Microsoft may be stepping away from another unsuccessful business, as Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley reports that the company has disbanded the team working to bring Windows 10 to their next fitness tracker.
MJF has also heard that there will be no new Band 3 this year, or possibly ever, as Microsoft is more focussed on getting their Microsoft Health app on more platforms supporting more devices.
In a statement Microsoft said:
“We continue to invest and innovate in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices. We also continue to sell Microsoft Band 2 and remain deeply committed to supporting our customers and exploring the wearables space.”
A Band 3 may still come running the same kind of firmware as in Band 2, rather that Windows 10 IoT version.
The Microsoft Band has failed to dent the wearables market, failing to make the IDC’s top 5 wearables list in Q2 2016, meaning less than 1 million units were sold that quarter. During the same period Fitbit shipped 5.7 million fitness trackers. The Microsoft Band 2 was released in October 2015, and a replacement was expected at Microsoft’s upcoming October hardware event.
If there is no replacement for the device it would represent a further distancing of Microsoft from the consumer market, with Microsoft, under Satya Nadella’s leadership, hewing ever further into the lucrative enterprise market.