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August 3, 2015

Microsoft reveals launch timeframe for HoloLens

Nadella says that it is "within the Windows 10 timeframe."

By Alexander Sword

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has revealed a launch timeframe for Microsoft HoloLens, the wearable augmented reality technology.

According to Nadella, the first version of the technology will appear in the next year.

"It’s in the Windows 10 timeframe, which means that it is within the next year," he said, speaking to the BBC.

While the initial versions would be available fairly soon, Nadella suggested that commercial release of the technology was some way off.

"We will have developer versions of it first, then it will be more commercial use-cases and then it will evolve.

"This is a five-year journey, but we’re looking forward to getting the V1 out, which is more around developers and enterprises."

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HoloLens is designed to work with Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10, which aims to provide a world of ‘universal apps’.

CCS Insight said in a statement that Microsoft needs "to make the Windows 10 platform an imperative for developers, promising ‘universal’ apps that allow a single code base to serve a range of devices.

"The company has made a good start here, with futuristic devices like the HoloLens showing real thought leadership."

Ben Wood, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, told CBR: "By having the same kernel on the platform, if people have already made investment [in applications] they are more likely to be able to transfer these to HoloLens.

"A lot of companies are experimenting with augmented reality; Google Glass was so poisonous that consumers will give augmented reality a wide berth for a while."

"The real action is around business," Wood adds, citing the example of DHL employees using augmented reality glasses to identify packages in delivery operations.

However, Wood adds, the technology will eventually move from industry to personal use.

"There’s no doubt that this technology will reach consumers at some point. There will be early adopters."

The company has launched a range of initiatives to boost developer take-up of the technology, including a $100,000 of funding and free HoloLens devices for academic researchers.

"For Microsoft, there’s a huge incentive to get it out to businesses and developers, as it will not be a huge learning curve," says Wood.

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