The Microsoft Band 2 fitness tracker is gone! It has literally vanished in the sense that it can no longer be bought, having disappeared from the shelves, and no references to the wearable can be found via Microsoft’s online stores either. However, Microsoft continues to sell wearable’s from rival companies such as Fitbit and Misfit, and rumour has it that there are no plans to release another Microsoft Band fitness tracker this year, so what exactly has happened?
There are a couple of important points to mention which strongly suggest a discontinuation of Microsoft’s Band 2. Firstly, the ‘band software development kit’ (SKD), which is used by third-party developers in order to create apps for the Microsoft Band 2 fitness tracker, is no longer available: one sure sign that this wearable is on its way out of the market. It’s also been reported that Microsoft have split up the team of engineers behind its Band 2, and put them elsewhere on other projects: again, a pretty good sign that this band has been discontinued. What we seem unsure of though is why Microsoft seem so keen for such a swift departure of the product from the wearable market, especially as there appears to be no plans to release another Microsoft Band fitness tracker this year.
Perhaps the band is being ‘phased out’ in order to focus on its health software developments. For example, Microsoft recently rebranded its ‘Health apps’ to ‘Microsoft Band’, which could provide an opportunity for new health-based apps to be compatible with third-party fitness trackers, such as Fitbit and even the Apple Watch. Talking of Apple, they have also turned their attention to health of late, as recent developments see their HealthKit and CareKit software being used to interpret health data as well as offering advice. So, Microsoft isn’t the only technology company turning its attention to health software, but the dramatic removal of the Microsoft Band 2 fitness tracker from the market remains a mystery, so watch this space.