End of the line for Microsoft Band?

Prospects of a new Band device dim, according to the latest reports

End of the line for Microsoft Band?
Credit: Microsoft

Last week when I discussed the latest rumors surrounding Surface All-In-Ones, I added that there was no news on the Microsoft Band front. Now there apparently is news, and it's not the best.

Microsoft's Band and Band 2 devices look like they run Windows 10, but they don't. They only run firmware. One of the rumors surrounding future Band products is that they would get the full OS, or at least enough of it to make it functional with PCs. That may not be the case, however. 

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reports that the group working on bringing Windows 10 to Band was disbanded weeks ago. That doesn't necessarily mean Band 3 won't happen; it just means the group working on a Windows 10 port is gone. They could always release Band 3 with firmware just like the first two versions.

However, Microsoft issued the following statement to Foley. Read between the lines:

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.

Does that sound like commitment to future Band products to you?

Microsoft has two hardware events that I know of: one in October to introduce the refresh of Surface devices and where the all-in-ones are expected to make their debut, and another reportedly set for next April, which will likely see a new generation of Surface products and a big launch for Windows 10 Mobile. Neither seems likely to be a Band introduction event. 

Band will work with Android and iOS devices, but if you are invested in either, you are far more likely to go with Android Wear or Apple Watch, not Microsoft Band. There have been complaints on forums about the quality of Band and Band 2 as it is, so this could be another Microsoft product fading into the sunset.

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