Microsoft SPOT service will be branded as MSN Direct. The service will cost US$9.95 monthly or US$59 annually. SPOT watch buyers will be able to select from a menu of information, including news, stock quotes, weather, traffic and restaurant guides.
Between six and eight watch styles priced between $150 and $300 will be available from the watch making partners before the Christmas holiday season, says Chris Schneider, program manager at Microsoft's SPOT technology group.
"Watches with MSN Direct service offer an entirely new way for people to stay up to date and informed about the information they care about," said Roger Gulrajani, director for the Smart Personal Objects Technology Group at Microsoft. "With Fossil and Suunto, we have created watches that deliver information with fashion and flair -- an important attribute for an accessory people wear every day."
Users will also be able to receive messages through the MSN Messenger instant messaging service and get appointment reminders from Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft says. The service will be largely text-based, with some icons for weather reports.