The Microsoft Band has experienced something of an odd existence so far. Though receiving a less than stellar critical reception, the device has consistently sold out online and at stores across the country (though given the general low availability, this may not be a true reflection of popularity). Seemingly forgotten by Microsoft for a long period of time, the device has nonetheless received a big update in the last week, improving its functionality considerably.
It has now emerged that the group responsible for the update was in fact Microsoft Research. With a good deal of the new functionality delivered focused on bringing productivity enhancements to the Band, it did indeed seem a little out of place, given that the original focus of the product was health and fitness. Microsoft Research worked with the original Band team in this endeavor, to ensure that the consistency of experience expected by consumers was effectively carried over.
A clear change from the old, fractious, Microsoft, this effort has been hailed as "one of the best examples of a new culture at Microsoft" by Jason Grieves, the Microsoft Band program manager lead for productivity, who went on to say,
Both teams understand how important productivity is to Microsoft Band, and when two very different and passionate teams share a similar objective, great things will come. Technology traditionally focuses on enabling you to understand and communicate with the world, but Microsoft Band is also about understanding you so you, in turn, can live a healthier and more productive life"
As can be seen, the change in culture brought on by the ascent of Nadella has been felt not only in the willingness to do deals with past enemies, but it has helped to end internal rivalried that caused considerable pains to the multinational as it has struggled to reinvent itself for the future. Hopefully this new cooperative culture will continue.
Do you have the Microsoft Band? Have you made use of the new updates? Let us know in the comments below.