updated 01:30 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2008
Microsoft SPOT Gone
Microsoft has quietly shut down its MSN Direct services for SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) Smart Watches, effectively ending the concept, according to a statement from MSN Direct program manager Jon Canan. The company says it and companies making the watches, such as Fossil, no longer have plans to develop a new version of the Smart Watch platform and now intend only to support existing products and pushing data to the watches, which can display weather and other small data wirelessly without the bulk of a larger device.
Canan notes that MSN Direct is already in GPS devices and on many Windows Mobile smartphones and states that Microsoft is still investigating the possibility of bringing the service to other devices where the data would be useful.
Neither Microsoft nor its partners have said if or when any Smart Watches will be pulled from shops. The devices have faired poorly relative to other MSN Direct-capable devices due to their need for a subscription as well as a higher overall price.