Tech giant Apple's iWatch is set to be one of the marquee product launches of the second half of the year. However, when Apple eventually brings its much-rumored smartwatch to market, it will face increasing competition from the likes of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Source: Samsung.

According to a flourish of reportsthat surfaced late last week, Microsoft is fast at work developing its own smartwatch; it certainly makes sense that the company wants to tap into this massive growth market.

But can Microsoft muster an effective challenger to Apple's eventual iWatch?

Microsoft's smartwatch: Surface 2.0 or Zune 2.0?
Although Microsoft's most recent Surface offering might finally yield Microsoft some degree of credibility in mobile, it's no great stretch to view Microsoft's track record with consumer tech products as suspect at best.

And judging by at least some of the early reporting, it sounds as if Microsoft's coming smartwatch might fail in its attempt to match Apple's iWatch. Apparently, Microsoft's smartwatch will strongly resemble Samsung's Gear Fit wearable and will lean heavily on biometrics as a means of separating itself from the growing mass of smartwatches set to hit the market in the year ahead.

In the video below, tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner examines the Microsoft smartwatch storyline and what it could mean for other industry players, such as Apple, as well.