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Today Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella explained how the company thinks about wearables like Microsoft’s Band and Apple’s Watch:

As you might expect, Microsoft and Apple don’t see eye to eye:

I also am wearing this Microsoft Band. And the interesting thing about the Band is that it’s actually a sensor framework on my wrist. It has sensors for our hardware tracking, GPS, the ability to do UV light sensing. [There are] a lot of sensors which are all built for this low-energy device that are connecting data, and all that data is moving to the cloud.

Because devices will come and go. The most interesting thing is the data being collected.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Sure, Apple cares about “the cloud” (iCloud). And yep, Apple wants to do something useful with all that Apple Watch data (HealthKit and ResearchKit). But most importantly, the Apple Watch is a device — a gadget that, in Apple’s eyes, won’t just “come and go.”

Where Microsoft’s Band was apparently just a way to “showcase the power of Microsoft Health,” the Apple Watch is a bet on an actual experience that Apple can create and sell. For Apple, the underlying pipes (all that cloud infrastructure) exist solely to strengthen that experience. Hardware is not second-class.

Nadella said the above on stage during the opening keynote of Microsoft’s Convergence 2015 business services event. There, Microsoft also announced the launch of Office 2016 for Windows and Skype for Business technical previews as well as a big play for Internet of Things.


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