Microsoft Smartwatch Being Tested By Surface Team – Reports

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Microsoft Smartwatch prototype housed in Oxynitrate Alumnium is reportedly being tested by the Surface team

Microsoft is reportedly testing a Smartwatch housed in Oxynitrate Alumnium, a translucent metal which is 80 percent transparent but four times harder than glass, according to various reports.

The company had previously been testing the smartwatch as an Xbox accessory, but this has now moved over the Surface team as part of recent structural changes at Microsoft, which has seen the Xbox hardware and Surface merged into a single division.

AmongTech says the Microsoft Surface smartwatch will have a number of removable wristbands in different colours, with some prototypes including 6GB of storage and support for LTE networks.

Microsoft smartwatch

Microsoft James M Phelps, Jr © Shutterstock 2012The device is apparently running a modified version of Windows 8 with a 1.5-inch display, but it remains unclear how it will interact with other devices. Reports that Microsoft was working on a smartwatch first appeared earlier this year, and it is just one of a number of companies working on wearable technology.

Apple is widely believed to be working on the iWatch, although this might not hit the market until late 2014, while Samsung and Google are also working on their own devices. The Sony Smartwatch 2 was announced last month, and the Kickstarter-funded Pebble smartwatch has received more than 275,000 pre-orders ahead of its release.

Any Surface Smartwatch is unlikely to be made available to timekeepers until next year in any case, by which point Microsoft could have expanded the Surface range even further. Yesterday, it cut the price of the Surface RT range by a third, possibly to prepare to the arrival of a seven-inch tablet in the near future.

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