The Microsoft Band is dead, with all traces of the fitness tracker wiped from the company's online store, and a Microsoft source confirming to Wareable that the Band 2 is discontinued.
The tip-off was made to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, who was shown that the Band was removed from the Microsoft Store overnight. Furthermore, a Microsoft source (who asked to stay anonymous) told Wareable that the Band 2 was "definitely discontinued". This doesn't necessarily mean the end of the line for the Band range altogether, but it's not looking good.
Microsoft told Wareable in a statement:
"We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year. We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices."
The Microsoft Band 2 information page is currently still up, but click through to buy one from the store and you won't find what you're looking for. We also enquired with one Microsoft retail store, where a rep told us that they hadn't any in stock and no plans to replenish.
Some third-party retailers are still stocking the tracker, but its total absence from Microsoft's store, along with its confirmation of no Band 3, makes us wonder if this is it for the Band brand entirely. We hope not, however.
Microsoft said that it remains committed to supporting existing Band owners and "will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform", although the software development kit has also been taken down, so while Microsoft may continue to support Band, app developers won't be able to build anything new for it.
It's a shame to see it go, and we still hope that Microsoft may reveal something else down the line. However Foley also claims that some of the Band hardware team members have moved onto other projects, which isn't a promising sign.
Of course Microsoft is still investing in wearables in other ways, with both HoloLens and its partnership between Xbox and the Oculus Rift. The Microsoft Band held a lot of promise with its feature set, but was hampered by bad design - something the second iteration didn't quite fix. Maybe we'll never know what could have been.
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