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Microsoft Bulks Up Fitness Band With Cycling Features, Sleep Data

The Microsoft Health smartphone app will also start tracking steps for those without a band using the sensors in an iPhone, Android or Windows Phone.


Aiming to be a more serious player in the fitness space, Microsoft is adding new features to both its fitness band and the companion Microsoft Health app.

The $199 band now integrates with Strava and MapMyRide to track cycling data, while a forthcoming update to the health app will allow it to track steps using the sensors built into a smartphone for those not wearing their band.

Microsoft started selling the band last year, but only through its own retail stores, and quickly sold through a limited run. It recently started selling Microsoft Band more broadly.

“We’re committed to building the device jointly with our customers and partners, continuously improving both the product and service based on their feedback and usage,” Microsoft General Manager Matt Barlow said in a blog post.

Both Microsoft Band and the health app work across iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices, with the new step-tracking feature limited to more recent devices.

Redmond is also expanding the amount of analytics data it offers via the Web. Starting next week, it will allow people to compare their sleep and exercise to other Microsoft Health users of a similar body type. It will also offer new data options including more in-depth sleep information as well as maximum oxygen volume during workouts — a key indicator of cardiovascular fitness.

Historically, measuring oxygen volume has been tricky, but Microsoft says it is able to estimate the metric based on heart rate data.

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