Microsoft Pulls the Plug on Microsoft Band Apps

Posted on March 1, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft with 42 Comments

Fixing Microsoft Band

On this quiet Friday night, Microsoft is announcing the end of support for Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band apps. The company will be shutting down the Microsoft Health Dashboard site on the web and remove the Microsoft Band apps from the Android, Apple, and Microsoft app stores on 31st of May.

Microsoft says those with a Microsoft Band device will continue to be able to use their devices, though you won’t get any of the “web-connected” features. The company will allow users to export their existing data to other services until 31st May 2019.

If you still have the Microsoft Band app installed after the service has reached the end of support, it will simply stop working as Microsoft will completely pull the plug from the backend supporting the service.

In terms of features, you will still be able to record and track things like steps, heart rate, and other basic workouts, as well as activity data on your Band. You will continue to be able to track your sleep and set alarms from the Band, but any of the features that rely on the cloud or the phone app will no longer work.

Microsoft is (thankfully) letting some users get a refund on their Band devices, based on the following criteria. Eligible customers will get $79.99 for the original Band, or $175 for the second-generation Band.

  1. Have a Band that is covered under its Limited Warranty; OR
  2. Are Active Users. An Active User is defined as a user who has worn the Band on their wrist and completed a data sync from the Band to the Health Dashboard between 12/1/2018 and 3/1/2019.

Microsoft pulling the plug on Microsoft Band at this point is not a surprise, considering the fact that the company has stopped making new Band devices. The last Band was released back in 2015, and all the Band apps have not been updated in recent times. The company’s Health platform has also fallen behind other platforms, and so completely shutting down the service makes sense. Unless you still actively use your Band device — and in that case, you might want to try for a refund or just buy a new device.

Thanks for the tip, Chris and Merlin!

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Comments (42)

42 responses to “Microsoft Pulls the Plug on Microsoft Band Apps”

  1. Avatar

    Chris_Kez

    Pour one out for the Band ?

  2. Avatar

    jules_wombat

    Well that's a bit dissapointing I am still using Microsoft Band 2. I have been using for about three years. So I am a bit confused as to why Microsoft are issuing refund, that is worth more than the original device itself.

    But I guess that refund US only right ?

    Perhaps I should buy a few more Windows Phones (which I am currently still using), in case they suggest refunds on those as well.

  3. Avatar

    locust infested orchard inc

    By announcing the end of support for Microsoft's Health and Band apps, I am of the belief (without any information to substantiate) that Microsoft is paving the way to release an as-of-yet undisclosed successor to the Band, which will go beyond that which the iØS Watch is capable, appeasing to the connaisseurs of haute horlogerie.


    No official word on this luxury device has been made, nor have any leaks seeped through. As such, the expected date of release to market in unknown.


    The Surface Timepiece™.

    • Avatar

      Winner

      In reply to locust infested orchard inc:

      There's a nice way to spin a dropping of a service.

      I wonder if Google killed something you'd say the same sort of thing?

      • Avatar

        locust infested orchard inc

        In reply to Winner:


        It has become apparent in any news article regarding Microsoft's termination of a service, device, OS, etc, here at Thurrott.com and elsewhere on the net, the comment sections are typically filled with the same predictable attack on the most valuable company by market capitalisation, citing Microsoft's lack of perseverance, and ditching the consumer product space by "Nutella", with seers almost invariably opining the company is headed to becoming another IBM.


        I've read all these nonsense before, and probably you have too, of which none of the comments are true, but rather reflecting the commentors' Microsoftphobic bias, more often than not as a result of displaying fondness of the data-gobbling and provider of numerous free services – Google.


        If were to be critical of the developments outlined in the article, I would be inputting very little, if anything, to the news item. In this regard, I'd much prefer to shed a positive light to the news story by suggesting what may become as a result of these developments. Certainly it's wishful thinking on my part, but with Microsoft having been in business for almost 44 years, one should have learnt to never dismiss this tech giant, for it may well conjure up the unexpected, hence the Surface Timepiece™.

        • Avatar

          provision l-3

          In reply to locust infested orchard inc:

          You are literally saying that people being critical of Microsoft bothers you to the extend that you create a fantasy world to protect yourself.

          • Avatar

            locust infested orchard inc

            In reply to provision l-3:


            Firstly, even though I'm replying soon after your comment, I did not down-vote you. That down-vote appeared within 40 minutes of you posting your comment.


            Though the process of down-voting has nothing to do whatsoever with Microsoft's ending support for Health and Band apps, it is indicative of my positive outlook to life, both for myself and towards others, for I fervently believe there is little, if any, point in being sorrowful or resentful for things that do not have a sizeable impact to one's life (including a jab at me through a forum comment, or the ending of a once super device, such as the Band, for all good things must come to an end. I very rarely down-vote, though I up-vote very frequently).


            Even though an initial investment had to be made for the Band, and the time spent recognising its features, and then using it on a day-to-day basis, the announcement of the termination of the web-connected features neither surprises me (nor should it is to others), rather it has been anticipated.


            For this reason, there's little point in berating Microsoft's seeming push out of the consumer market – enterprise is where the $$$$$$$ is for Microsoft.


            I'm curious as to whom I need to, quoting you "protect yourself". Most certainly not from those who spin every move by Microsoft as an atrocious one, for they can continue to their hearts' content, as I'll continue to be unphased by their opinions. Should however they opine something noteworthy and correct, I will make a mental note of it.


            Being insular and attempting to create a safe haven bubble, "a fantasy world" as you describe it, does in no way protect oneself from the brutal realities of the real World. Anyone with a modicum of logic would instantly recognise that. My suggestion of the Surface Timepiece™ is one that noone can prove or dismiss, for it may well be in sketch form in Panos Panay's OneNote – who knows. But certainly my idea of a Surface Timepiece™ is not, quoting you,"to create a fantasy world to protect yourself", but rather as an ambition Microsoft should set for themselves, delivering an exclusive product that would become worthy to be associated with the Surface brand.


            In the same vain no one expected the Surface Headphones, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the Surface Timepiece™ as a future product, as unlikely as it may appear to be.

          • Avatar

            lethalleigh

            In reply to provision l-3:

            You're right, he is trying to protect himself. Click on his username and it says he doesn't exist. I would like to know what technical wizardry he is using to achieve that.

  4. Avatar

    AndBingoWasHis

    After Microsoft abandoned Zune HD, Windows Home Server, and Windows Phone, I announced the end of support for any Microsoft consumer device years ago.

  5. Avatar

    SYNERDATA

    In 2014, in response to Microsoft's call to developers to make Windows and Windows Phone and Band apps, I made the decision to invest fully in developing apps for Microsoft's platforms and products moving forward.


    It is 5 years later and Microsoft has cancelled all my work and all my products and all their products which I bought to develop for.


    I can not express my sentiments as I watch as they decide that it is too expensive for them to just leave a server and some apps alone so that my products and theirs continue working, that they have to pro-actively murder their products and my own to ensure I have learned their lesson about what they think of developers who dare to develop for their temporal platforms and services.


    I will not allow this to be done to me again.

  6. Avatar

    Thomas MB

    Somewhere there is a golden list of people who bought multiple windows phones, both generations bands and the cortana thermostat.


    You could sell these people anything.

  7. Avatar

    RickiTickiToc

    Does anyone know if this affects HealthVault? I'm still using it with my Garmin smart watch (via FitnessSyncer) and with my Withings smart scale. There's a definate benefit of the service to me at least.

  8. Avatar

    sharpsone

    This is disappointing for those that invested hard earned money into this ecosystem... I know there will be some that say you should have known better etc but c'mon now it speaks volumes to the throw away society we've become and the digital world that has become rough water for any consumer to navigate. Investing in any digital platform can lead to disappointmsnt later eventually tech companies either drop the product or discontinue support for older hardware. Consumers are in a lose lose situation with SaaS and hardware which is essentially tied to SaaS and even though you own it you really don't. At least my cars a reliable hw platform... Only a matter of time before they bend that over too....ala electric well connected cars... Just wait until you can't start your car because you hw is no longer supported.

  9. Avatar

    coreyp

    This sucks to hear. Sure the Band 2 fell apart after a year but it was truly a unique device. The best part was that it would wake you up when in light sleep around your alarm time instead of (looking at you Fitbit) just waking you up. Still waiting for some fitness tracker or smartwatch to replicate that feature.

  10. Avatar

    AlexKven

    So successful that Microsoft had a hard time keeping them on store shelves, yet cancelled, because the new Microsoft cancels even successful consumer products.

    • Avatar

      evox81

      In reply to AlexKven:

      Retail availability isn't always indicative of popularity. We know the Band was made in small quantities (e.g. they only had 5000 available at launch). I'd be willing to bet money that availability was limited more by manufacturing volume than the devices flying off the shelf.

    • Avatar

      Saxwulf

      In reply to AlexKven:

      In no way was the Band successful for Microsoft. From the outset they explained that they had no interest in manufacturing these things, they wanted OEMS to make them.

      Unfortunately, no OEM was interested.


      Microsoft was after the data, not profit from hardware sales.


      I owned Band 1&2, and thought the software was great, but the hardware uncomfortable.


      A great pity that it was discontinued, but don't blame Microsoft for its demise.

  11. Avatar

    dkrat

    Over/under on refund claims? 15?

  12. Avatar

    prjman

    I'm sorry, but what does being an 'active user' have to do with it. If I bought it, and they are MAKING it unusable by removing the app, they should provide a refund. THEY have made it so that I have no choice but to never use it again.


    Garbage policy.

    • Avatar

      Daishi

      In reply to prjman:

      Well because if you just have a Band sitting in a draw somewhere that you haven’t worn in 18 months then their obligation to you is significantly less than to someone that wore it daily and regularly uploaded the data from it. You have already abandoned the product and are losing nothing. They however are no longer able to use a device they relied on so they’re being given 70% of the original RRP 42 months after it was launched.


      This is in fact an amazing offer from Microsoft

      • Avatar

        Sarge

        In reply to Daishi:

        But there are others like myself who bought a Band 1 and 2 of the Band 2's and my wife and I would still be using them if the rubber hadn't failed with splits. I kept them working well after the rubber showed splits using Sugru but even that had limits and finally they failed totally and wouldn't take a charge. Too bad there's no sympathy check coming from that.

  13. Avatar

    ggolcher

    I still use my Band 2 and will very happily partake of the refund. That's extremely generous.


    My Band never had the strap break or anything, but it would take around 15 minutes for GPS to get a lock and that's only after syncing with the app (otherwise it would never ever get a GPS lock). It became a habit of mine to plug it in and sync, then start the GPS lock running, and then come 15 minutes later to go running.


    Turns out that that ritual basically made me get a refund on the device after many years! If the device would get a lock without having to be synced, I would not have used the Band app and would not have been eligible for the refund. Go figure!

  14. Avatar

    ponsaelius

    Microsoft continues its journey to consumer irrelevance. Wall Street loves the strategy and its share price soars.

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      In reply to ponsaelius:

      Who is to say Wall Street is wrong? Evidence certainly seems to indicate NO ONE in MSFT senior management has any clue how to operate a successful consumer operation other than the Xbox people, and it seems they're unable to expand out of their gaming niche.

      Perhaps more to the point, what exactly does the world lose if MSFT doesn't have any consumer market products? How did Band help MSFT generally since it wasn't running Windows, couldn't run Office and couldn't have been a useful Azure client?

  15. Avatar

    mattemt294

    Was sad they pulled it. I recall buying a band 2 right after they cancelled production and switching to windows mobile for one last hoorah. Loved it.

  16. Avatar

    Elan Gabriel

    Well, at least we still have Azure access I can get my friends next Christmas. Gotta love the new anti consumer Microsoft.

  17. Avatar

    cddouglas

    And the drumbeat goes on as Microsoft continues to abandon consumers. I used to have and love Windows phones, used Zune and then XBox Music, had a band, a PC with an Office 365 home subscription, and an XBox. Now I just have the XBox and for everything else, use Apple's hardware and software because it is easier being all in on a single ecosystem. Microsoft has nothing for me as a consumer except for Surface/Windows and that doesn't matter much if everything else doesn't easily tie in. I miss the old Microsoft.

  18. Avatar

    jumpingjackflash5

    Well, Microsoft is simply abandoning consumers. But Microsoft probably does not realize that continuing this trend, people would not prefer Microsoft at business, too. If they want to become the new IBM, they surely can ....

    • Avatar

      Mike Cramer

      In reply to jumpingjackflash5:


      This is a product that hasn't been sold since 2015. And they're offering refunds. I've seen worse behavior from other companies. I have plenty of devices that are no longer supported: my Samsung HDTV, my WD-TV media streamer, my router, my smartphone, my webcam, and on and on.

      • Avatar

        jumpingjackflash5

        In reply to Donkey_Gas:

        Well, they may abandon in polite way. But they still do. Mobile, issues with Windows Update especially for home users, Zune, etc. Also Edge browser does not have much potential currently. I switched to Firefox since January and I am much more satisfied than with Edge. Well - not that big problem since there are alternatives, but I have kind of liked Windows ecosystem, I even still have my Office Personal subscription, but if this trend continues ....

    • Avatar

      provision l-3

      In reply to jumpingjackflash5:

      "Microsoft is simply abandoning consumers"


      This implies that consumers bought the band in numbers. The reality is that like the Zune these things just never sold particularly well and there isn't much of a consumer base to abandon, Microsoft made the right decision in dropping an underperforming product.

  19. Avatar

    wright_is

    I got an email this morning, thanking me for being a loyal user of the Band and Health apps. I half expected to see that they had finally released the Band, but no, they are just putting the apps to rest as well, before releasing the supporting hardware, as usual.

  20. Avatar

    tmslayton

    I am glad that I am not using Microsoft's consumer products. Was burned by them a few years back and haven't (and won't) return. When I see these types of announcements I am happy that I chose Apple instead.

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