Microsoft starts rolling out fitness Band preview developer kits

Microsoft is rolling out the first major update to software and services for its Microsoft fitness Band, along with the first Band developer kit previews for Windows Phone and Android phones.

After introducing the first version of the Microsoft fitness Band four months ago Microsoft is delivering some new software and service features, as well as a preview of the developer kit for the device.

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(Before anyone asks, I have no information on if/when Microsoft plans to restock the version one Bands or if/when the company plans to make available a second-generation Band.)

The new updates to Microsoft Band, available today, February 23, include a Web dashboard, biking functionality, new ways to scan and respond to incoming notifications and integration with Microsoft's HealthVault personal health-tracking service and MapMyFitness.

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The software developer kits (SDKs) for the Band are available today for Windows Phone and Android devices. Microsoft officials are promising an iOS SDK for the Band will be available "soon." The SDK is designed to allow third-party developers to write apps and services for the Band.

Microsoft officials are describing today's updates as being "the first in a series of updates" that will offer "deeper insights, more features and greater integration."

Like other Microsoft hardware these days, the Band ultimately is meant to showcase Microsoft software and services. The new Health web dashboard, for example, is all about bringing analytics to the Band-wearing masses. Band customers can see data collected from their Bands in a variety of new ways and with new charts that go beyond what's available with the mobile app.