Microsoft Developing Own 'Smart Watch': Report

Dennis Faas's picture

New reports indicate that Microsoft may be jumping on the 'smart watch' bandwagon. According to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft suppliers are currently preparing a "watch-style device" prototype. To build the prototype, Microsoft has reportedly ordered 1.5-inch displays.

Microsoft has not yet commented on the rumor and it remains entirely possible that the firm will decide that marketing a smart watch device is not a good idea. (Source:

Microsoft Smart Watch: Second Attempt

It's worth noting that the Redmond, Washington-based firm has explored the idea of developing a smart watch in the past. Specifically, in 2002 the firm built and released a device called Smart Personal Object Technology.

Never heard of it? That's not surprising. Back in 2002 few consumers expressed interest in the device and Microsoft withdrew it from the market.

Technology has come a long way since 2002, however. High-resolution display, web-connected watches may appeal to a large segment of the consumer electronics audience.

With rivals like Samsung and Apple reportedly working on their own smart watches, Microsoft won't want to be left behind. (That has, of course, been a problem for Microsoft in the rapidly growing mobile market.)

Smart watches may also offer Microsoft a way to compensate for declining PC sales. Such a trend threatens Microsoft revenue, given that its software dominates the laptop and desktop markets while Google and Apple operating systems can be found on most mobile devices, including tablet computers and smartphones.

According to analyst firm IDC, PC shipments dipped nearly 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

Device Could Use Surface, Xbox Brands

So, what might a Microsoft smart watch look like?

PCWorld contributor Jon Phillips suggests it will involve the Surface brand and may employ the Live Tiles user interface. It could also include custom games marketed through the Xbox brand.

As for a possible retail price, Phillips suggests a Microsoft Surface smart watch would sell for around $150. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet