It would seem you're ignorant of the situation and attacking facts as assumptions without actually learning anything about the topic. It's been discussed and explained since shortly after the Band launched that the idea was to present the Band as a means of showing off the sensor tech Microsoft has. It's been brought up multiple times in articles on Windows Central. Anyone who even somewhat keeps tabs on the Band can figure this out really easily.
Lol, attacking? Who's attacking. I simply stated that just because its been written on a trade publication, doesn't make it true. Do you believe what WinCent reports to be alway correct and without speculation or conjecture? So many of these type of publications go off the PRWire and other press releases, including those written by other interested publications, that one source of story can quickly be construed as multiple sources as they site each other.
If that makes me ignorant on the subject and can't keep a tab on what's going on with Band, even though I wear one every day for nearly 3 months and participate on this forum, so be it. Clearly, I seem to have hit your nerve or sensitive spot....
On that middle part, I think there is a real level of disagreement here. Google manages to make its products work within a multi-manufacturer market because Google doesn't make the devices it slaps the "Nexus" tag on (instead letting several companies take turns making the devices). Apple has made itself a one-manufacturer ecosystem. Microsoft's holding 90%+ of the Windows Phone market because of the level of commitment to the ecosystem and the exclusive firmware features. The Surface has been the only true hybrid Windows device to experience widespread success, with everything else being from established brands from before Microsoft entered the game--and even those devices are convertible laptops, as opposed to true hybrid devices like the Surface.
Have you forgotten about Motorola purchase? The very same unit they just dumped. Google tried to be a HW developer and decided against it - cut its loss short and moved on.
MS is holding onto 90% of WinPh because Ballmer bought it for some unknown reason. Nokia was happy to get paid to get rid of a sinking ship.
As for Surface, its hybrid that cost too much for simple tablet use and not quite sure what can it do, in terms of real computing compared to full laptops. So I guess its a tweener product that finds appeal for small percentage of people. Just look at the sales and market share. Yes its doubled since Surface Pro 3, but it when from bleak to still very bad. Why compete with your WinOS vendors? Which bring me to your last statement....
When a company makes the hardware and controls the ecosystem, it's logically difficult for competition to thrive. Unless the ecosystem developer's hardware is niche or generally crap, it will almost always make more sense to buy the comparably capable, comparably priced hardware from the company who knows the software better than anyone else. That's why it would be tough for the Band to both be a cost-effective, high-quality device, yet not seriously hurt the competition. If the FitBit Surge was to carry the same sensor tech as the Band, why would you pay $250 for a FitBit using the same tech as a $200 Band when the tech is FROM the Band manufacturer?
Competitor is exactly the wrong way to look at it. Think of it as you own the core of the ecosystem and all the other companies can build hooks and extension of the core. To say Band cannot be cost effective and have high quality, in my opinion, is ridiculous statement.
If the original premise is to license IP and sell service, then you want to have a high quality cost effect reference model to set standard and build off of. The fact the MS released Band SDK is a step in the right direction but it seems to have not gone deep enough to allow sensor level access by the developer (based on my non-aware reading). It can only read what MS provides and not have direct interaction with the sensors.
The wearable space is getting extremely crowded so if the strategy is to provide IP and service for all the other gadget makers, MS is way behind. The market is quite fractured and so far the only real consolidator is Apple's Health app. Besides Band, and HTC's just announced device, who else uses and syncs with MS Health mobile app? No one.
Right now, Apple Health app is the only app that can take fitness bands, calories from MFP and alike, body composition from Withings, iHealth, Qardio scales and show it all integrated in a single app/screen. Unfortunately, Band Health does not support Apple Health app (nor is it likely to do so).
So is there a strategy for licensing IP and selling service? Or is it just demo concept - the whole thing...