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Microsoft probably won't release a Band 3 this year

Engadget Engadget 14/09/2016 Steve Dent

Microsoft has no plans to release a new Band this year and reportedly disbanded a team that was working on a port to Windows 10, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. In response to a question about the device's future, it said it will continue to sell and support the current Microsoft Band 2, but was otherwise noncommittal. Sources inside the company, meanwhile, say that no new device is coming in 2016, and if one launches one after that, it'll still run custom firmware, not Windows 10.

Microsoft instead emphasized the Microsoft Health platform in a statement, saying it's "open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows iOS and Android devices." That jibes with its current strategy of porting bread-and-butter apps like Office 365 to other platforms, rather than emphasizing Windows 10 Mobile as before. Microsoft Health helps iOS, Android and PC users monitor exercise, nutrition sleep quality and more, like similar platforms from Nokia, Apple, Google and others.

Microsoft wanted the Band 2 to be a big piece of its Health strategy, but downplayed its role recently. It now seems, again, that it will rely on hardware from other companies, unless it surprises us with a Surface Watch or something. The Band 2 originally cost $250 when it launched in October of last year, but Microsoft has since cut the price to $175.


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