Microsoft Just Killed Its Awful Fitness Tracker

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Just Killed Its Awful Fitness Tracker

It lived a short, pathetic, inconspicuous life, and now it’s probably going away forever. Microsoft has pulled listings of its fitness tracker—the Band 2—from its online store. In a statement given to ZDNet, the company says it has sold existing inventory of the Band 2, and it has no plans to release a new version of the fitness tracker. Here’s the full 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 imminent death of Microsoft’s fitness tracker shouldn’t be much of a surprise. When the original Band was introduced in late 2014, it received mixed reviews. Experts hoped the device would be one of the first health trackers consumers used regularly. The original Microsoft Band contained 10 sensors, which was significantly more than other fitness trackers from rivals like Fitbit and Basis included at the time. Microsoft also included powerful software to help people make sense of the data. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to save the device. The official Gizmodo review said the original Microsoft Band colossally disappointing and “left plenty of room for improvement.”

It never got any better, either. When Microsoft released the Band 2 one year later, the company was entering an even more competitive marketplace. The second-generation tracker had a lot of the same sensors as the earlier model with a slightly updated product design and new software. Our reviewer said the hardware was still too uncomfortable to wear day-to-day, and we still did not recommend that people purchase it. At of cost of $250, the Band 2 was never as capable as the Apple Watch ($300) or as good a deal as lower-priced fitness trackers like the Fitbit ($130). It was stuck in an awkward middle ground with no compelling reason to purchase it.

Now, it all appears to be coming to an end. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who has a knack for getting scoops on the company, previously reported Microsoft “disbanded the group of individuals who were trying to get the Band to run Windows 10.” With the inventory gone and no plans to release a newer version, we think it’s safe to say the sun has finally set on this terrible fitness tracker.


Technology editor at Gizmodo.



Industry-leading ‘10 sensors and power software’ per your article, yet it’s “awful.” iMuch?