Microsoft is getting ready to take the wraps off the third-generation Band (an event that, according to sources, should happen in October), but the company still doesn’t have a fully featured smartwatch, as the existing lineup only comprises activity trackers.

And yet, Microsoft actually planned to launch a smartwatch at some point under the name Nokia Moonraker, but for some reason it decided to cancel the device.

A recent 3D rendering posted by leaker Evan Blass shows this Microsoft smartwatch in all its glory and although it doesn’t reveal anything new, it’s another confirmation Redmond could have built the best rival to Apple Watch.

At this point, the Apple Watch is leading the smartwatch industry and is involved in a fierce battle for the supremacy of the wearables market with other popular fitness tracker, including those from Fitbit. Despite the fact that the Band 2 sold pretty well, Microsoft is not even close to taking the lion’s share in this industry, and there’s no doubt that the Moonraker would have really helped.

More of a watch, less of a fitness tracker

As you can see for yourselves, the Moonraker comes with a more traditional smartwatch design which clearly reminds of the Apple Watch, so it positions as a direct competitor. It comes with a traditional band too, but no support for interchangeable bands was being planned.

On the other hand, the device certainly looks better than the Band and could appeal to more potential buyers looking for a smartwatch that looks more like a classic watch and not necessarily like a band. The Moonraker was supposed to launch with the Lumia 930, Microsoft’s Windows Phone flagship, and come with support for all mobile platforms, including iOS and Android – the Apple Watch is currently limited to iOS and this is an important drawback for those who’d want to purchase one, but don’t have an iPhone.

In the end, it’s a little sad to see that the Moonraker never came to be, but at least, it shows that Microsoft can actually build a good-looking smartwatch and not necessarily an advanced fitness tracker. If only such a project is brought back on the table…

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