Back in October of 2014, Microsoft released a new platform called Microsoft Health. The platform includes services that run in the cloud like the company’s Health app that is available for all major platforms and it is the cornerstone feature for those use the company’s fitness device, the Band.
Earlier this summer, Microsoft unofficially discontinued the Band 2, the company’s latest version of its fitness device. While they did not officially announce this, the company’s website only lists the medium as available for purchase and Best Buy previously listed the device as ‘discontinued’; a quick search on their site no longer lists the device in any capacity.
While it is still possible to buy the Band 2 directly from Microsoft, the writing is on the wall; its lifecycle is nearly over.
The company’s health app, which is available on all major platforms is a key application for anyone who has purchased a Band 2. The app makes it easy to visualize the data captured by the fitness device and while other devices technically have the ability to connect with Health, the primary device associated with Health is the Band.
With the Band 2 being no longer widely available and the Health app primarily used with this peripheral, it makes you wonder what the future of the wearable space is for Microsoft. With Microsoft expected to hold a hardware event later this year, the questions about if the Band 3 will be announced is being asked on an almost daily basis.
It is my understanding, based on my sources, that Microsoft is not planning to announce a Band 3 this year. But, there is some good news on the horizon, as I understand Microsoft is still pursuing the wearable space but details are few and far between at this time.
What this means is that it looks like there is a future for the Health platform for Microsoft but with no official word from the company, it’s no surprise that those who have put a significant amount of data put into Health are a bit nervous.
I asked Microsoft for comment on the subject and they provided the following response:
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
Microsoft has not traditionally been one to abandon a product like this, much like Google has done with applications like Reader, Buzz, Wave, etc as it’s a slippery slope. If Microsoft was to become a company who quickly abandons products, it makes new user adoption slow significantly as they need to see if the product has longevity before investing time into the service.
At this time, I do not believe that Microsoft is abandoning its Health initiative but the silence at this point is deafening.