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It's looking to keep up with Apple and Samsung

Many people already carry a laptop, smartphone or tablet (or sometimes, all three), so what will the next must-have gadget be? Tech companies say wearable tech, and Microsoft doesn't plan on missing the boat. 

Microsoft is reportedly looking into the development of a smart watch this year. While there are no solid details on the gadget at this time, The Wall Street Journal said Microsoft has contacted Asian suppliers about it and has requested a 1.5-inch display from component makers. 

Microsoft will likely use its own hardware (much like the Surface tablet) and run the Windows 8 operating system on the smart watch. 

There's no word on a release date yet, but Microsoft might want to get an early start since Apple and Samsung are already developing smart watches of their own. Both Apple and Samsung beat Microsoft when it comes to smartphone and tablet market share, so if the Windows creator wants any chance of competing in this new tech sector, it better beat the two big boys to the punch.

Rumors of an Apple smart watch started circulating earlier this year. Apple has reportedly been talking with manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. about the new device, and Hon Hai has been working on new technologies for wearable devices (such as more efficient displays and chips at that size).

Apple filed a patent for a "Bi-stable spring with flexible display" in 2011, which described a bi-stable spring that would be made out of thin steel and wrapped in fabric covering, then heat-sealed. The display would be located on one side of the bracelet (overlaid with an adhesive) and the logic board and battery would be placed on the other side. It also showed a universal fit, a plethora of onboard sensors, wireless charging, etc.

Apple's watch is expected to be released later this year.

As for Samsung, which is the king of Android-powered hardware products, a smart watch (which will likely run a version of Android) is expected to be released as soon as this year. No details have leaked about the product, but Samsung is looking to keep up with Apple.

While making it to the finish line first will benefit either Samsung or Apple, Samsung could also have the upper hand when it comes to pricing, since it makes its own chips and displays. Apple is notorious for having much higher-priced items.

Microsoft is hoping to be a major competitor too, though, since it was late to the tablet game. Microsoft just released its first tablet last October -- the Surface -- and the device has seen poor sales and harsh criticism of its Windows RT operating system (the version of Windows 8 for ARM-based tablets). To help the Surface with Windows 8 Pro (the full Windows 8 version), Microsoft is now marketing it as a PC while referring to the Surface with Windows RT as a tablet.

Just last week, it was reported that Microsoft plans to create a whole new batch of Surface tablets, which includes a 7-inch version

Microsoft had launched a smart watch a decade ago, but the gadget flopped.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Actually, Microsoft was first.
By CZroe on 4/15/2013 1:43:26 PM , Rating: 5
"Both Apple and Samsung beat Microsoft when it comes to smartphone and tablet market share, so if the Windows creator wants any chance of competing in this new tech sector, it better beat the two big boys to the punch."

What? No mention of Microsoft's watch from the '90s that synced over IR?

Next, instead of a compromised device with less storage and performance on your wrist than what is in your poscket, it only makes sense to use a platform that taps into what it in your poscket, even if it is a second remote display for that device. There is no reason for the watch to "run Windows 8" and battery life will be much better if is doesn't run a full OS.

I LOVE my Sony Ericsson MBW-150 Music Edition Bluetooth smartwatch. It's been around since 2007.

RE: Actually, Microsoft was first.
By CZroe on 4/15/2013 2:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that you held it up to your monitor and transfer to the watch by way of a sensor that converted screen flashes.

I see that they are all over eBay and they are made by Timex with a model number series much like Sony Ericsson (100, 150, etc). I recall a different one years later that may have only been a prototype but it was black with a band that was blended into the housing. The face was egg or circular-shaped and the screen was a black & white dot matrix LCD (not segmented alpha-numeric).

RE: Actually, Microsoft was first.
By Motoman on 4/15/2013 9:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Bah. In junior high I had a radio watch that got AM *and* FM channels.

And this was shortly after the last ice age.

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