Skip to main content

Windows Holographic will be on your PC by the end of 2017

windows holographic idf 2016 microsoft hololens motorcycle
We’ve heard of Windows Holographic, the mixed reality side of Microsoft’s latest operating system, since the release of Windows 10. The idea is futuristic — ditching the screen and projecting Windows 10 onto your walls and furniture — but it wasn’t clear how long it would actually take for it to become reality. At the 2016 Intel Developer Forum, Terry Myerson announced that Windows Holographic will become part of the desktop platform next year.

That means any Windows 10 PC will be able to hook up to a HoloLens — or, in theory, other devices that support Windows Holographic — and immediately work. That’s an important step forward. While the HoloLens is currently available, it’s very much a development kit. Users must install specific software to make it work, and apps aren’t easy to come by. Windows Holographic will change that.

Related Videos

Like VR headsets, Windows Holographic will require a PC with a certain amount of heft to run correctly. Intel and Microsoft will work together to develop a standard set of system requirements, so users know whether they can take part in the fun. They did show the Skull Canyon NUC as an example of a compatible computer, so devices without a dedicated graphics chip may not be left out in the cold (which makes sense, given Intel’s love of its own integrated graphics hardware). The final specifications of the standard will be announced in December of 2016.

You won’t have to wait long to find out more about Windows Holographic. Development kits have been in engineers’ hands for months now, and a mid-2017 release means Insiders may put hands on it before the end of the year. Microsoft already announced the HTC Vive as a supported device, thanks to the 720p webcam in the front.

We have one in the Digital Trends office, so expect a hands-on with the next generation of operating systems as soon as it’s available.

Editors' Recommendations

What is screen door effect in VR?
A man stands outside wearing a VR headset holds a mesh screen.

If you're researching VR headsets, you'll probably come across a mention of the screen door effect. Since the display of a VR headset is so close to your eye, it's sometimes possible to see the gaps between pixels, similar to looking through a screen door or the mesh that covers a window to the world beyond.

This visual phenomenon shows up on VR headsets, from the cheapest to the most expensive, and although there's not a clear solution to completely eliminate screen door effect, there are several headsets trying to tackle the problem in different ways.
Packing pixels tighter

Read more
Windows 12: the top features we want to see in the rumored OS
A laptop running Windows 11.

Windows 12 might be in development at Microsoft, at least according to the latest rumors. A leak from Intel made mention of Windows 12, and with a new Windows Insider channel promising cutting-edge versions of the operating system, it seems Microsoft is eyeing the next major release.

Windows 11 is less than two years old, but reports say Microsoft could release Windows 12 as soon as 2024. Microsoft hasn't made any official announcements yet, but it's still not too early to get a wish list going. Here's what I want to see out of the next major version of Windows.
A set Windows 12 release date

Read more
4 Windows 11 accessibility features that make it easier for everyone to use
Person using Windows 11 laptop on their lap by the window.

Windows 11 feature some big updates for Microsoft's storied operating system visually, but it has made big strides in accessibility as well. Live Captions, updates to the Narrator, and even full voice access might make Windows 11 the most accessible OS Microsoft has ever released.

Regardless of it you need accessibility features to navigate Windows 11 or if you just want to make getting around a little easier, we tried out a slew of features to bring you our favorites. If you want to browse the full list, you can find it by opening the Settings app in Windows 11 and selecting the Accessibility tab.
Live captions

Read more