Fossil, one of the early adopters in the SPOT race, is now bowing out as Microsoft re-tools that standard. The result? It’s pretty iffy in terms of future SPOT direction. Fossil had a huge supply chain and lots of sales and that’s definitely going to hurt things.
Fossil has made their last MSN Direct watch, at least for the foreseeable future. Coco and Glam were made in a tiny batch and sold to Tiger Direct. However we hear Fossil is no longer going to make new watches and will re-direct their technology efforts after current inventory is sold through. Microsoft has recently pulled the SPOT initiative back into R&D and appears intent on pushing the technology into other products like the weather clocks and integration with the PC and other Microsoft products.
With SPOT going back into the garage for a re-tooling, the hope is that it will emerge with more stability and functionality. Indeed, the commitment from Microsoft over the past several months has been just that, though any improvements are difficult for end users to see. In a recent post in our forums, a Microsoft representative disclosed they have been working on infrastructure improvements to make the network more reliable and efficient in bandwidth usage.
Along with behind the scenes improvements, we’re getting renewed enthusiasm for the development of the traffic channel, which has hit a significant development milestone. The weather clocks also appear on target, after that front had been silent since January.
Read the whole thing here.