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Microsoft Moonraker: The smartwatch that should have been

Microsoft Moonraker: The smartwatch that should have been

It had a great name, great looks and would have beaten the Apple Watch to the punch by the best part of the year.

So the question is, why did Microsoft feel it was necessary to cancel the Nokia Moonraker smartwatch after it acquired the Finnish company?

On the face of it, the answer is straightforward. Moonraker trod on the toes of its then new Microsoft Band fitness wearable.

And by trod on the toes of, we mean it made a mockery of it.

It appears Nokia had gone all out to create a smartwatch that could rival the latest Android Wear products and pre–empt the Apple Watch, a device which was then only a long held rumour among Mac and Apple fanatics.

microsoft moonraker triptych

From what we can ascertain from leaked images from Microsoft designer Pei–Chi Hseih and renowned tech watcher Evan Blass (known more commonly as @evleaks), Nokia’s smartwatch would have had a similar look to the Apple Watch Sport.

More than that, it appears it would have made full use of Windows Phone’s highly underrated Metro UI.

Images of the device, which are thought to be marketing pics rather than device renders, show methods for accessing calendar, SMS and email, as well as a step- counter, calls list and the now defunct Mix Radio.

There’s even a camera remote, suggesting Nokia would have dovetailed the watch with its excellent PureView smartphone cameras.

microsoft band

But alas, it wasn’t to be. Instead, Microsoft went with the Band, a passable fitness tool that’s not exactly feature-rich.

Sure, it has decent battery and a stack of sensors for the worried well. But it doesn’t scream cool and lacks decent apps. The latter is the story of Windows Phone in microcosm.

Of course, Microsoft may well have something newer and better in the pipeline.

The launch of Windows 10, and with it the ability to easily port iOS and Android apps, means there should be scope for a new, universal smartwatch from the tech giant.

But surely that device should have been Moonraker. The failure to bring this to market smacks of the Microsoft of old.

microsoft moonraker

Killing off cool innovations in order to facilitate something which consumers can’t really get excited about.

That company is one which is in the past thanks to recent developments.

So perhaps after slipping out via a leak, we might see Moonraker up for grabs after all. Microsoft could do a lot worse and would have something worthy of challenging the Apple Watch to boot.

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