Microsoft has ended sales of its fitness wearable
by Chris Welch from www.theverge.com
Microsoft gave it two tries, but the company's wrist-worn Band fitness tracker is seemingly no more. The Band 2 has been removed completely from Microsoft's online store, signaling that production has ceased. It's no longer available from Best Buy either, though Amazon is still selling through its remaining inventory. ZDNet reports that the company has no current plans to release a Band 3. The team responsible for the Band was recently dissolved, throwing doubt on Microsoft's future plans for the product.
In a statement earlier this month, Microsoft insisted that it remains "deeply committed to supporting our customers and exploring the wearables space." (HoloLens is technically a wearable, after all.) At the time, Microsoft also noted that the Band 2 was still actively being sold — but that's no longer the case as of today. The Band's software development kit, which allowed apps to be created for the device, has also been removed. Also in September, the company renamed its smartphone health app to Microsoft Band; that software remains available for existing users.
Microsoft BandThe first-generation Microsoft Band.
The Band was a surprise announcement in October 2014, touted as the most advanced fitness tracker on the market. But the device, often criticized for its awkward, uncomfortable design, never really caught on. Microsoft introduced a second-generation model with added features last year, but it also carried forward many of the original's flaws. And now the company has decided to bow out of fitness wearables — at least for the time being — and cede the market to companies like Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin, Misfit, and smartwatch makers including Apple.