What if the Band cancellation rumors are a ruse?

TheMoonbeam

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There have been plenty of rumors lately implying or indicating that Microsoft is cancelling the Microsoft Band line. But, what if it's all an intentional ruse? Something dawned on me the other day; Panos Panay is now in charge of virtually all hardware at Microsoft, including the Band line. He's not really keen on leaks. Last year, there were very few leaks about the Band 2 until just before the announcement, and there were virtually zero major rumors about the Surface line (especially the Surface Book, with the exception of Paul Thurrot the night before the unveil). What if the latest Band rumors are intentional moves by Panos, to prevent sites like WIndows Central from stealing his thunder (which he actually requested at the Oct. event last year, when talking about the phones).

The alternative could be that these rumors are not from Panos, but rather a reaction to his team preventing leaks from getting out. In that, leakers have assumed the product line has been cancelled, because they are no longer able to get any actual information.

Thoughts?
 
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TheMoonbeam

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I would further posit that the lack of transparency/clear statement of what is going on in regards to the Band line, could be a result of internal uncertainty. In that, they may very well still be working on hardware, but have yet to decide if they actually will release it. This could be why they rapidly changed the name of the app today from Microsoft Health, to Microsoft Band.

However, the name change could also be reflective that they are now focusing solely on Health as part of the Band project, rather than having the Health service as it's own separate thing. Which could further bolster the notion that the Band line will continue moving forward.
 

jsooney

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You mean a ruse? Seems unlikely. I don't know why they would want to undermine the product and create uncertainty if they plan to keep it around.
 

Nate Silver

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This seems like an extension of the confusion swirling around windows phone. That "we're committed to windows mobile" language being put out lately, followed by them killing off the Lumia devices. Almost like they want to get out of the consumer hardware business, but they don't want to come right out and say that, so they just confuse and obfuscate, hoping that people will just give up without MS having to say they're giving up.
 

abel46

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I think they have said it pretty clearly. "We don't focus on mobile this year" And their actions proves it too. Only Azure all over.
But what about next year? Maybe something is happening then?
 

WillysJeepMan

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There have been plenty of rumors lately implying or indicating that Microsoft is cancelling the Microsoft Band line. But, what if it's all an intentional rouse? Something dawned on me the other day; Panos Panay is now in charge of virtually all hardware at Microsoft, including the Band line. He's not really keen on leaks. Last year, there were very few leaks about the Band 2 until just before the announcement, and there were virtually zero major rumors about the Surface line (especially the Surface Book, with the exception of Paul Thurrot the night before the unveil). What if the latest Band rumors are intentional moves by Panos, to prevent sites like WIndows Central from stealing his thunder (which he actually requested at the Oct. event last year, when talking about the phones).

The alternative could be that these rumors are not from Panos, but rather a reaction to his team preventing leaks from getting out. In that, leakers have assumed the product line has been cancelled, because they are no longer able to get any actual information.

Thoughts?
Nope, not a ruse. Given Microsoft's track record, it is what it is... Microsoft backing away from fitness bands.

When did Microsoft EVER downplay something only to then over deliver?
 

anon(6078578)

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This seems like an extension of the confusion swirling around windows phone. That "we're committed to windows mobile" language being put out lately, followed by them killing off the Lumia devices. Almost like they want to get out of the consumer hardware business, but they don't want to come right out and say that, so they just confuse and obfuscate, hoping that people will just give up without MS having to say they're giving up.
That's what I have always noticed. I can only guess that it's their way of trying to prevent the media placing the blame on Microsoft causing consumer mistrust. If questioned they can simply state that the market diminished to such a point that it wasn't financially sustainable. We have to remember that the average consumer doesn't follow what Microsoft does closely like those of us here in the forums. To them it wasn't Microsoft deliberately axing a device, it was simply that it's time had come to be discontinued.
 

theefman

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A more likely explanation can be extrapolated by examining what the company and CEO deem to be their priorities. And nothing they are doing shows any real appetite for being in the consumer hardware business, with the exception of the Xbox. We can see that phones, the band are seeing decreased focus, that should tell you everything you need to know, especially from a company that will never come right out and announce when something is being retired but likes to bury product lines slowly and quietly.
 

etphoto

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Why go through the trouble of changing the app's name to Microsoft Band when the band has been discontinued? Makes no sense.

Twitter: @PhotographyET
 

DroidUser42

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Why go through the trouble of changing the app's name to Microsoft Band when the band has been discontinued? Makes no sense.

It hasn't been discontinued - yet. And even if it was, people will still be using it for a year or so. The only thing that makes sense to me is that MS is making room for another app to be called "Health". What that means for the Band, I don't know.
 

WillysJeepMan

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Why go through the trouble of changing the app's name to Microsoft Band when the band has been discontinued? Makes no sense.

Twitter: @PhotographyET
Large lethargic corporations like Microsoft have product plans that can take a long time to see the light of day. That kind of planning requires contracts with a variety of other companies... contracts that hold Microsoft accountable to deliver things, pay for services, etc. There have been many times where contractual obligations required Microsoft to deliver products/services that had (at the executive level) already been terminated. The classic example is the Microsoft Kin. Another is the Zune HD.
 

rocketboy

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None of this really survives the Occam's Razor test.
I just don't think MS or any other company really has the time to work on strategies of large scale misdirections. We'll know when we know.
 

KimRM

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It hasn't been discontinued - yet. And even if it was, people will still be using it for a year or so. The only thing that makes sense to me is that MS is making room for another app to be called "Health". What that means for the Band, I don't know.

They have actually said(don't remember the source), that they plan to have a health platform. So there will probably be a new app, or maybe something more integrated with Windows 10, that other smartwear devices can tap into. With that in mind it makes sense to rename the app to Band. The plan may be to discontinue the Band all together to make more room for others, like fitbit and so on..
 

anon(5346243)

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Ruse???
What about the reasoning below:

Microsoft Marketing team is letting lose the "kill band" rumours by not controlling it at all (and not even trying!).

Impact on potential buyers (lose confidence, don't buy):

Telling your potential buyers that "we are likely to kill our band product and Band ecosystem" is certainly not the right message to encourage potential buyers to buy into the Band ecosystem, especially so close to the festive season. Apple, Samsung and many other wearable company have all but Microsoft, launch their new wearable in all their glory (IFA2016, Apple event etc), in preparation of the festive season.
Buyers will certainly prefer to buy into a well supported product rather than a dying one!

Impact on Band retailer (lose confidence, bands don't sell, get rid off stock asap):
As a consequence of the above, Band retailers will also lose confidence in the prospect of a long term "sell-ability" potential on the Band. Instead, they may fear the sale of the band will crash to a complete stop... they therefore need to get rid off their stock asap and invest in more sell-able product, crucial in fast approaching Black Friday and Xmas shopping season...

Damaging the buyers and retailers confidence is certainly not a ruse, it is total marketing suicide !!!

Why go through the trouble of changing the app's name to Microsoft Band when the band has been discontinued? Makes no sense.

Twitter: @PhotographyET

On the contrary, it makes perfect sense...

1) MS is committed to the Microsoft Health platform, as a cloud service, dear to Nadella "all cloud" strategy!.
They offer the Health Platform to third party hardware OEM for connecting their device to the service and host their data (that always has been the plan from day 1).

2) The Band app was used to be called Microsoft Health app. If the Band were to be killed, they couldn't kill Microsoft "Health", since they are committed to Health. That would have been equivalent to saying "We are committed to Health but we kill Microsoft Health"!

3) They needed to protect the "Health" branding.
How?
a) rebrand Microsoft Health to Microsoft Band
b) kill the band AND the Microsoft Band app

Result? The Microsoft Health branding is protected and will go on for the back end platform...

Time will tell, but this loss of confidence from the buyers and retailers won't encourage sales and could hardly justify the investment in developing a Band 3 if the sales are crashing... After all, as far as Nadella is concerned, Microsoft is a big Data cloud service company geared towards entreprise !!! not a consumer hardware maker!
The Surface product line has a place in the big data / service (education and entreprise market!) ...
a fitness tracker? not really!
 

DroidUser42

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2) The Band app was used to be called Microsoft Health app. If the Band were to be killed, they couldn't kill Microsoft "Health", since they are committed to Health. That would have been equivalent to saying "We are committed to Health but we kill Microsoft Health"!

Hmmm. Good point.

However, assuming that "Health" isn't changed into something completely different, something is going to have to "feed" health. Be it a continuation of Band 2, a new device, or a device from another vendor.

With the renaming of the app, I doubt if it's "status quo". And it would appear that the new device won't be using the old App. I've noted before that everyone has jumped onto the watch format - at least for their higher-end devices. Including Fitbit, the pioneer of bands.. If MS wants to stay in the game, they can't ignore that. And I think it's too early to concede defeat.

So I think we're going to see a new device added to he MS Health ecosystem. Probably a watch.

I'll note that trying to make one app service both band and watch formats - especially if they run different OS could get messy. So that may be why the app's been renamed to "Band".
 

WillysJeepMan

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And as I stated previously... not a ruse.

"Microsoft officials say there are no plans to introduce a new Microsoft Band fitness device this year and that they've sold through the existing Band 2 inventory."
 

LarsCor

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Still, MS was showing advanced Health-options for Cortana lately (Cortana pointing out you ate too much fastfood, that kind of stuff), and they show images of the Band in every presentation about Windows Hello, how to unlock pc's with companion devices. They also promote Windows 10 as a IoT thing, yet no device of MS themselfes uses IoT yet (while Lumia, Surface, Xbox and HoloLens cover all other aspects). So they will do SOMETHING with health, right? Might be just a cloud platform and no actual devices (hoping you can connect Fitbit or something to it), and maybe a new wearable in te near future (to fill the gap in their own lineup)
 

DroidUser42

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WillysJeepMan;3572589" said:
Microsoft officials say there are no plans to introduce a new Microsoft Band fitness device this year and that they've sold through the existing Band 2 inventory."

But note what they did NOT say. They didn't say "there are no plans to introduce a new Microsoft fitness device". They said "no plans to introduce a new Microsoft Band fitness device".

Given that "Health" is continuing despite not having anyone else feed it data (that I can see), I think the difference is significant.
 

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