Microsoft unveiled its first fitness band Thursday, joining a crowded market of connected devices for tracking and analyzing personal health data.
The Microsoft Band, which went on sale Thursday in the US market, was released along with a new Microsoft Health software platform that includes a cloud service for consumers and the industry to store and combine health and fitness data.
"Today, we are taking our first steps with the industry to empower people to achieve more with their fitness and wellness," Microsoft's Todd Holmdahl said in a blog post.
The new fitness band has 10 smart sensors to monitor the heart rate around the clock, as well as measure the amount of calories burned, track sleep quality and provide guided workouts.
Holmdahl said "the Microsoft Band will keep you connected at a glance with helpful, smart notifications including incoming calls, emails, texts and social updates as well as access to Cortana," Microsoft's personal assistant software.
The device is selling online and in Microsoft stores for $199.
the software platform will also work with devices from rival makers, including UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.
"Soon, Microsoft Health will also allow you, at your choosing, to connect your Microsoft Health data to HealthVault to share with your medical provider," Holmdahl said.
The platform works with Android and Apple's iOS in addition to Windows Phone.
Holmdahl said the software includes an "intelligence engine" that will help people determine which exercises burned the most calories during a workout, the recommended recovery time from a workout and the amount of restful and restless sleep.