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Microsoft’s first Windows Phone wearable, Microsoft Band, launched after leak

Microsoft has revealed its first Windows Phone wearable, the Microsoft Band, shortly after Apple and Google let it leak online hours earlier.

This latest smart wristband, which was accidentally leaked via Google Play and the Apple App Store just a few hours before Microsoft officially launched it, works alongside the brand new ‘Microsoft Health’ app. Microsoft’s Band works together with the Health app to gather data on your activities, including heart rate, steps taken, calories burned and the quality of your kip. Best of all, the Band isn’t just compatible with Windows Phone devices – it’s also Android and iOS friendly.

The Microsoft Band itself looks rather plain and low-key, not hugely unlike Samsung’s Gear Fit, and appears to focus mainly on the health and fitness of the wearer, including monitoring sleep, steps taken, heart rate, calories burned and routes taken during exercise.

Wearers will also have notification support for email messages, calendar reminders, phone calls received, text messages, Twitter and Facebook notifications, weather and stocks information. There’s also built-in support for Cortana, so you can bark instructions at her via the Band, much like Android Wear’s Google Now support.

The Microsoft Band also works with a number of partners, including RunKeeper and myfitnesspal. You can even use the Band to pay for your Starbucks coffee in the US, by linking the Health app to your Starbucks card. Just don’t check your pulse rate after you’ve downed your third double espresso of the day; it might freak you out a little.

It’s expected that the Microsoft Band will survive for up to two days on a single charge, which is well beaten by the similar FitBit Charge and Surge wristbands. The Charge, for instance, can (allegedly) go for a whole week between charges.

Now we’re just waiting on Apple to get their new wearable into stores.

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