In an interview with the BBC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has given us a timeframe for the launch of the HoloLens for the first time: He says developers will be able to get their hands on the innovative augmented reality headset within the next 12 months. This first edition is going to be aimed at businesses and enterprise users according to Nadella.
He also said the HoloLens is on a “five-year journey” so it could be some time before you can order one of the headsets for yourself online. Microsoft has given a number of on-stage demos of the technology already, but the few journalists who’ve been allowed to try out the kit have been banned from taking photos — that shows this is still very much a work in progress.
The current version of the HoloLens is said to be bulky, inefficient, and not all that comfortable to wear, and Microsoft’s engineers will want to improve the look and feel of the device before giving developers an opportunity to play around with it. The company knows the success of the augmented reality gear depends on there being enough software to run on it, so support from third-party developers is going to be crucial to its future prospects.
Elsewhere in the interview, Nadella described Windows 10 as “a huge milestone” for the company. “It’s not just another release of Windows, it’s the beginning of a new era for Windows. In fact I’d describe it as the beginning of the era of more personal computing,” he said.
That means Cortana on your desktop and on your iOS and Android devices, and a Microsoft that’s less reliant on PC sales and more ubiquitous across all kinds of hardware. As for HoloLens, it’s not the only augmented reality wearable taking its time to get to market — Google Glass v2.0 is still being kept largely under wraps while its makers prepare for a full consumer launch at some unspecified point in the future.