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Microsoft will launch rival smartwatch by Christmas

Microsoft is set to join the wearables race by launching a new smartwatch before the end of the year, ahead of the Apple Watch.

Wearable tech has hardly been out of the news lately thanks to a slew of smartwatches, from the LG G Watch R to the Moto 360, and of course a certain wrist rocket from Apple. Until now, Microsoft was seemingly content to sit back and develop apps for other people’s devices, despite the odd rumour to the contrary, but it now emerges that we’ll see a Microsoft smartwatch in just the next two months, in time for Old Saint Nick to stuff them in his sack.

Microsoft to launch its own wearable smart watch by Christmas 2014
Microsoft to launch its own wearable smart watch by Christmas 2014

According to a report in Forbes, Microsoft is set to beat Apple to the punch by delivering a feature-packed wearable ahead of the silly season. The device is said to feature passive heart rate monitoring and two day battery life, and will apparently work across all major smartphone platforms too, not just Windows Phone.

The report, which quotes sources ‘close to the project’, claims that Microsoft has drawn on its optical engineering nous from the Kinect to product the device, which implies that there could be some interesting features front and centre when it launches sometime in the next few weeks.

It wouldn’t be Microsoft’s first effort if the rumours are indeed true. The company has been involved in various wearable projects in the past, none of which gained much traction, but the market is a different and much more receptive place for this sort of technology in 2014. Some sources suggest that the market for wearables is now worth over $7 billion, so the iron is certainly hot enough – how hard will Microsoft strike though?

So far there’s no set date or price for the UK, but we’re expecting full details once the official launch happens.