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Microsoft Smartwatch ‘Launching In Weeks’

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Windows-powered wearable coming in time for Christmas, reports say

Microsoft is set to jump on the wearables bandwagon by releasing a smartwatch in time for Christmas, it has been reported.

According to Forbes, the Windows-powered device will be launched within the next few weeks, meaning it will arrive in time to compete with the likes of the Moto 360 and Samsung Galaxy Gear for holiday spending. This means it will also arrive ahead of the Apple Watch, which is set to be released in March 2015.

Microsoft’s first wearable device will apparently be a smartwatch that will be able to monitor a user’s heart rate, and will come with a battery life lasting more than two days, according to sources close to the project. This would put it well ahead of its competitors, most of which need to be charged at least once a day.

Wearable-tech-smartwatch-c-Alexey-Boldin-Shutterstock-2014Cross-platform

The launch of a wearable marks an important part of Microsoft’s current attempts to stay relevant in a hyper-competitive market. It comes just a few weeks after the company revealed the latest version of its operating software, Windows 10, pledging to offer software and services across its complete range of devices.

The new smartwatch will be designed to work across different mobile platforms, the sources say, meaning it should be able to sync up with a user’s Windows-powered smartphone, tablet or PC to share and track data.

However, this should also mean it will work with Android and iOS-powered devices, as Microsoft will be keen to gain as much of the lucrative market share as possible.

Rumours of a Microsoft smartwatch first emerged last summer. Originally envisioned as an Xbox accessory, it seems the company has switched focus to try and gain a slice of the ever-growing wearables market.

Last week, analyst firm Juniper Research predicted that the number of smartwatches worldwide is expected to pass 100 million within the next five years, as the range of devices on the market increases dramatically. Recent research from YouGov found that the UK public is keen to embrace the smartwatch, with the penetration of wearable devices in the UK expected to more than double by September 2015

Currently, 2.8 million people in the UK own a wearable, with that figure predicted to rise to 6.1 million in a year’s time as the adoption rate rises from 6 percent to 13 percent.

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