Stock News: Microsoft (NASDAQ MSFT) Launches First Wearable Device

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Microsoft (NASDAQ MSFT) has released a new wearable device. It has some features that apparently all such devices need to have, particularly health monitoring. However, the software company is late to the game, even though it released its watch before some competitors. Also, there is reason to think the market for these products is already overcrowded.

Microsoft Health is a cloud-based service that helps you live healthier by providing actionable insights based on data gathered from the fitness devices and apps that you use every day. Activity-tracking devices like the new Microsoft Band, smart watches, and mobile phones plus services like RunKeeper or MyFitnessPal connect easily to Microsoft Health. Using this fitness data and our Intelligence Engine in the cloud, Microsoft Health provides valuable, personal insights so you can reach your fitness goals.

Microsoft released its smartwatch before Apple Inc (NASDAQ AAPL), but the Apple version was part of the successful iPhone 6 launch, which means it will have an edge. Yet, the Microsoft product will cost $199, whereas the Apple one will start at $349. Microsoft still has to overcome its reputation as a manufacturer of clumsy hardware, no matter what its spot in the smartphone release schedule it has.

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The smartwatch market will have many other competitors, some of which already have excellent pedigrees. Samsung sells the Galaxy Gear, which does, however, seem to be a shadow of the Microsoft and Apple products.

When you get a notification on your Galaxy Gear that requires a more in-depth look, the moment you pick up your Galaxy phone, Smart Relay automatically opens the app that corresponds with what’s on your wrist. Presumably, one or more of those apps has health management features.

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The field is more crowded than just products from the smartphone leaders. Motorola and Sony Corp (NYSE SNE) have their own watches. And Microsoft has to overcome a reputation issue at a time when Apple is about release its own watch — one of its most anticipated products in years.

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