RIP MSN Direct SPOT watches, so few of us knew thee well

RIP MSN Direct SPOT watches, so few of us knew thee well

Summary: I am probably one of the few who actually bought a SPOT watch and have been paying for the yearly service since they were launched back in 2004. I found the technology interesting, but it took a year or so for the watches to evolve into something smaller and more fashionable that people would wear. Even then, the service never took off and I actually never saw anyone wearing one that wasn't a gadget geek like myself. According to a post on SpotStop made by Jon Canan, Program Manager of MSN Direct, Microsoft and its partners are getting out of the SPOT watch business. They will still be supporting the MSN Direct service and if you have a watch you can continue to receive service, but there will be no new channels added or other enhancements to the watches.

SHARE:

I am probably one of the few who actually bought a SPOT watch and have been paying for the yearly service since they were launched back in 2004. I found the technology interesting, but it took a year or so for the watches to evolve into something smaller and more fashionable that people would wear. Even then, the service never took off and I actually never saw anyone wearing one that wasn't a gadget geek like myself. According to a post on SpotStop made by Jon Canan, Program Manager of MSN Direct, Microsoft and its partners are getting out of the SPOT watch business (Thanks to the::unwired for the link.). They will still be supporting the MSN Direct service and if you have a watch you can continue to receive service, but there will be no new channels added or other enhancements to the watches.

RIP MSN Direct SPOT watches, so few of us knew thee well

It seems that all watches have been sold out, so my Dick Tracy model, CES Commemorative model, and other SPOT watches are now a part of geek history. Unfortunately, the Abacus Smart Watch 2006 that I preferred to use died a couple of months ago and will not recharge no matter what I try. My other favorite, the Suunto N3HR, has issues with the buttons registering presses so I am using my Dick Tracy wrist weight when I want to use SPOT. I actually rarely wear mine anymore, but do pull them out from time-to-time since I do find the glanceable nature of their operation helpful at times.

Microsoft recently launched MSN Direct for Windows Mobile (I wrote about it here.) so there is less need for carrying a SPOT watch. I do think that having MSN Direct services in products like GPS devices makes a lot of sense and hope to see more products like this in the future.

Anyone else have any stories or experiences using SPOT watches?

Topics: Software, Hardware, Mobility, Operating Systems, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

4 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Another one bites the dust.

    First, my Dell Axim went belly up. The the Dell DJ Jukebox sleeps with the fishes. Now my SPOT watch (a hand me down from a fellow MVP who got in on the free Suunto upgrade a couple of years back) is filing for divorce, or at least a trial separation.

    I guess my track record for gadgets (including my iBook) is going downhill fast.

    As for the geek factor, I got a lot of attention from geeks and non-geeks. They were especially impressed with the real time (or near real time) updating, as well as the news flashes.

    I suppose having a smart phone and a PDA obviates the absolute need for the watch, but it is a part of me that I will miss when they inevitably stop broadcasting.

    RIP Suunto - you were a good and faithful companion.
    Confused by religion
  • RE: RIP MSN Direct SPOT watches, so few of us knew thee well

    I have a Dick Tracy watch and proudly wear it to grab attention!
    bradlee.sargent
  • RE: RIP MSN Direct SPOT watches, so few of us knew thee well

    I have a Dick Tracy Wrist Weight and wear it proudly to grab attention and to feed my ego.
    bradlee.sargent
  • RE: RIP MSN Direct SPOT watches, so few of us knew thee well

    I have two of the fossil abacus watches and the watches work fine...I find my problem to be that the charger cords themselves seem to just "go out" without any warning...(this might be why yours won't charge anymore either...)...so I have scoured the internet looking for the chargers or more watches so I can get the chargers...but have not found anyone who can replace the actual charger cord itself yet. I have been tempted to take it to a local electronics repair shop to see if someone can "jury-rig" something...
    hewdog41