Microsoft, rather legendarily, didn’t realize just how competitive the smartphone race was until it was far too late. And they have no plans to be left out again, as they gear up to fight over the wearable computing market.
Through The Glass
Details about the devices in question are pretty thin, but Microsoft is, by all accounts, not dilly-dallying; they’re already testing prototypes, to go along with the smartwatch they’re testing and the fact that they essentially own Nokia now. According to the Wall Street Journal, we might be seeing these products available to the public as soon as next year, meaning Google and Microsoft might go head to head.
But Why Smartglasses?
But why is Microsoft even bothering in the first place? After all, while Apple may be working on a smartwatch, it seems happy to concede the smartglasses market to Google, at least so far. The answer really boils down to the actual market for this products, which aren’t consumers.
Oh, there will be the guy who wants to wear these things everywhere, but that guy is pretty rare. No, instead the market is going to be private industry. In ten years, there won’t be a person in a retail store or a public servant without a pair of these glasses sitting on their nose. And industries like that are increasingly Microsoft’s bread and butter, especially as tablets catch on and the PC fades from relevance for consumers.
It’s fairly likely Microsoft’s first example will be arriving late next year; after all, Google is their main competition, and they’ll want to ensure they’re in front of everyone’s minds in the smartglasses market. And expect it to get more aggressive from there: After all, the last time they got left behind, they almost lost any chance to be in the smartphone market at all.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.