Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday 17/11/2003News reaches us today that one of Microsoft's recent innovations, Spot -- Smart Personal Object Technology, will be late to market. You might have missed this, as there's been no mention of it coming over to Europe, but Bill's been showing it off back in the Land of the Free.

Monday 17/11/2003
News reaches us today that one of Microsoft's recent innovations, Spot -- Smart Personal Object Technology, will be late to market. You might have missed this, as there's been no mention of it coming over to Europe, but Bill's been showing it off back in the Land of the Free. The flagship for Spot is a watch that picks up news and other information off the air and displays it, for a ten dollar a month fee. Overwhelmingly exciting, eh?

At the time this was announced last January, Citizen, Fossil and a company called Suunto all said they'd have product ready for this Christmas. Well, the sleigh bells are ringing on TV adverts around the globe -- but where's Spot? Here, boy! Where has that watchdog got to?

Oh no! They've killed Spot! Actually, we can't say that for sure... but there's no product yet, and people are getting very coy about when it might turn up. First quarter 2004? Well, yes, that's a possibility says Fossil. Um, says Citizen.

It could be that the planned network of transmitters isn't cutting the mustard and the information doesn't get through as planned. Or it could be that someone has finally spotted -- sorry -- that the watch is in fact a direct equivalent of the Seiko Messagewatch, launched nearly ten years ago and with an information feed costing just three dollars a month. Or perhaps the Timex Beepwear, which unlike the Messagewatch is still going.

Either way, it's taken a year for Microsoft and its friends to take a decade-old technology and fail to bring it to market. Windows for Wristwatches is still some way away. Perhaps it's just a wind-up.

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