Microsoft readies Surface smart watch to rival Apple iWatch

Just as Microsoft launched the Surface into battle against the iPad, it's set to pit a Surface smart watch against Apple's iWatch.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Just as the folks at Microsoft launched the Surface tablet into battle against the iPad, they're set to pit a Surface smart watch against Apple's iWatch.

The team behind the Windows 8 tablet is reported to have taken over development of a Microsoft smart watch, based on a design conceived by the mob that works on accessories for the Xbox.

The Verge reports that the gaming team's design was rooted in the wearable technology of a heart-rate monitor for gamers with an Xbox 360. Developing that design, the Surface smart watch is set to feature a 1.5-inch screen, and like multi-coloured Windows Phone phones will come in a rainbow of hues, including blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey.

AmongTech also claims the watch will be built from translucent Oxynitride Aluminum -- whispered to be three times harder than glass.

The current buzz around smart watches is largely due to rumours that Apple is working on a wrist-worn device, inevitably dubbed iWatch. Apple is reported to have trademarked the name and recruited engineers for the device, but it's still set to appear late next year. In the meantime, rivals Sony, Samsung, LG and Google are also getting involved in wearable technology.

Speaking of the Surface, a whopping £120 has been sliced off the Windows 8 tablet, taking the price tag to £280 -- more than a hundred quid cheaper than an iPad.

Microsoft is clearing shelves of the current Surface before both RT and Pro models are replaced by new versions, expected to be unveiled later this year with the Windows 8.1 software update.

Is a smart watch the ace up Microsoft's sleeve? Tell us your thoughts in the comments, or break the surface on our Facebook page.