Microsoft to drop its Health applications and services on May 31; will offer some Band users refunds

This is as close to Microsoft officially admitting it's out of the fitness Band space as we're likely to get.

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When Microsoft telegraphed that it had no plans to sell a third version of the Microsoft Band (its fitness band) back in 2016, officials said the company would continue to focus on its Health platform. But as of this weekend, it seems Microsoft is now admitting that it's also getting out of that space, as well. 

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Microsoft emailed customers of its Band and Health Dashboard products on March 1 to let them know the company will be ending support for the Microsoft Health Dashboard applications and services. As of May 31, 2019, Microsoft will shut down its Health Dashboard site and remove its Microsoft Band applications from the Microsoft Store, Google Play store and Apple app store. 

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft confusingly rechristened its "Health" fitness apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone as "Band" applications in September 2016. At that time, Microsoft's plan in the fitness wearables space was to put all its eggs in its Health service and related applications.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for Microsoft Health Dashboard notes that "after 5/31/2019. Microsoft Band device users can continue to use their devices, though web connected features will not be available." Microsoft is providing export tools for Microsoft Band users who want to export their data from now until May 31. (Users also have the option to delete their Microsoft Health Dashaboard data.) All data in the Microsoft Health Dashboard will be deleted on May 31, 2019.

After May 31, Microsoft Band users still will be able to record and track daily health information, including steps, heart rate and basic workouts;p record activity data; track sleep and set alarms. But anyone who resets their Bands after the Health service has been discontinued won't be able to set up their Bands again.

Interestingly, Microsoft is offering "certain Band users" the option of a refund. Those who have a Band that is covered under its Limited Warranty or are "Active Users," meaning users who've worn the band and done a sync to the Health Dashboard between December 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019, are eligible. They can obtain refunds by August 30, 2019 for the Band 1 of $79.99 or Band 2 for $175. 


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So I guess this is it. Microsoft officials never would confirm there were no plans for Band 3, though all hints pointed to this being the case. The end of the Band health apps/services basically mean Microsoft is out of the fitness-band space. 

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