I received an e-mail this week from Microsoft with the subject “Your new Smart Watch is on us.”
Microsoft and its manufacturing partners have recently introduced the second generation of SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) products. Being the gadget freak I am, I bought a first generation SPOT watch. This makes me an obvious candidate for the 2nd generation products.
It’s a really cool concept – bandwidth built into a watch so that where ever you go, you can receive headlines, sports scores, weather reports, etc. In other words, Microsoft’s concept is perfectly aligned with the Law of Mobility – this should be a high value product because mobility is built in – more valuable than a watch because of the connectivity, more valuable than a newspaper subscription because its with you all the time.
However, when my one year subscription to the Microsoft Direct service ran out, I didn’t renew it, cutting off the flow of information to my bulky, geeky watch. Why would I give up on such a mobility-validating product?
And why am I going to pass on Microsoft’s offer to send me an expensive watch?
Bottom line, I don’t need it. Since I have my cellphone with me all the time, and since I can easily access headlines, sports scores, weather updates, traffic updates, and virtually everything else offered by the SPOT watch, why would I pay yet another service fee to Microsoft to access that information?
In fact, Microsoft may have really missed it by betting on the watch as the SPOT delivery vehicle. In addition to all the SPOT information, the cellphone is even making the wrist watch obsolete.
Microsoft has now moved beyond the wrist watch. I’m excited about Microsoft blazing the trail in building mobility into everyday items, but I doubt that the FM, one-way, limited capacity SPOT model will win out in the face of the coming 4G model, but time will tell!