01-12-2015 08:34 AM
48 12
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  1. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    MS Band is by no means a complete product. Bugs galore, unfinished functions and disabled sensors, weak app and no ability to look at advanced statistics, Health platform that is in name only, data dissapearing into Cloud never to be seen again, etc. Nevertheless, many folks here including myself bought it on the first day hoping that MS would be serious in trying to penetrate wearable market and release updates fast and furious.
    And here we are, in January already and not a single!!! update from MS, not even lousy bugs fix.
    Really Microsoft? Is this how you want to be perceived in the market? By nature of my job I have frequent interactions with various MS divisions and even the insiders are now shaking their heads at this product release and doubting company strategy at rushing it to the market without much support behind it.

    Compare this to Amazon Echo release (which I also own and adore). Amazon is upfront about their product being a beta, about them still learning and developing functionality. Amazon sells Echo at a deep discount and by invitation only to show that they shoulder the burden with consumers as product matures. Amazon is also providing a direct feedback to their developers for new functionality and any bugs that need to be squashed. I was impressed by how quickly they respond to any requests (usually within an hour, even on weekends) and with response being personal, going into details of the development cycle and assuring me that product is being improved.

    Don't get me wrong. I still think that Band is a great product, definitely with the most potential from all current wearables on the market judging by hardware. But hardware along does not mean a thing if I can not access and analyse my data, if I can not complete a workout without worrying about freaking thing dying on me and losing all the data for the day, if I am never sure if synchronization would work on my iPhone (Band synchronizes automatically only when it feels like it which works maybe one day in a week and manual attempts at synchronization take forever and failing often) and if the data it produces is even reliable as I often see huge discrepancies for the same workouts (hiking mostly) if they are done in run mode vs regular mode.
    d0m1 and gadgetrants like this.
    01-04-2015 10:28 AM
  2. harleycaddy2008's Avatar
    They better get their act together
    01-04-2015 10:58 AM
  3. davsug's Avatar
    Must admit I am pretty surprised and disappointed that we haven't seen a firmware or software update and it's January. I was really under the impression there'd be some kind of update before the end of the year, along with a couple of new apps. I really hope they don't pull a Zune with the Band.
    01-04-2015 12:40 PM
  4. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Thanks Dima, I agree 100% with your comments/concerns. I guess I'm a little less frustrated (emphasis on "little") due to pretty low expectations when I picked up the Band. I've been duped maybe 8 or 9 times by consumer electronic companies (haven't we all) that promise much more than they actually deliver. I sometimes wonder if the strategy is explicitly taught in business school to hype your product far beyond what you know you will release.

    Of course I thought with a company the size of Microsoft that they could do better than your typical fly-by-night.

    One quick thought: in regards to getting a more systematic view of your data, if you have a runkeeper account, once you link/sync it with the Band and your workout data begin to show up there, they actually have a few decent ways to graph/view them. Here's an interesting example (in the Reports -> Advanced Fitness reports section), where you can plot two variables, e.g., I have Calories Burned on the left axis (blue bars) and Total Sleep on the right axis (green line).

    runkkeeperss.jpg

    It's pretty far from what I'd like but while we wait, it's a lot better than nothing. To be honest, there are more than enough analytics in runkeeper to keep me busy, until that long-awaited update + integration with the Vault arrives!

    ​-Matt
    Dima Habenko likes this.
    01-04-2015 12:45 PM
  5. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    Thanks Matt, I will try RunKeeper analytics.

    Just as you, I was burned before by beta products, but this being MS and all MS reps being so excited about it in the days prior to the release when the rumors started flying, I was under impression that MS means it this time. They may still turn it around with big update before product gets 100 days old, but judging by the complete silence from marketing and apparent apathy to, at least, fix some of the most critical bugs, I would not keep my hops high. Even if/when they do release big update, this is absolutely wrong way to go about new product. This is not yesterdays, when one update per year or even per quarter was considered good practice. And Band being consumer product, there are inherently different expectations of it then from MS typical enterprise product development cycle.

    As for the MS Band, I am losing my patience with them and am eagerly anticipating Apple Watch. Apple refused to rush Watch to the market in Q4 2014 realizing that with expectations being high, they needed more time to nurture the product. Once Apple goes big with marketing push for their Watch, MS Band would be in the 'has been' pile with spoiled reputation to add from where they would have hard job ever getting out.
    gadgetrants likes this.
    01-04-2015 02:58 PM
  6. Nate Silver's Avatar
    I don't know, I'm not terribly worried yet, but would like to see something pretty soon. Actually, this method of 'pre-release' seems to be getting to the the norm these days. Fitbit has done exactly the same with the Surge, putting it out in limited quantities with half finished features and apps. I think both companies felt pressured to get something out the door before the Apple watch hit the street.

    Plain fact is, there is no better tracker than the Band right now if you have a windows phone. The only alternative at the moment is the Surge, and I have one of those too. Trust me, it has its own issues.
    01-04-2015 03:12 PM
  7. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Just remember to keep those expectations low -- even the data that make it over to runkeeper are a bit odd. For example, runkeeper knows our total sleep time, but it doesn't get divided into "light" and "deep/restful" sleep. Also, some nutrition data that I enter in myfitnesspal also make it over, but not specific details like protein/carbs/etc. Kind of hit or miss, like the whole process has been so far!

    I agree with you that the Band will get womped on by the Apple Watch. As an Android guy, though, I'd like to think that the community of owners who would buy the Band vs. an Apple product don't overlap much -- of course one excellent way to test that theory would be to see how Band owners break down into MS vs. iPhone vs. Android phone owners. Or maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, when the dust settles mid-year is when I think we'll know for sure whether the Band was a just a feeler product or something more long-term. On a more personal note, my money is on Google...once they've reshaped Android (or developed a new OS) to really data-mine biometric/health numbers, I think they'll lead the field.

    -Matt
    01-04-2015 03:20 PM
  8. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    I have been able to play with products from all three major mobile players (Apple, Google & MS) (again, privilege of my work -:) and, at least so far, I was not impressed by Google Wear. The hardware from Motorola, LG and Samsung is fine, most of the issues really lies with software and that is what unites all current Google based smartwatches on the market. In some ways this reminds me early Android days when Google desperately tried to close gap with iOS. But this time they are first to the market and a bit more thoughtfulness would have been appreciated.
    I agree that markets for Apple Watch and Google Wear would not overlap at first, just by the nature of keeping products tied to the respective smartphone platforms. But Apple has better understanding of what people want from smartwatch then Google so far. While Google is trying to throw everything at Wear and see what sticks, Apple is concentrating on biometric security, payments, health tracking and thoughtful companion to iPhone.
    Band is in a difficult position, as MS does not have an established smartphone platform to rely on (I know, I know, but Windows Mobile with 4% of the market and no new phones until Windows 10 is released sometime in 2015 is hard to count), so it would be interesting to see how they play it out. MS chose the right strategy releasing Band from the very beginning on all three platforms, but lack of native integration would hurt them and make it hard to compete once Wear matures and Apple Watch is out in full force. That is what makes it even more surprising to me that Microsoft is not following up on the Band while they still have consumers goodwill and attention. If they said 'A' by rushing the Band to stores in whatever puny quantities they could scrape up, they need to say 'B' by actively working with Beta users (that we unwillingly became) and making sure word on the street stays positive. As it happens now, I changed my own recommendation at work from strong appraisal at the release, to neutral stance after Thanksgivings once I had enough time with product, to now avoiding any conversation on the subject as I have nothing good to say about Band anymore.
    01-04-2015 04:10 PM
  9. Tim Stone's Avatar
    I guess the advantage to being an Old Timer is there is "little new under the sun" when it comes to sales strategies. 30 years ago the philosophy was to sell the hype, and later worry about making it work. It is still rampant today.

    Yes, MSFT has been a disappointment with their silence on the band. However, the other companies are equally problematic. Fitbit released the Charge with a display that scratches if touched by a very soft cloth. While their forum is filled with people noting the issue, Fitbit remains silent and their CS is indifferent. They also claim "notification" features, but only on certain phones ( and not the WinPhone ). All companies are now releasing products with band HR monitoring, but none of them has yet attained accuracy. Even step counts can be off on most brands. The software offered by most has issues, and syncing is reportedly problematic. If you doubt this, check their user forums.

    Time will tell where this is headed. Hopefully it will improve soon, but the competition isn't really doing any better.
    01-05-2015 12:14 PM
  10. theefman's Avatar
    Waiting for Windows 10, don't worry it will fix everything . /s
    tgp likes this.
    01-05-2015 12:45 PM
  11. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    Waiting for Windows 10, don't worry it will fix everything . /s
    Thanks, I love a good laugh
    01-05-2015 01:11 PM
  12. Teeceman's Avatar
    I have been able to play with products from all three major mobile players (Apple, Google & MS) (again, privilege of my work -:) and, at least so far, I was not impressed by Google Wear. The hardware from Motorola, LG and Samsung is fine, most of the issues really lies with software and that is what unites all current Google based smartwatches on the market. In some ways this reminds me early Android days when Google desperately tried to close gap with iOS. But this time they are first to the market and a bit more thoughtfulness would have been appreciated.
    I agree that markets for Apple Watch and Google Wear would not overlap at first, just by the nature of keeping products tied to the respective smartphone platforms. But Apple has better understanding of what people want from smartwatch then Google so far. While Google is trying to throw everything at Wear and see what sticks, Apple is concentrating on biometric security, payments, health tracking and thoughtful companion to iPhone.
    Band is in a difficult position, as MS does not have an established smartphone platform to rely on (I know, I know, but Windows Mobile with 4% of the market and no new phones until Windows 10 is released sometime in 2015 is hard to count), so it would be interesting to see how they play it out. MS chose the right strategy releasing Band from the very beginning on all three platforms, but lack of native integration would hurt them and make it hard to compete once Wear matures and Apple Watch is out in full force. That is what makes it even more surprising to me that Microsoft is not following up on the Band while they still have consumers goodwill and attention. If they said 'A' by rushing the Band to stores in whatever puny quantities they could scrape up, they need to say 'B' by actively working with Beta users (that we unwillingly became) and making sure word on the street stays positive. As it happens now, I changed my own recommendation at work from strong appraisal at the release, to neutral stance after Thanksgivings once I had enough time with product, to now avoiding any conversation on the subject as I have nothing good to say about Band anymore.
    No disrespect but I think what you want is a smartwatch...
    The MSFT Band is not a smartwatch, it has smartwatch features, perhaps v2 might be
    01-05-2015 01:52 PM
  13. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    No disrespect but I think what you want is a smartwatch...
    The MSFT Band is not a smartwatch, it has smartwatch features, perhaps v2 might be
    No disrespect taken. I do want a smartwatch, but I have my own understanding what 'smart' means when it comes to wearable devices. I don't get an idea of putting apps on your watch. The screen will always be too small and the batteries will always be even smaller, so the 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach of Google Wear is not what I have in mind.

    Notifications are extremely useful (just smarter then how it's implemented in MS Band), directions (both walking and city commuting) work great with the watch (when paired with the phone that would have GPS and internet connection to trigger sensory notifications to the watch), ability to drive apps that benefit from biometric security (like payment app in the upcoming Apple Watch or storing ID cards), but essentially a bunch of sensors that would work for my health (and I mean health, not fitness).
    I also know what I don't want: music (smartwatch would never be good for this because of the inherent battery limitations on receiving and re-transmitting music wireless); any sort of games when I might as well pull out smartphone instead, any 4G antennas (again phone would always be better) or anything that eats into battery.
    The watch should last forever on the wrist (health monitoring does not work if you don't wear it); it should hopefully use kinetic energy from arm swinging for recharding like many current non-smart watches (or generate electricuty by using temperature differential between skin connection and outside air), indestructible quartz display and low-powered OLED screen that magically knows when you look at it and when it should just turn itself off.
    As you see, MS Band is closer here then current crop of Google Wear devices. I also think that Apple watch would be focusing on these areas as well, as long as they are not tempted to just turn their Watch into a micro iPhone.
    gadgetrants likes this.
    01-05-2015 02:28 PM
  14. Dadstar0410's Avatar
    I also found it strange that they have an agreement with FitBit, bundling WPs and FitBits together. MS also has a fitness challenge for all CES audience members, to see who can walk the most steps. Guess which device they handed out? That's right: a FitBit!
    01-05-2015 02:38 PM
  15. bigdog9586's Avatar
    If enough people start bad mouthing it than it will end up like the Kreyos did. Belly up in a months time tops.
    01-05-2015 04:36 PM
  16. mtalinm's Avatar
    mabye they'll call it a "hobby"
    01-05-2015 04:44 PM
  17. dbregman's Avatar
    Somewhat off-topic (except he mentions updates):
    Strategy behind the Microsoft Band (from CNBC)
    Strategy behind the Microsoft Band
    01-05-2015 05:33 PM
  18. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    I can't say that I'm surprised, nor should anyone else. I mean, look at Microsoft's recent history with technology:

    Windows 8: Put out a bit of an, "our way or the highway," with Metro, reversed course, now turning Windows 10 into something of an awkward setup, some are saying, to please legacy users.
    Xbox One: Tried to push some solid features, but with unfriendly consumer DRM and the like, reversed course, released an unfinished, buggy OS, hasn't gotten everything promised sorted more than a year later
    Windows Phone: Released Windows 7, has minimal market impact, scrapped it for Windows 8, due to a kernel change, bought Nokia, turned the hardware division into something only a step above companies like Yezz and BLU (releasing budget device after budget device), now killing Windows 8 for Windows 10 (a reason the Xbox Music app has gotten no real support in 4 months), all the while letting carriers ruin potential firmware updates

    Microsoft has treated every major product it has released since 2010 as a beta device/platform, or worse. They EVENTUALLY get their stuff good and functional (though Windows Phone has undoubtedly gone backwards in the past few months), but they're mostly slow and inconsistent with their improvements. The Xbox One got things sorted pretty darned quickly, to the delight of most users. Zune fans watched their beloved platform get butchered and replaced with an abomination like Xbox Music that almost makes iTunes look acceptable. There's no real consistency with Microsoft as of late, except that they will avoid releasing a finished product because patches and revisions are on the table.

    Of course, the alternatives aren't necessarily better, but I'll end by saying that if you bought the Band expecting greatness, remember that Microsoft almost outright said that the things are just tech demos to license their sensor tech, as opposed to an attempt to put a quality wearable out there to make that a real business venture for the company.
    01-05-2015 07:56 PM
  19. jfa1's Avatar
    My peeve with the Band is that I don't understand why they wouldn't sync it with an app that was already established such as Bing Health and Fitness or Microsoft Health Vault. If it's purpose was to be a test bed for such a product and they're not going to really compete with/against why develop yet another app to synch it with I think that the band is a pretty good first start and hope that they will continue to develop the band and upgrade the firmware and activate the other sensors ( I am well aware of the apps to Pimp my band etc.) And I wish that it had a Velcro strap or groove for the clasp was a little bit longer for more adjustment.
    01-05-2015 10:21 PM
  20. mtalinm's Avatar
    b/c it was a skunkworks project that SAtya liked and decided to release on a semi-whim...probably because it's a device in a category where there isn't a clear winner & so maybe MSFT had a chance for once. weird though given that he's not a "device guy". I think that's why there's only a phone app and it's estranged from HeathVault etc...though if you sync it with myfitnesspal and sync that with fitbit and sync fitbit with healthvault, your data will make it there!
    01-05-2015 10:58 PM
  21. excalibur1814's Avatar
    Some of the comments on this thread are a bit silly. MS tried with Windows 8, a risky proposition, then got blasted for it. They're now working on GIVING consumers what they want but, in all honesty, we as consumers don't know what we want until we're told or led. Heck look at curved screens that are now appearing... absolutely pointless but we're being told that they're fantastic.

    I'm pretty sure that the Band will receive updates and that they're working on something nice but, as is usually the case, complaining after ONLY two months? Come on be realistic. MS could release an update every second (Google) but I'd prefer an update that works and runs well.
    Dadstar0410 and Hoekie like this.
    01-06-2015 04:29 AM
  22. kenjancef's Avatar
    I've only owned the band for about 18 hours, but someone mentioned Fitbit, so I figured I share this...

    I've been calling the MS Store main number to check stock at my local store, and when I called yesterday afternoon, the woman I spoke with actually did say that maybe I should try the Fitbit Charge HR, which is was I was going to get, before deciding on the Band. It kinda shocked me that she said that, but she was cool about it. She felt bad that lots of people call for the Band but it's so hard to get.

    Still too new to see how well it works, but I'm surprised that it fits on my wrist better than I thought.

    Just my 2 cents...
    Dadstar0410 likes this.
    01-06-2015 09:16 AM
  23. Teeceman's Avatar
    The wearable space has got a few companies who are trying to make their devices work as they should and bring expected /more features MSFT is no different with the band.
    I'm sure they will bring updates and more integration to the Band my only concern is the time it will take for this to happen, no updates or news in over two months!!
    As we continue to use the Band it will be subjected to the wear and tear of our daily workouts (which we all expect), but we are still being short changed the full experience of Microsoft Health and the additional sensors packed in the band. IMHO the Band should not have been released without the fully featured app/website with the actionable insights, and the full sensor data associated with our accounts.

    @Keith W
    can you please point me to the posting where you say "Microsoft almost outright said that the things are just tech demos to license their sensor tech"
    I'm aware they what to open up Microsoft Health and it's sensor technology to other partners but not aware of where they say the Band is just a tech demo.
    01-06-2015 11:53 AM
  24. sstrike's Avatar
    I was feeling the same way and found this forum. I just checked my play store and there was an update for microsoft health. Once installed and I opened the app it pushed an update to the band. Looks like you can now control what apps you want notifications from on android.
    DroidUser42 likes this.
    01-06-2015 05:49 PM
  25. anon(5969054)'s Avatar
    Also the health and fitness app is a joke. I tried to record a hike with GPS. Guess what. It is so horrible that I accidentally stopped the recording two times and it also crashed two times. And you can't use the map properly, If you zoom and drag it keeps jumping back to its original state. Back to Adidas micouch.
    01-06-2015 06:28 PM
48 12

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