When looking back at Microsoft’s Redstone release roadmap and aligning it with sourced info about the company’s hardware plans, it made for the tidy narrative that customers should expect to see new products sometime early 2017, rather than the more traditional holiday season of 2016.
However, reports crept up on the internet following the 4th of July holiday implying that Microsoft may yet still have something to offer eager customers, come holiday season 2016. According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet fame, Microsoft may still be aiming to introduce new hardware in early 2017 such as the rumored AIO Surface workstation or a Surface Phone, thus making its 2016 fall announcement focus more along the line of a refresh of current products.
Buried in the piles of Surface references and details lay a nugget about a potential upgrade in hardware for the Microsoft Band, making it perhaps the only new device to be showcased at this possible hardware event this fall.
There’s also been some speculation that Microsoft may announce a new version of its fitness band some time soon, as a number of users of current Band 2 devices are reporting problems with the skins of those devices splitting and tearing. Band 2 is not a Windows 10-powered device, nor is it a Surface-branded device. I’ve had no word as to whether subsequent bands will be Windows 10-powered and/or Surface-branded.”
Microsoft recently updated the thermal plastic elastomer silicone strap of the Band 2 after numerous complaints about breakage and expedited wear and tear from users. The update to the strap was done with little fanfare as Microsoft quietly began shipping Bands to retail outlets with updated lot numbers as indicators that the products were indeed different that the previously tear-prone predecessors.
Even with the upgraded straps, some users have still had issues with the Band 2, and perhaps Microsoft has found a more permanent solution they would like to get into the hands of its customers as soon as possible.
Microsoft officials aren’t commenting on any of this; everything in this post is based on sources and rumors.”
As Foley points out, several times in during the report, much if not all of the information being discussed at this period are mainly rumors and speculation based on reading very delicate tea leaves. As Microsoft has proven in the past, it could quickly pivot and repurpose projects, delay timeframes, or abandon hardware if it’s not up to the company’s standards. We’ll just have to wait and see what the next few months bring.