Microsoft Is Working On a Touch-Enabled Smartwatch, Too

Whatever is old, is suddenly new again. There's a reason people say that history truly does repeat itself, and here's another example of that happening. Years back, tablets were introduced with various versions of Windows on them. For a variety of reasons (battery life, weight, mobility, terrible touch panels, etc.), those never took off. Around a decade later, a little thing called the iPad was revealed, and Apple has been selling them by the boatload ever since. Fast forward beyond that, and you'll see Microsoft trying its best to re-invade a market that it failed to penetrate well over 10 years ago, while seeing very little traction with the Surface.

That very scenario may be shaping up to happen again. For those who follow Microsoft closely, you may remember SPOT. That was a smartwatch from Microsoft that hung around on store shelves between 2004 and 2008, and was finally killed due to lackluster interest. Fast forward nearly a decade, and here come the Apple smartwatch rumors -- and without a product to even showcase, people are up in arms about buying one. Now, according to a Wall Street Journal report, Microsoft is yet again working on a smartwatch... which is likely to ship after Apple's rendition and therefore lose all of that inertia that comes with being first to (a new) market.

Microsoft has really taken a beating lately, being beaten to the punch on smartphones and tablets, and having Windows 8 pummeled from nearly every direction. And now, being late to the smartwatch game of 2013? According to the report, Microsoft has been in talks with Asian suppliers about parts that could be assembled into a wrist-worn device, but it's unclear whether or not the product would work solely with Windows Phone, or if it'd collaborate with other platforms as well.

There's no doubt that wearable computing is the next major wave in mainstream technology. Just look at the attention received by Google Glass and Nike's FuelBand, for instance. But aren't watches a bit played-out? Haven't we been here, been uninterested, and moved on before? Hopefully we'll learn more as Microsoft's BUILD conference draws closer.