After all, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) landed the first blow with Google Glass, and more recently introduced Android Wear, a version of its free operating system designed to run wearable tech gear like wristbands and watches.
You see, wearable tech is an enormous profit opportunity for the tech titans.
Research firm IDC projects the wearable tech market will have a compound annual growth rate of 78.4% over the next four years. And Credit Suisse says wearable tech will explode tenfold into a $50 billion market within three years.
Both Apple and Google also have large and powerful mobile platforms on which to build a foundation for their wearable tech ambitions.
Yesterday (Wednesday) we learned from tech pundit and unabashed Microsoft enthusiast Paul Thurrott that the suspected Microsoft smartwatch is coming, and that it will be more of a fitness band than a mobile computer.
But the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant has a big problem as it enters the wearable tech arena. Its Windows platform, while still dominant on the desktop, is an also-ran in the mobile world.
That looks like a deal-breaker for consumers, since most wearable tech devices so far have been designed to work with smartphones running either Android or Apple's iOS. Few own a Windows-based phone – its market share worldwide is less than 5%.
But what if you change the rules?
One thing we've seen from Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella in the months that he's been at the helm is that he's not afraid to throw out decades-old MSFT philosophies if he thinks they're holding the company back.
That's exactly what Nadella has done with wearable tech, if Thurrott's sources are accurate (which they almost certainly are; Thurrott is about as close to a Microsoft insider as any outside writer can be).
In fact, Nadella's move is so brilliant, it could completely change how the wearable tech wars will be fought…