Why don't you p#$$ off and sit and sulk over waiting for an inferior iWatch.
  • True, both Surface and Band shouldn't be compared to Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Gear, iPad, iWatch, FitBit, etc. The only comparable line of products are the Google Nexus devices. And, just like the first Surface, I'm sure Google made some pretty significant losses on the first (subsidised) versions, just like they planned to (taking a risk).
  • Cant wait for this to be released in Australia!
  • The strategy is all good and all. However I really want one lol
  • Ok....Microsoft is currently at risk of alienating it's consumers on soooo many levels. First, they purchased Nokia Phones, and have yet to release a Global Flagship Phone, because they don't want to "alienate their partners". See how Apple just launched 2 Flagship Phones worldwide? Where is our Flagship Windows Phone? I have to buy a unlocked Lumia 1520 to use on T-Mobile. Now here they are releasing a Health Band but not-really, since they don't want to "alienate their partners". It's the same for tablets like the Surface Pro, priced so high as not to "alienate their partners"... I can go on but y'all get my point. Microsoft seem to forget they are at the bottom of the heap and if I wish to buy a Device made by the software maker I can go buy a iPhone 6+ and/or a Mini iPad as well or better yet go buy a Nexus Phone and/or a Nexus Tablet easily. All I'm saying is after Windows/Phone 10 next year and this "App Gap" is not bearing fruit with the "One OS", I'm out. I'm so sick of taking my Wife's Note 3 to see/use even when I have the same apps only because they have way more features. SMH....
  • What are the chances that fitbit surge when it comes out uses Microsoft health as it's platform? I mean they already integrate with health vault soy they're not strangers to MS. It would only make the fitbit surge even more appealing.
  • Well I was excited about getting one till I read this. Really puts a damper on one, at least to me.
  • That's a very good explanation why Microsoft is pulling these kind of stunts :p but why not let your product set whole market on fire when it has tendency to do so.
    Microsoft makes some really good product and Surface is a very nice example for that.
  • Very nice analysis. I learned a lot!
  • Finally to put something in my wrist aside from my charm bracelets lol. Hope it goes worldwide for a reasonable price asap.
  • I will say this! If the watch is built and operates as well as my Surface. It will be a hit! So far I have a 1520 phone- Surface Pro 3 and I could not be happier! I have debated over a fitness band. Maybe it is time to bring one more Microsoft device in the family. The Surface and the 1520 work seamlessly together.
  • So this is akin to the Google nexus program, setting the proverbial standard so others with improve on it
  • Very well said Daniel.
  • I hope Microsoft learn something in the launching the band. When they announce something, it should be available the next day.
  • This band is a game changer for sure. Even if MS' intentions are clean they might very well end making enemies.
  • Here is what I think about the Band http://www.zvjer.com/blog/?p=581
    I would love to see others joining Microsoft health ASAP so I can easily decide which device I will buy. Also which one is available to me.
  • 'Sorry, this theory is bollocks'.......hahahaha........Daniel...such an English word and comment...!!!! surprised people are commenting that this is a fad rather than a long term project ??
    Oh well, all of the people all of the time scenario I guess....!!!
  • I just can't get over that crap Verizon logo. Really, who signed that off? Was it competition for under 12s? Why not put the name over the tick at least.
  • Interesting, but this is no different than what Microsoft is doing with Surface or WP, licensing the rights to exploit their technology, while selling their own devices and making them profitable. MS is in this way "eating from two plates". Earning revenue and profits from sales of their own devices and from licensing fees. A great earnings concept which partners are getting accustomed to.
  • "The device itself is intended to highlight their Health platform and to lure companies into the Microsoft ecosystem." Bringing IoT OEM's to MS ecosystem is indeed vital. In its own way it 's a reminder: don't produce or develop just for Android or Apple, don't forget Windows: we're here, we can product very efficient products (e.g., 48-hour autonomy), our ecosystem's market is large and will just increase with Windows 10 on all our plateforms.
  • Funny, I was just watching MARVEL Agents of Shield Season 2 Ep3 of October 7. They were showing the bands there on the wrist of one of the agents. They checked their heartbeat on it. Apparently we just missed the sale :P
  • Great article. Lots of good information!
  • I disagree somewhat with Daniel. I don't see Band as competition for any of the typical mass market fitness trackers (I.e., FitBit). Band is competition for the Apple and Samsung offerings. Last week's launch all bur showed that. There is a market for a device filling the gap left open by existing fitness band manufacturers. The launch also showed that Microsoft can announce and near-immediately deliver. Daniel called this a tightly controlled event, with purposely limited supply to facilitate that. Yet, the history of phone availability tends to show limited supplies, but on a grander scale. True, phones also require carriers in the mix, hence much greater opportunity for loose lips and launch delays. Yet the completion repeatedly kills Microsoft on time from announce to availability. And finally, Microsoft nailed that. Microsoft needs to crank these babies out as fast as they can. They found a niche only they fill, so why wait? FitBit, et al are welcome to license the tech and join the party.
  • Thinking more about this, if Microsoft does not crank these out and and own this unfilled niche, the whole project--Band plus the Microsoft Health platform--is going to suffer credibility issues. Furthermore, Microsoft needs to get big name medical institutions onboard:. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Ckinic, Kaiser Permanente, etc. Changes in the healthcare landscape require this, and Microsoft needs to execute to make all of this succeed.
    Apple is taking the reverse route. They built their health platform and announced it with Mayo Clinic as being onboard. All that's left is to get their watch out the door, and until that is done the niche is still open.
    Go for the gold, Microsoft, and bring home the hardware to everyone.
  • I did some more digging. Mayo Clinic is/was on board with Microsoft's Health Vault. But that was news 5-6 years ago. Are they still? Time to get some publicity out of that partnership again.
  • Thanks for reporting on the part of the announcement that was basically lost to most of the media!
  • Does this mean we are likely to see a Microsoft watch after all? We have seen numerous leaks and speculation for months now.
  • Another MSFT apologist article. Glad to see WPCentral as an extension of the (recently fired) Microsoft marketing team.  At least WPC has prettier pictures.
  • Anyone want to buy mine? So not worth the money and the weight on my wrist. Taking it back to the store today.
  • My favorite source for Windows news! Thank you!
  • I don't think this strategy is very smart. Apple and Google are looking to carve out their market and crush the competition. Certainly, they've identified particular niches but partnerships aren't on their minds. Partnerships means you're leaving your success in someone else's hand. I know that Microsoft has taken this approach for decades, but it's also been a big detriment. Microsoft has taken all the criticism for subpar PCs when that's been the fault of their "partners". PC makers are the ones who cheap out on components and load their computers with bloatware. But the problem goes beyond PCs. Microsoft has suffered the brunt of criticism for Ford's crappy implementation of Sync in their cars. In light of this why would they want to perpetuate these problems? One of Apple's biggest assets has been the fact that design their own hardware. Even with Google, some of the best Android devices has been their own Nexus series. The fact that the Microsoft Band has made such a splash, the Surface Pro is turning into a success, products like the Xbox One are thriving it shows that the company has a chance to revitalize their brand. So why the hell would they squander this opportunity by limiting production of the Band? It seems incredibly idiotic. I would have gotten one already had the store I visited had them in stock. I don't want Microsoft treating products like glorified tech demos. If I'm going to be stuck waiting for a subpar third party implementation I'm not going to bother at all.
  • Want one of these guys so bad. Went to my local Microsoft store and they told me they sold out in less than a day. Unfortunate.
  • Where can you get these? Are they cheap?
  • Didn't MS say they are not just a software company anymore? Because if they have demand for a hardware product and they are a hardware company then waiting for some little companies to jump in (they may never do) is just dumb. If you can make reasonable profit off this Band then just go for it! Did it ever occur to MS that maybe people don't want any FitBit or whatever and would buy more willingly a product made by a reputable big and integrated company? They want to imitate Google and be in everything but Google is run by businessmen and Microsoft is run by engineers, a big difference. This is a fantastic opportunity to make yourself heard in the hardware market that is just being wasted.
  • I agree with how you described MS strategy.
  • Horrible that they are in short supply from Microsoft, you can buy a Medium sized Band on Ebay right now for $500!  Yes, $500!  By limiting supply for any reason you leave the door open for scalpers.  I've seen where people list having 20 of these for sale!  With 197 listings, most being sold for a premium, you can bet holding out on putting more on the market will only hurt the initiative.  I don't want a Fitbit or Jawbone, they suck.  I don't want to wait 2+ years for them to license and use this same hardware platform to build something decent.       As far as reasoning, I'd say, they didn't expect it to be an overnight hit.  They underestimated potential demand so as not to end up with another Surface fiasco.  How many Surfaces did they have to write down against?  Better to have the issue of ramping up your production than stuck with a warehouse full of junk you can barely give away.  With the licensing, they already have Google and Apple beat with this platform.  With cross device compatibility, they've nailed it.  Keep them coming, but let's make enough for everyone next time.  And I hope the scalpers get stuck with these and have to take a loss, bunch of vsdj@#TTGJVMDTY&&^*%^#%#^*T&%$!!!
  • I would be excited to see a Lenovo or ASUS model. That'd be great. Even if HtC made one. They didn't enter the smart wearable market because they were waiting to do it right. All three smartphone platforms and licensing... Perhaps this is HTCs way in.
  • This was a great, quality article. Can we have more informative articles like this please (especially when it comes to Microsoft's strategy for Windows on our phones)?
  • Regardless of their initial intentions with this device, the near universal praise and unexpectedly high demand has to come as a bit of a surprise to MS. They would be wise to use it. It is not mutually exclusive to release this as a reference device AND market and sell the heck out of it. They are doing that exact thing with the surface.
    More importantly, the response to this device presents an opportunity for leverage that Microsoft has been sorely lacking in its WP business. By making this a cross platform device that (if the hype keeps up) that everyone wants to get in on, they can demand WP support from all the 3rd parties that will want in on MS Health and the mini app tiles.
    They finally have a product that can drive people into the stores and drum up some interest in the platform.
  • I visited the MS store in Santa Clara, CA, and they had the Band ads everywere, which leads me to believe they intend to market it hard once they get enough stock. I suspect that there will be chronic shortages for the holidays though becuase if they didn't forecast huge demand, they may not be able to acquire enough parts and ramp up production to high levels in time. That would be a.disappointing problem since for the first time in a long time they seem to have generated interest from a broad swath of customers from Apple to Android users that have looked down upon MS as a has been. BTW, my impression of the band from trying it on is that it would be comfortable enough for me and I really want one even more now that I know it fits well.  
  • Artificially low supply is EXACTLY what Nintendo does and is on record as doing for many MANY years now, so don't just claim its not true.  It absolutely IS.  The new Nexus 6 is another example of this.  Supplies were sold out in about 20 seconds when they went on sale on the net, in fact you'd probably get one faster by turning up at a phone store than if you'd pre-ordered one of the artificially limited ones the second of its release to the net.
  • Microsoft giving away Fitbit Flex is only helping Fitbit to clear their stock before launching the new line of trackers and watch me being right about when Flex will not be longer available for purchase max 2-3 months from now.
  • If it's sold in my country, I think I will buy it
  • Microsoft band has offered a lot. Was surprised and happy to see that happening. Its is simple, clutter free, and easy navigate. M in love with the band. Having said that Microsoft has provided a better products now like surface for tablets, windows phone by Nokia, now band! Impressive and heart touchy gadgets which always mane me feel connected and inspiring as well.
  • I just want to say that this is a great article - the best I've seen on the MS Band. Makes perfect sense and ties together all the clues MS has given us on the device. Thanks!  
  • Well done.  These are the types of articles that made me give up on other sites and come here exclusively for news.  Many thanks. Incidentally, you are spot on in your assessment...not that you needed my input. :-)
  • The Band is useless to me until Microsoft and Verizon update my 928 to WP 8.1.  Why buy a tbalet of Surface if my phone will not undate to 8.1.  I believe that verizon is intentionally holding up the update to get as many 928 owners to buy a new phone.  Since I do not need to buy a new phone (my 928 is not two years old), why would I buy a new WP.  I fell like the ecosystem has unreliable partners in Verizon and many OEMs.  Microsoft is simply getting screwed by partners that have minimal creativity and business acume (HP, Dell, Sony, Lenova, etc...)  Of course intel is so late to the low power mobile chip business that one can not hardly blame these companies for not selling compellling deveices.
  • Isn't microsoft just employing the early adopter phenomena?  I would assume Microsoft wants to sell 100k of these deveices to people that want to use/play/experiment with the device.  This will give Microsoft much more market info in how a Smart wearable is used by the consumer.  This info gives them a better idea on how to build the info backbone on the ecosystem.  I would bet dollars to donuts that FitBit senior execs knew about the introduction of this device several weeks ago and were given a strong presentation on how Microsoft would build an ecosystem to allow OEMs to build a thriving business licensing MS Technology. If MIcrosoft could just get Verizon of its ass and update my 928 to WP 8.1  otherwise these discussions about Microsoft plans are meaningless.  By the way I lost my fitbit and can not find the stupid thing.  Hate to do that with a $200 wearable that runs out of juice in 2 days.  I wonder if the Band sends out a destress signal to your phone. "here is my GPS coordinates come get me before I die".  I did get a low battery notification on my fitbit.  Which means my computer/Bag was near enough to the thing to register a low battery signal before it died.  Then again, maybe Fitbit just sends one automatically 5 days after the last sync.
  • Your arguments migth as well be completely wrong. MS already tried that approach with Windows Phone marketplace and ended up acquiring Nokia and pretty much pushing everybody else off the platform. They managed to turn Samsung from partner on the platform devices to sworn enemy with huge Android licensing bill being thrown finto the fight for good taste. MS has stated several times that they are going to become very serious hardware manufacturer and their latest efforts in this arena are only the confirmation.  What are the incentives for FitBit to switch to MS platform and lose thie unique marketing positioning? They would become just another dumb hardware manufacturer with zero control over the data and their customers.  Your assumption that small companies would not want to pick a fight with MS is also laughable. MS has failed again and again in multiple areas and company like FitBit, whose whole focus is for delivering the best fitness devices and ecosystem, can and should pick a fight with MS, for whom this is just another revenue stream. The only thing I completely agree with you here is that the MS Band is really just a demo device (and rather crude too). My own experience with it for the past week showed that MS did not really think through the whole user experience. The display that can only be worn  on the inside (because it is plain imposible to read it any other way), that has easily scratchable non-curved glass, that has buttons that are difficult to operate when running, and clunky smarphone integration must be a demo device. 
  • Note to the author: Re myth #2. Sadly that dope Stephen Elop (or Eflop as I like to call him) has gone on record saying "limiting a products' availability is how to generate demand".
  • Prior to moveing to WP, I had bought a Samsung Gear 2 - to go with my (now sold) Note 3. Thinking it would be a improvment over the original Gear (which I didn't own). It was absolute garbage.  they may not turn out to be fads, but anyone who has had a 1st or 2nd generation smartwatch or fitness device/watch will (like me) be very, very reluctant to purchase another one. Especially as one of the big flaws - battery life, has not been improved. So you receive a notification on your smartch wrist device and chances are, you will need to take your phone out of your pocket, to complete carry out whatever the notification was about.  I am very tempted by the MS band, but the seisible part of my brain keeps reminding me of the Samsung Gear 2 - poor battery, Apps that did not work, Bluetooth errors, not loud enough to alert me in busy places..... maybe a MMS Band mk7.
  • A very intereting article. I must admit that I too felt the frustration of not having devices like Surface and Band in India. More so, I did nto understand why Microsoft prices them higher than comeptition, when it should be the other way round. Now it makes sense to me. However, I still don't feel that it is a good strategy. In my view Microsoft should still go all out. It may make some players leave the market. But come to think of it, those players would never have the size to support a giant like Microsoft anyways. They will get eaten up either ways. Other manufacturers who have the credentials to seriously take Microsoft Health forward, will get lured more by the fact that if the Band can sell so well, they can sell a lot more by doing something extra. Show them that this is a seroius market and people are willing to go for the band. So if you have a better product than the band, you will sell a lot more. To summarise: don't show off your capabilities, show them the money!
  • We are seeing that Microsoft recently expanded their marketing program.  You can now buy the Band at Best Buy, Amazon, and other places.  Also the Band is on sale in England.  Does this indicate that the FitBits of the world are not responding to Microsofts strategy?  What about a follow on device--version 2.0.  What about the launch of Windows 10?  Will this make it easier for Microsft Health Vault to increase it footprint in the mobile, desktop and enterprise markets?  I have not heard of anyone wanting to license this 10 sensor package.  I have seen some indications that app developers working with the Band ecosystem.  So maybe Microsoft will end up with Apple's market position--a premium device with a strong ecosystem selling in a new market--wearable. So would we have the wearable, mobile, PC, and Enterprise markets?  Is the limited utiltiy of the FitBit (costing as much as $249) placing it at a disadvantage to the Band?  I played around with the Band last week.  It is easy to use and I assume it would sync easily with my Windows Phone.  But I am waiting for the new version.  What if they spring a new version on the market in the Summer with the release of Win10?  Would they allow you to exchange your Band for the new version?
  • Be nice if they sold them here in Canada ... go great with our Universal Healthcare.