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mssmartwatch
A diagram from a Microsoft patent filing, made public in May, for a “wearable personal information system.”

Microsoft plans to announce and release its own health-tracking smartwatch “within the next few weeks,” according to a Forbes report this weekend. The timing would put the company ahead of the Apple Watch, which was announced last month but won’t be released until early next year.

It’s the latest report saying that Microsoft plans to offer a cross-platform smartwatch, working not just with Windows and Windows Phone but also with iOS and Android. That would be a pragmatic move, given Windows Phone’s small market share, but it would also help to set Microsoft apart from Google, Samsung and others in the wearable market.

The device could also work with Microsoft’s Xbox One to augment the gaming experience, according to Andru Edwards of Gear Live, who got an apparent glimpse of the Microsoft smartwatch earlier this year.

No word on pricing or official name. Microsoft needs a win in the world of consumer devices, where Windows Phone and the Surface tablet have struggled to gain traction.

The Verge also confirms the timing reported by Forbes. The company isn’t saying anything publicly about its plans. We searched the FCC and U.S trademark filings but couldn’t find any additional clues.

This would be the first completely new device launch under Satya Nadella. The Microsoft CEO will be appearing at a company event for analysts and press in San Francisco on Monday, but he’s expected to discuss Microsoft’s cloud strategy for businesses.

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