Yesterday at a press event at Mobile World Congress (MWC), Microsoft announced its HoloLens 2 head mounted display (HMD). A vast improvement over the original version, HoloLens 2 also differs in how people can buy it. Microsoft has said will only sell the new device in one edition.
You may remember with the original HoloLens, Microsoft sold the device as a developer and enterprise editions. A consumer version was never release, although it eventually became possible for anybody to buy the developer edition.
With the HoloLens 2, Microsoft says it will only sell the device as an enterprise option. This could make it more difficult for independent developers and indeed consumers to buy a unit. In a statement to MSpoweruser, Microsoft explained the decision:
“Among the things we learned with the original Microsoft HoloLens is the commercial value this device delivers to customers in a variety of industries and use cases.
“Market signal has increased our focus on commercial customers, and Microsoft HoloLens 2 is an enterprise device. However, we are inspired by the device’s use cases, and we welcome partners and developers to explore new solutions for our customers.”
HoloLens 2 will be made available later this year and will initially be available in key Microsoft markets. Those locations are the United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
In terms of price, HoloLens is cheaper than its predecessor, but still a costly prospect. Microsoft says it cost $3,500, down from the $5,000 original model. The company wants to help more people access the HMD, so has debuted a payment program.