Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Expands Its Reach Of Wearable Devices Through Third-Party Retailers
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expanding access to its fitness and health tracker device, known as Microsoft Band. You can now purchase the wearable at third-party retail outlets. Microsoft also plans to introduce the device in the U.K. in April. The move to make Microsoft Band available comes ahead of the launch of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Apple Watch, a wearable device that will also support health monitoring.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) moved to make Band available at stores such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) for the first time since its launch. The wearable costs $199.99 and offers health and fitness notifications and can be integrated with Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices.
In addition to making Band available through third-party vendors, Microsoft is also boosting the inventory of the device at its own physical and online stores. For several months there has been a limited supply of Band, signaling Microsoft’s cautious rollout of the device.
According to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Matt Barlow, they have been closely tracking the feedback about Band and have realized what customers want. For example, they have noted that customers are seeking more updates to enable more insights and deeper integration with the existing apps and services. The first major software update for Band was rolled out last month, where Microsoft enabled users to track their activities in greater detail through a web dashboard.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) also plans to launch Band in the U.K. on April 15, its first international rollout. The device will be available in stores such as Amazon, Dixons Travel, Curry’s PC World, O2 and Harrods. Band will retail for £169.99 in the U.K.
In the fitness wearable market, Microsoft is trying to catch up with other providers, such as Jawbone and Fitbit. Apple is also coming to disrupt the broader wearable market, with its Apple Watch device. Besides supporting health monitoring such as blood sugar levels, Apple Watch will also support a number of other functions, such as Apple Pay mobile payment service.
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