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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Microsoft smartwatch moving closer to release

AFP   July 16, 2013
First Published: 10:35 IST(16/7/2013) | Last Updated: 10:38 IST(16/7/2013)

A smartwatch rumored to be forthcoming from Microsoft will reportedly connect with PCs, tablets and smartphones, be available in a range of colors and be made from a special aluminum alloy.

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According to reports in The Verge and Among Tech, Microsoft's rumored smartwatch has moved out of the initial prototype stage and is now with the company's Surface team, who will be developing not just the device's look and feel, but its ability to work with other Windows-powered devices.

The sources cited in the articles claim that the device has moved beyond its initial inception as a type of heart-rate monitor. It now offers 6GB of internal storage and 4GLTE high speed mobile internet support. The device, which will run a modified version of Windows 8, is also expected to leverage the cloud to increase storage and access to features and functions.

In terms of design, it will come with a removable wristband in a host of outfit-matching colors -- blue, red, yellow, black, white and gray. The watch's casing is also reputed to be made of oxynitride aluminium, which is translucent yet stronger than glass.

In a separate report in the Financial Times, it was claimed that Apple is encountering obstacles in its attempt to bring a smartwatch to market and is looking to recruit a number of developers with previous wearable technology experience in order to get the product, dubbed by the media the "iWatch," to market for late 2014.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft can draw on previous smartwatch experience. In 2004, it launched the then-revolutionary SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) Watch, which featured a number of notification systems such as sports results, email and weather forecasts, pushed via FM radio.

The watch predated the smartwatch and although it offered a number of features that any smartphone-owning consumer takes for granted, the product failed to catch on and was retired completely in 2008.

However, a number of the developers on the project went on to found Pebble, the Kickstarter-funded smartwatch company that has already pre-sold over 270,000 watches since launching its campaign in April 2012.


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