It looks like the curtains have been raised early on Microsoft's attempt to join the wearable game. Windows Central points out that sync apps have appeared in the Mac and Android app stores (update: and Microsoft's), set to personalize and track data for your "Microsoft Band." Rumors had pointed to a fitness tracker more than a watch that could debut within weeks, and judging by the apps that's just what we'll get. According to the Google Play, Windows Phone Store and iTunes listings, the device itself has more in common with Nike's FuelBand than the what we've seen from Apple and Google so far. That includes tracking steps, heartbeat, calories burned and sleep quality. 9to5Mac linked a privacy agreement that goes into even deeper detail about what else it can do, namely display notifications from your mobile device or take notes and set reminders with Cortana.
Update: Microsoft confirmed that the Band will go on sale for $199 Thursday in its online and physical stores, to US customers only, in "limited quantities." Designed by Quentin Morris (who also developed the Xbox One controller), it carries ten sensors onboard to measure things from heart rate to UV exposure to stress levels, and can last as much as 48 hours on a single charge. As indicated by the apps, it's ready to work with whatever mobile platform you bring to the table, but with its built-in GPS, you can go running without a phone and still track your workout.