Talking tech since 2003

While rumors had been swirling for a while about a forthcoming wearable coming out of Microsoft, the company decided to announce its Microsoft Band and make it available for purchase on the same day. And wouldn’t you know it – the thing sold out online within 24 hours.

According to a friend of mine who lives out in Washington, the Microsoft Store in Seattle – what is arguably the company’s home turf – had massive lines out the door yesterday. Meanwhile, the device is no longer available for purchase online. That can mean one (or both) of two things: either the Microsoft Band is a massive hit right out of the gate, or Microsoft purposely limited the availability of the device to make it seem that much more desirable.

Either one of these outcomes is perfectly valid, and chances are they’re both at least partially true. That’s basically what happened with Motorola’s Moto 360 last month, though one of the key differences there is that the Moto 360 had been officially teased by both Motorola and Google for months before the device’s launch.

But there are a number of factors working in Microsoft’s favor with its new wearable device. For starters, while it’s not as flashy as the Apple Watch or the numerous Android Wear smartwatches, that might be one of its strongest selling points. It’s a narrow, relatively plain black band that can go with just about any outfit. Because it’s focused on fitness and health, it has a specific function that goes beyond merely extending your smartphone onto your wrist – but it does that too with caller ID, text and email notifications, and deep Windows Phone integration.

Finally, it’s inexpensively priced at $199, has a battery that lasts more than a day, and is cross-compatible, meaning that it can work for smartphone users of all stripes. Sure, it’s a bonus for Windows Phone users first and foremost, but Android and iOS users can still get a ton of use out of the Microsoft Band through the Microsoft Health app that syncs a user’s data.

All in all, this may be a huge win for Microsoft. We may have to wait a few months before we find out whether or not the Band helps the company’s bottom line, but it’s nice to see that Microsoft can launch a new product with so much positive buzz.

[Sources: Microsoft Band, Neowin]

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