In recent years, Microsoft has consistently been late to the game when it comes to mobile devices. It’s reentry in the smartphone market following the iPhone’s debut in 2007 was painfully late, and its tablet efforts with Windows RT have been both late and lackluster. According to a recent report, however, Microsoft has no plans to be late again when it comes to the smartwatch market.

Smartwatches have existed for years at this point, but shipments of the top-selling models currently remain in the hundreds of thousands. In other words, we are most certainly still in the early days here, and analysts maintain their positions that smartwatches and other wearable devices are the next big thing in consumer tech.

Apple’s iWatch launch is definitely the most highly anticipated smartwatch release of the year, and a number of reports suggest that the new device will launch in October. This might be a bit of bad news for Microsoft, which also plans to release its first smartwatch in the very same month, according to a recent report.

Tom’s Hardware cited multiple unnamed sources recently in claiming that Microsoft’s first smartwatch will launch in October. The report also stated that the device will be cross-platform compatible, and the display will be situated on the underside of the device as opposed to the top, as is the case with current smart band models. According to one of the site’s sources, “turning your palm up to look at the watch actually feels a lot more natural.”

Details surrounding the device’s functionality and other differentiating features were not reported.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.