Nearly three weeks after we first broke the story, Microsoft has confirmed that it will not ship a Microsoft Band 3 wearable in 2016. It also confirmed that it had fire-saled Band 2 throughout the year in order to clear out remaining inventory.
“We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year,” a Microsoft statement obtained by Mary Jo Foley reads. “We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices.”
Thurrott.com’s Brad Sams was the first to report on this story, on September 13, when he wrote that “Microsoft is not planning to announce a Band 3 this year.” The firm also told Brad that it would continue “exploring the wearables space,” confirming information from a source who told him that Microsoft had future wearables in the works, but not Microsoft Band products.
As I noted a week later in Microsoft Band on the Run (Premium Only), Microsoft’s Band defeat comes at a bad time: Apple literally just tied the success of its Apple Watch, the only major new product launched under Tim Cook, to fitness and health.
But the problems with Microsoft Band are, and were, many. Both generations of the product have suffered from endemic reliability issues, a problem that seems to dog most Microsoft hardware products, and few third parties ever supported the Band or the back-end Microsoft Health service.
In any event, I’ve heard via Twitter—and Mary Jo reports over on ZDNet—the Band 2 has disappeared from Microsoft’s retail stores. And Mary Jo also hears that the Band team has been—wait for it—disbanded.
And if you are for some reason upset about this change, I’ll just say this: As I discovered back in May, a less inexpensive Fitbit Alta does pretty much everything the Band 2 does, but it delivers 7-8 days of battery life. Something to consider.