Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Here comes the Surface smartwatch: Microsoft smartwatch development moves under Surface team

As rumors of an iWatch continue to swirl, so too do rumors of a Microsoft smartwatch. According to a report on Monday, Microsoft has moved development of its smartwatch -- earlier said to be in the Xbox accessories group -- directly under the Surface team.

The move follows Microsoft's announced changes to its organizational structure, which it announced last week. Among those changes is one that aligns Xbox and Surface hardware into a single division, with former Windows chief Julie Larson-Green now responsible for all of Microsoft's hardware projects.

According to the report, as currently designed, the Microsoft smartwatch would runs a modified version of Windows 8 that would allow it to integrate with other Windows devices. This makes a lot of sense, as such integration could offload much of the still-unnamed device's workload to a smartphone that it could connect to via Bluetooth.

That same system is already in place with Google Glass, the Internet giant's smartglass technology. In order to perform many -- though not all -- of its tasks, Google Glass uses a smartphone that is connected to it.

An earlier report from AmongTech, which claims to have sourced its information from insiders at Microsoft, said that the smartwatch carries 6GB of internal storage. Unlike Google Glass, though, and irrespective of any connectivity with other Microsoft hardware, AmongTech's sources said the smartwatch can connect directly with LTE networks.

AmongTech's sources said the device might be made available in several colors, a current trend. It's possible that the device may integrate with cloud storage, as well.

This is just the latest wearable computing rumor, among several. Not only has Apple been rumored to be working on an iWatch, with new reports saying it has gone on a hiring frenzy, Google, and Samsung, too.

However, Samsung, which is the world’s biggest maker of cell phones -- not just smartphones -- has confirmed that it is developing a smartwatch, with company executives confirming development was ongoing in March.

This differs from Apple, Microsoft, or Google, none of which have stated they are actively developing that sort of product. However, many believe an iWatch is definitely coming, with the recent hiring spree pointing to a late 2014 release, many believe.

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