(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has suddenly announced its first fitness tracker simply called Band. The wearable device is rather ingeniously launching with an open software platform meaning it will work with Microsoft, Mac and Android devices.

The Band itself tracks steps and calories burned as well as constantly monitoring the user's heart rate from the wrist. It will also act as a sleep tracker for 24-hour activity tracking. Data will be displayed on the device's 310 x 102 resolution screen while it can also act as a gateway to the mobile working with the Cortana voice assistant and Windows Phone 8.1 as well as displaying phone notifications.

All this will work with Microsoft Health, a new software platform that's open so it can also be used with third party trackers like the Jawbone UP or MyFitnessPal.

Microsoft Health will give an overall picture of the data including pulling location information from the phone's GPS. This data can then be share from the HealthVault directly with your medical provider – although this sounds like a US only offering. With Google Fit recently announced, which works across devices also, Microsoft has its competitive work cut out already.

The Microsoft Band with Microsoft Health is out today priced at $199, but that will be US only for now with no word of an international release, yet.

READ: Google Fit is a Health app-like fitness hub now available for Android devices

Writing by Luke Edwards.