Microsoft has abandoned the wearable market after the second generation of Microsoft Band and despite rumors that the company may be considering a new smartwatch, we have no evidence that such a device is coming.
Despite having little time to live, Microsoft Band was an over-sophisticated activity tracker far ahead of its opponents at the time. It offered features that few or even no competitor had, such as an ultraviolet sensor, and introduced features that were available in the past to more complex and costly devices, such as heart rate zones.
However, for some reason, Microsoft suddenly decided to abandon this particular industry, leaving Microsoft Band back out of the wearable market.
And despite the rumors circulating for a third generation of Microsoft Band and an Xbox branded smartwatch, we do not see that anywhere. Something that's odd, at least, especially when we look at the following:
1) Smartwatches are an ever-expanding market
Microsoft tried to evolve beyond the focus of the software and invest more in other products, with the Surface lineup being the living proof that hardware is now a priority for the company. And while the services cloud and Office 365 are Microsoft's leading developers, there is no doubt that the hardware is so powerful that it can quickly become a catalyst of the same trend.
Smartwatches are now an ever-expanding market, and data provided by Canalys earlier this month revealed that they account for 80% of the wearable business's total revenue.
In total, 20,5 million units were sold in the first quarter of the year, while 59% of LTE-supported models were Apple watches. This shows how quickly this market evolved and how Apple succeeded in becoming the leader of an industry formerly dominated by Fitbit in a few years.
In addition, according to analysts' estimates, smartwatch sales could double 2018, reaching 141 million units from just 5 million units to 2014.
2) Microsoft has the expertise to build a smartwatch
The first and second generation of Microsoft Band were both live proofs that Microsoft has the know-how to create a powerful smartwatch and the company's appetite for innovation could also help in this respect.
3) The ever-expanding Surface Hardware family
Since the launch of the first Surface model, Micronsoft's long-term design for this new brand was to expand it with new devices based on completely unexplored ideas that would bring a number of benefits that customers could not imagine.
A Surface-branded smartwatch with new features would be clearly aligned with this strategy and would allow Microsport to compete with Apple's smartwatch, but with a number of advantages, such as platform support. It would also allow the Surface brand to expand beyond the desktop, which was previously not feasible without a smartphone