What Developers Get From the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite

What Developers Get From the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite
The Design Could Change Significantly
This Is a Windows 10 Device
Microsoft Optimizes Skype-Ready HoloLens
Microsoft Touts 'Hundreds of Apps'
The Clicker Will Be Important
Microsoft Has Opened Its SDK
Commercial Suite Design to Support Enterprise Adoption
How Microsoft Wants the Enterprise to Use HoloLens
How the Enterprise Already Is Using HoloLens
HoloLens Isn't Priced as an Affordable Consumer Device
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What Developers Get From the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite

Commercial Suite provides developers with enterprise-friendly features to enable them to create business and industrial apps for HoloLens VR headsets.

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The Design Could Change Significantly

It's important to note that the HoloLens available now is a development edition, which means its design could change and it could eventually be removed from the market for a time as Microsoft refines its design. Microsoft seems committed to the device's future, but that doesn't mean it won't change between now and when the final commercial version launches.

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This Is a Windows 10 Device

At its heart, HoloLens is a Windows 10 device. The headset is capable of working with Windows 10 computers and apps built for the operating system. The Windows-like interface should make current Windows 10 users feel at home and enable workers to productively use the headset for business and industrial applications.

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Microsoft Optimizes Skype-Ready HoloLens

Microsoft has optimized its Skype platform for HoloLens. The software is capable of letting invited Skype contacts see what a HoloLens user is seeing. In addition, contacts will be able to draw on their screens and those drawings will then be translated to holograms displayed over the real world in which HoloLens users are operating. The combination of Skype and HoloLens will create an entirely new and collaborative experience for Skype users.

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Microsoft Touts 'Hundreds of Apps'

Although HoloLens is still in development, the device already supports "hundreds of apps," according to Microsoft. That's because HoloLens supports Universal Windows apps, including services like AccuWeather, Box and TED Talks. As one might expect, all Microsoft apps, ranging from PowerPoint to OneDrive, will work with HoloLens. Microsoft says more third-party apps are coming.

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The Clicker Will Be Important

In addition to the headset, the HoloLens comes with an accessory Microsoft calls the Clicker. The Clicker, which is analogous to a PC mouse, is used in tandem with HoloLens to enable users to select items, scroll through images, hold a page in place and double-click on specific items. Clicker will be central to the HoloLens experience.

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Microsoft Has Opened Its SDK

Although some have had access to the HoloLens software development kit for a while, Microsoft has now opened it up to any third-party developers in hopes they will create more consumer and business apps for the headset.

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Commercial Suite Design to Support Enterprise Adoption

Commercial Suite will be critical for HoloLens adoption. Commercial Suite provides additional security features, application development tools and a mobile-device management component that establishes policies on how business users can work with the headset. Microsoft also talks about a corporate-friendly warranty on its Commercial Suite page, but didn't provide many details.

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How Microsoft Wants the Enterprise to Use HoloLens

In a special page designed solely for the enterprise, Microsoft talks about the many ways the enterprise could use HoloLens. Microsoft envisions companies creating special HoloLens apps or using it to evaluate 3D graphics. It's also possible, Microsoft says, to use HoloLens to collaborate more effectively with repair technicians and other field service workers.

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How the Enterprise Already Is Using HoloLens

Several companies are using HoloLens already, Microsoft reports. Volvo, for instance, is using HoloLens to help users evaluate its vehicles and pick features. Autodesk, meanwhile, is using HoloLens to collaborate on product-development processes. Additionally, Case Western Reserve University is using HoloLens for educational applications. Expect many more corporate applications to appear as the Commercial Suite gets into the hands of more developers.

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HoloLens Isn't Priced as an Affordable Consumer Device

Given its features and the relative youth of augmented reality, it's perhaps no surprise that the HoloLens will cost customers $3,000—a princely sum in a world where competing virtual-reality headsets are usually several hundred dollars. However, Microsoft argues that HoloLens technology is more advanced and that its features are more complex and have greater capabilities. Whether it'll prove to be a good buy, however, remains to be seen.

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