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The Microsoft Band Is Dead (zdnet.com) 58

Microsoft's fitness-band line of devices have not be very well adopted over the years. Last month it was reported that Microsoft will be killing off the Lumia brand in favor of a new Surface Phone brand. Now, it appears the company is discontinuing its Band devices, as it has removed all references to them from its Microsoft Store listing online. Mary Jo Foley writes via ZDNet: A tipster who asked not to be named showed me a cached version of the Microsoft Online Store listing from yesterday, October 2, which included Band devices; today, October 3, references to the Band devices are gone from the company's Store sites. Microsoft also removed the Band software development kit (SDK) today, which isn't surprising given it's no longer selling Band 2 devices. Microsoft is believed to have disbanded the software team that was looking to bring Windows 10 to the Band a couple months ago. I've gotten various tips that at least some of the Band hardware team members have dispersed, too, with some moving to other Microsoft hardware teams inside the company. Even though sources of mine have said Microsoft is planning to phase out its fitness band devices and to have no plans to roll out a Band 3 device any time soon (or likely, ever), company officials still haven't completely conceded that it's the end of the line for Band. I asked again today and have yet to get an updated statement from the company regarding when and why Band devices were removed from Microsoft's online stores. A spokesperson sent me the following statement: "We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year. We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices."
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The Microsoft Band Is Dead

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 03, 2016 @06:21PM (#53007529)

    brand*

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I wish...

    • I thought it was something that involved Bill Gates on the drums, Nadella playing guitar, Ballmer singing (and dancing, naturally...)

  • I got a Zune Band with Clippy built in.

  • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @06:34PM (#53007595) Homepage
    I bought a MS Band 2 to replace a Basis B1 after Basis basically dropped support for the B1 the moment the Peak was announced, and also broke a number of promises, etc... I picked it because it had the best sensor package around, even including a UV sensor. I found it very useful. I also found it very flawed. My band was replaced FOUR times under warranty due to cracks in the non-replaceable band at where it met the device. Microsoft was very good about replacing it, but it just never really solved the problem, just bought me a few more months of use. The magnetic attached charger also had some issues, and the software has always been a little buggy...especially syncing with the app...which right now includes claiming the battery died and the clock reset basically every few hours. It was a brilliant sensor package hindered by lousy industrial design. When my band breaks again, which I'm sure it will, this means the end for my Band.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And I was just started to getting interested about the device family! Apparently MS has too little patience for the consumer electronics market, or I'm too slow a potential customer. A couple of Sony engineers still refurbishes the Aibo robot dogs in Japan for mostly senior citizens, and some temples provide services for the souls of the dead Aibos. The product was discontinued 2006. MS has some lessons to learn before being able to remain in the market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jezwel ( 2451108 )

        And I was just started to getting interested about the device family! Apparently MS has too little patience for the consumer electronics market, or I'm too slow a potential customer.

        They've stuck it out with the XBox, but otherwise seem to be abandoning whole areas where they have little market share:
        * music players (understandable with mobile phones on the rise)
        * mobile phones - declining
        * wearables - out

        IMO the mobile & PAN devices such as wearable will continue to grow and become more complex. Microsoft abandoning these is a strange decision.

        • Its not just hardware.

          Games for Windows Live!
          Games for Windows Live again
          Was there a third one? Nevermind, no one cares.
          Silverlight
          Xbox Media Center (had a better run than some of them, but they got bored all the same)
          I'm sure there's plenty of others, those are just the ones that spring to mind.
          A lot of these things seem more like they were weak gambits to hamstring a competitor than actual products MS wanted to sell.

          If a Microsoft product doesn't take off pretty quickly, they'll abandon it and leave you h

  • The what now? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fwipp ( 1473271 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @06:36PM (#53007619)

    I didn't know about this product before today. I guess it's the new Zune.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      I saw it on sale on Amazon last Christmas. I was semi-tempted to buy one at the price but I allowed my better judgement to overrule my impulsive side.

      I'm sure it would have been a reasonable for what these bands are but the reality is they all have really shitty battery lives and are tied to online / cloud like services. I don't see the point of buying something which is subject to the whims of a big business or the precariousness of a smaller one. If the cloud service is discontinued they're basically us

    • I saw it in 2014, months before Apple introduced the Apple Watch. They were taking pre-orders, so looks like it might have been an initial hit.
  • Read it as "the Microsoft brand is dead"? It was a letdown reading the rest of the story.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      That you could readily read the headline as "Microsoft brand is dead", is a pretty solid indication that it is dying and anything M$ is being seen as uncool, distasteful, perverted, and really quite off. Windows anal probe 10 is really putting the tiny limp in micro soft advertising. Even a relatively popular product ends up with a bad nickname XBone, now that just so tiny limp ;D.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @06:56PM (#53007735)

    Dammit I never even got to hear them in concert.
    I heard all their songs are just obvious but worse copies of other more successful bands music though.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    What will all the groupies do now?

  • who actively tried to sabotage OS/2?
  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Monday October 03, 2016 @08:55PM (#53008301)
    "Fitness bands" are a fad, anyway. MS is smart to get out of them sooner rather than later. "Fitness bands" are something that out of shape people use for a week, then toss in a drawer, somewhere, never to be seen again. People who exercise on a regular basis don't need to know heart rate and all of that other silly stuff, unless they're seriously competitive athletes, which is, of course, a tiny market.
    • "Fitness bands" are a fad, anyway.

      I agree. Remember when the Wii came out and there was sudden hype that I was going to get people up and physically active? Yeah. Didn't happen. Turns out people who want to do sweaty activities do sweaty activities.

      The fitness band product has two places: as a tool for people who ultimately don't need them, and in the same room as the dusty treadmills and weight sets people buy and never use.

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday October 04, 2016 @05:57AM (#53009859)

      People who exercise on a regular basis don't need to know heart rate and all of that other silly stuff, unless they're seriously competitive athletes, which is, of course, a tiny market.

      Except people like tracking themselves. Data tracking as a fad has run for the best part of 20 years. I wouldn't discount it early.

      As for not needing to track your heartrate, that ignores all of this talk of "fatburning zones" and "cardio zones" and all this other wonderful stuff researchers are selling us. Before declaring the one device to monitor the "zone" dead you need to invalidate the concept, which doesn't appear to be happening right now.

    • What's a fad is all these expensive devices with crap battery life. The Mi band does all the fitness (and sleep) tracking for $20. Now that's something you can just get for fun, and if you don't find it useful, pass it on to someone else. Personally I like mine. Making people buy $200+ devices with yearly upgrades? Of course that won't last.

  • Lasted as long as Wings.
  • Stupid, useless one-not products like this are an absolute waste of time, development hours and money.

  • The Band is the perfect example of Microsoft's ability to come up with a great product but completely botch its execution.

    I owned the first gen for a month before returning it. The thing actually died within that first month due to the ingress of sweat, and that was without doing any strenuous activity. I didn't want to be stuck with something this prone to failure, but the actual functionality was fantastic. It worked well, and it had GPS.

    So when the Band 2 was released I decided to get that, assuming and

  • I misread this as the Microsoft "Brand" is dead, nevermind

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