Microsoft partners Strava and MapMyRide for Band smartwatch

Computing giant adds cyclist's chosen activity tracker to its wearable tech
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Microsoft has responded quickly to early criticism of its Band product's cycling-specific functionality by announcing a partnership with Strava and MapMyRide.

Building upon the initial Bike Tile introduction in February, starting today (April 23rd), Band customers will be able to compare performance or share routes with other riders using the popular apps.

Microsoft Health, the software on which the Band is based, is an open platform, and it is designed to combine the data from your device, along with the services already used. In the coming weeks, customers will be able to track daily steps and calorie burn inside of the Microsoft Health app using the sensors contained in many Android Phones, iPhones and Windows Phones.

Beginning April 27th, Band users will also be able to access fresh insights via a Web Dashboard. These insights include:

-Comparative Insights: Measures data like daily steps, sleep, workout frequency and calorie burn and compares it to similar Microsoft Health customers based on body type (height and weight). Customers looking for motivation can use comparative insights as a benchmark to understand their health relative to similar people.

-Sleep Recovery: Use the Microsoft Health Web Dashboard to analyze sleep restoration, sleep efficiency, and wake-ups, to find out how well the body restores its resources during sleep.

-Fitness Benefit: Track fitness progress using historical data to measure improvement over time.

-VO2 Max: VO2 max refers to the maximum volume of oxygen used during exercise, and is the primary indicator of cardiovascular fitness. Traditionally, measuring V02 Max is cumbersome. Not anymore. Microsoft Band estimates VO2 max based on heart rate information. Now customers can track how their VO2 max increases as they improve fitness level and achieve their wellness goals, simply.

-Run/Exercise Observations: Get more out of run and workout data with in-depth observations and insights. With a week of data, customers can determine which day of the week and at what time of day they perform best. Using historical data from as far back as five weeks, customers can track whether they’re maintaining, progressing, or need to re-dedicate themselves.

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