Not to be outdone by literally every other tech company on earth, Microsoft also has a smartwatch in the works. But early reports suggest the company will set its wearable apart from the current crop by making it compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices, according to Forbes.
That level of platform-agnosticism would starkly contrast offerings like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear line, which only sync with Galaxy devices. Apple’s rumored to be working an “iWatch,” which will certainly support iOS devices. It’s unclear how much, if any, support that rumored device would lend toward competing operating systems.
But as BGR already pointed out, Windows Phone doesn’t possess the kind of market share to support an exclusive wearable and make it a big seller.
Microsoft’s watch will reportedly focus on health tracking, including continuous heart-rate monitoring. Forbes’s report also said the watch’s display will be designed to rest on the inside of the wearer’s wrist, as to provide more privacy for incoming notifications.
There is no release date for Microsoft’s smartwatch but the company is reportedly working to release it this summer.
Microsoft’s efforts to bring Windows into the wearable space means yet another operating system joining the race for the wrist. Google developed Android Wear, a version of Android scaled for smaller devices. The LG G Watch and the much-hyped Motorola Moto 360 will be the first smartwatches sold with that OS baked in.
Samsung has opted to work its homegrown Tizen OS into its Galaxy Gear line. The company has begun rolling out a Tizen update for first generation Galaxy Gear watches still running modified Android software.
As more companies enter the wearable space—with everything from smartwatches to Google Glass—the market value is forecast to more than double from 2013, rising above $5 billion for 2014.