It is remarkable to think that just a year or so back, few, if any talked about smartwatches in the media. But now these devices are the next frontier, the next logical evolution of mobile computing.

Apple is still leading the charge in the media, with reports of the mysterious iWatch popping up every now and then. But Microsoft is not far behind — and if insiders are to be believed, a Windows powered smartwatch is all but confirmed.

The latest is that Redmond is currently testing several prototype models.

But while rumors point to Microsoft getting ready to launch its very own smartwatch sometimes next year, analysts are chiming in on the prospects of such a device.

James Wang, an analyst at Canalys talking to CRN said that smartwatches are indeed a big opportunity for Microsoft, but the technology titan will have to perform better than in the tablet industry to really make the most of it:

“Google and Microsoft must execute more successfully than they have done with their tablet platforms and will have to adapt their business models appropriately.

An effective smartwatch will not just be a second screen for a smartphone. Creating a competent developer platform specifically for the form factor will be an enormous challenge.”

In other words, it’s not just about creating a device and sending it to the store shelves — success will, as it should, come down to how developers harness the best of this engaging new form factor.

Word is that Microsoft’s own smartwatch will come with a custom version of Windows 8 housed in a transparent aluminium casing that is supposed to be extremely durable and very light at the same time.

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  • philnolan3d

    Didnt Microsoft release a smart watch several years ago?