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Microsoft joins iWatch race with reports of a smart watch

Microsoft is the latest technology giant after Apple, Samsung and Google to reportedly consider building a smart watch.

Who watches the watchmen? Clearly Microsoft does, as it's the latest technology giant after Apple, Samsung and Google to consider an iWatch.

Microsoft has sourced components for a smart watch with a 1.5-inch touchscreen, the Wall Street Journal reports. Windows Watch, anyone?

If true, the wrist-worn Windows watch would be a rival to other rumoured smart watches from Apple, Samsung, LG and Google.

Wearable electronics are hotly tipped to be the next big thing. Apple is reported to be investigating flexible displays for a device inevitably nicknamed the iWatch, while Samsung has officially confirmed it's working on a high-tech timepiece.

We wonder whether a Microsoft watch would work independently, or talk to your Windows Phone to give you notifications or other information. Windows Phone already seems suited to the small square shape of a watch, based as it is on coloured square 'live tiles' on the home screen. In fact, leaked shots of Samsung's alleged smart watch software look a lot like Windows Phone's square dance.

Microsoft is traditionally a software company but does occasionally take the attitude that if you want something done, build it yourself -- leading to the Xbox games console and the Surface Windows 8 tablet.

And Microsoft even has form when it comes to watches: a few years back Bill Gates and his mates teamed up with watchmakers including Swatch, Fossil and Tissot to build timepieces using Microsoft's Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) technology. Those watches died a death in 2008, but it seems today's smart technology has finally caught up to the humble wristwatch.

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Would you wear a Windows watch? Are smart watches really the next big thing, and which of the big players will do watches well? Call time in the comments or tell us what you think on our Facebook wall.