Microsoft’s Band smartwatch and fitness tracker—production of which was mercifully discontinued in 2016—has finally reached the end of its lifespan. The Verge reported that Microsoft has announced its intention to sever all remaining support for the Band on 31 May 2019, with both backend services and the apps being yanked from Microsoft Store, Google Play, and the Apple App Store.
According to Microsoft, users will be able to back up their data until the termination date, and existing users whose devices are still covered under a limited warranty, or who are “active” users of the device, will be eligible for a partial refund. Microsoft is defining an active user as anyone who synced a Band to the Microsoft Health Dashboard between 1 December 2 018 and 1 March 2019, which means it’s too late to sync the thing in hopes of scooping up some spare change.
Users of the first Band, which debuted in 2014, can receive a $79.99 (£60.74) refund. The Band 2, which debuted the next year, will pay out significantly more at $175 (£133). Microsoft will be emailing eligible users to notify them they could get some cash back on their purchase.
Some functions will continue to work, Microsoft wrote:
Band users will still be able to:
- Record and track daily health information (daily steps, heart rate, basic workouts)
- Record activity data (runs, bike rides, hikes, etc)
- Track sleep
- Set alarms
However, if a user resets a Band wearable after 31 May, the device will be effectively bricked, as it will be “impossible to set up the device again.”
The Band line received less-than-stellar reviews, with the original model receiving praise for its sensors and Guided Workouts feature, but also criticised as clunky and performing poorly as a smartwatch. The Band 2 made some improvements, but still lagged behind competitors like the Apple Watch and mostly relied on the strength of its Health software—exactly what will stop working after the cutoff date.
Featured image: Ted S. Warren (AP)