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Fitness-focused Microsoft Band goes on sale in the UK

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Technology giant Microsoft has made its long-awaited entrance into the UK wearable technology sector with the launch of the fitness-focused Microsoft Band.

The wearable device boasts 10 sensors that can track a number of exercise and health metrics, including sleep quality, heart rate, calories, stress and even a person's sun exposure.

Initial reaction has seen the Band – which received a limited release in the US on 30 October 2014 – hailed as a potential rival to the forthcoming Apple Watch. Indeed, the Microsoft Band boasts more sensors and at £169.99 is considerably cheaper than the Apple offering (which starts from £231), while the band is compatible Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices.

The wider accessibility of the Band – the Apple Watch will only be compatible with Apple mobile products – forms part of Microsoft’s goal for the device to help people lead healthier lives and be more productive, regardless of what smartphone they have.

One drawback for the Band is that definitely falls more into the functional than fashionable category in terms of design. It can also currently only store 13 apps on the device at any one time, although these can be switched.

Microsoft will no doubt be hoping it fares better with wearables than it has in the smartphone sector, where Windows devices account for just 2.7 per cent of the market (according to the International Data Corporation) – well behind the dominant offerings from Samsung and Apple.

The new Band is now available both through the Microsoft Store online and from various high street retailers.

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Technology giant Microsoft has made its long-awaited entrance into the UK wearable technology sector with the launch of the fitness-focused Microsoft Band.
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Initial reaction has seen the Band hailed as a potential rival to the forthcoming Apple Watch / Microsoft
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