Microsoft is coming after Google in wearables

Microsoft is betting big on Windows 10, but it's not just smartphones and PCs it wants to conquer.

The U.S. IT giant told CNBC that it wants to dethrone Google's Android Wear as the top smartwatch operating system of choice for device manufacturers.

"What is true is that we have architected Windows 10 to work across the broadest range of wearables...This is an architecture scaling from the very small to largest compute jobs," Greg Sullivan, marketing director for Windows Phone, told CNBC at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

When asked whether the company was looking to become the go-to smartwatch operating system, Sullivan said: "In short, yes."

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Microsoft initially unveiled Windows 10 in September last year and gave further updates in January; it is expected to be officially launched in the second half of this year.

One of its key features is what the company calls its "Universal App" platform. This system enables developers to easily create apps which will run across all Windows devices, whether it be a smartphone or PC. Developers normally have to write different codes for different devices.

It means apps could run not only on smartphones, but also on smartwatches and Microsoft's augmented reality goggles, called HoloLens.

Sullivan said the feature would appeal to developers and ultimately help Windows 10 become the most attractive operating system for wearables.

"We expect the ability to write one app in the Windows 10 timeframe to become a higher priority in the mobile space," he added.

Microsoft Band
Source: Microsoft
Microsoft Band

The comments come after Microsoft unveiled two budget smartphones on Monday - the 5-inch Lumia 640 and larger, 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL - but it has not revealed a new flagship phone. The Redmond, WA-based company is expected to release a flagship device once Windows 10 is launched.

Analysts said Microsoft might be playing a risky game by waiting too long to release such a device, but Sullivan dismissed the claims and said the company was committed to high-end models.

"There is a focus on the flagships and we will certainly be in that space," he told CNBC.

But although Microsoft plans to take on Google's Android Wear, it was less clear whether the company was considering manufacturing new wearable devices. Currently, Microsoft has a fitness tracker called the Microsoft Band.

As for a new smartwatch running Windows 10, Sullivan added: "There are opportunities which we will build on our own hardware and some with our partners."