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Microsoft kicks open the $3K HoloLens doors to all developers and companies

Alex Kipman from the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft updated the Windows Blog with news that the company has finally delivered all orders of the HoloLens Development Edition kit to the first waves of developers. The company began shipping these kits four months ago, and is now expanding the program to all developers and business customers here in the United States and in Canada. Thus, anyone can head here and purchase up to five devices without the need for an approved application.

Of course, it’s no surprise that Microsoft wants customers to order multiple devices, as each kit costs a hefty $3,000 each. For that price, customers receive a box with the actual HoloLens headset; a clicker for selecting, scrolling, and whatnot during interactive scenarios; a carrying case; a microfiber cloth; a charger; and a Micro USB cable. To purchase this kit, customers merely need a free Microsoft Account (MSA).

In addition to expanding the HoloLens program to more customers, the company also launched the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite, consisting of the original HoloLens Development Edition hardware and new enterprise-based features for a more secure experience and better device management in the corporate environment.

Some of the features in the Commercial Suite highlighted by Microsoft include a kiosk mode that limits the use of HoloLens for demo purposes and “showcase experiences.” Another feature is Mobile Device Management, enabling the IT department to manage multiple HoloLens units while using Microsoft InTune or other services. IT can even manage app installment and security configurations.

The new suite also supports Windows Store for Business, enabling the IT department to set up its own private store in the enterprise so that users aren’t downloading apps that don’t pertain to the HoloLens device’s specific usage. BitLocker data is supported too along with secure boot, protecting the HoloLens headset like any other corporate device. HoloLens can even be used to remotely connect to the corporate network.

For a better understanding of what the Commercial Suite offers when compared to the Development Edition, check out the list here. There are a lot more features packed into the Commercial Suite, including virtual private network (VPN) support, certificate-based corporate Wi-Fi access, and the ability to control updates.

Finally, Microsoft is rolling out the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for Windows Holographic, billed as the “fastest and most reliable version yet.” It follows the first major update rolled out to Windows Holographic back in May, and the opening of the platform’s doors to partners in June. According to Microsoft, that expended support means consumers will eventually see PCs, displays, accessories, and mixed reality devices based on the Microsoft Holographic platform in the near future.

“We are excited to be working with Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo, MSI and many others supporting great virtual reality experiences on Windows 10, and we are looking forward to opening up Windows Holographic to the partner ecosystem for the future,” the company said.

That said, HoloLens is based on the Microsoft Holographic platform. In turn, all supported apps are based on the Universal Windows Platform, with over one hundred already compatible with Windows Holographic. Anniversary Update brings not only “exciting new changes,” but new policies for making new holographic computing experiences even easier for developers.

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Kevin Parrish
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