Microsoft announced the HoloLens 2 today, and while nearly every buzzword was heard today, the one exception was Consumer.
In fact, while the HoloLens 2 is already on pre-order Microsoft will not be selling the device to end consumers at all. In a statement to the Verge Alex Kipman explains why:
Why is it not a consumer product? It’s not as immersive as you want it to be. It’s more than twice as immersive as the previous one, [but it’s] still not immersive enough for that consumer off the street to go use it. It’s still not comfortable enough … I would say that until these things are way more immersive than the most immersive product, way more comfortable than the most comfortable product, and at or under $1,000, I think people are kidding themselves in thinking that these products are ready.
So in short Microsoft simply does not think the technology is good enough for consumers yet. In some ways, this is a convenient excuse of course – it seems likely Microsoft saves a lot more money and effort selling to companies only rather than the vanishingly small number of consumers willing to spend $3500 on a Mixed Reality headset.
In turn, Microsoft is insulated from much of the criticism they would have received from issues such as high price and lack of consumer applications and ecosystems by avoiding the market entirely.
There is however a worrying element to this – Microsoft is becoming increasingly an enterprise company, leaving the consumer market to others, and as it and Blackberry discovered with the iPhone, better solutions directed at demanding consumers can often invade enterprise strongholds, leaving more specialist solutions without users or demand.
Do our readers think Microsoft is right in not selling to consumers? Let us know below.