Will Microsoft win at smartwatches by embracing cross-platform support?
The companies behind some of the most popular smartphones out there sure do seem to have been putting a lot of effort into developing new wearables. Samsung’s already got a number of Gear models, and it’s clear the company has big plans for the future. And while Apple’s publicly been quiet about its own plans, gossip’s been fierce about work on an upcoming iWatch. We’ve heard only a little about interest from Microsoft in a smartwatch of its own, and even those few rumors have been stagnant for a while. Now a new report is out claiming that not only is Microsoft nearing the launch of a sensor-packed smartwatch of its own, but that the watch could extend compatibility beyond Windows Phone to users on Android and iOS, as well.
So far, smartwatches have had a nasty habit of being platform-specific, or worse – like with Samsung – and only working with a subset of the manufacturer’s own phones. Even efforts from third parties like Pebble have failed to equally support users on all smartphone platforms, and all too often it’s Windows Phone where things come up short. If Microsoft can release a watch that not just meets the needs of its own platform, but is equally appealing to iOS and Android users, that has the potential to be huge.
Details are spotty, but this Microsoft smartwatch would supposedly offer a ton of sensors, including persistent health-focused ones. The form factor may resemble the Gear Fit, with a long, thin display, and the watch’s battery would reportedly last for about two days between charges. While no specific launch dates have been mentioned, sometime this summer is offered as a possibility.