The numbers of devices sold are not the only thing that you should look at in how successful a device is.
If Gamespot is to be believed, they lost about $126 per device. That will only be offset if those people sign up for gold membership or pay for something else on the side.
The win for Microsoft in these cases, is probably about getting into the living room in the first place. In this case, it doesn't lose influence in vital areas of the everyday users life.
I think that the difference here is that the HoloLens won't be intended for outdoor use. It is way too conspicuous. People hated the relatively tiny Google Glass.
Instead, I think it will focus more on improving home and office life. From the videos I have seen, I can imagine a world where you can have additional virtual computer monitors to display information that you typically won't interact with. Such as logging information during coding. I would have IRC windows displayed on walls inside my house. When you get an email you could alter the colour of your desk by projecting slightly on top of it... etc...
I think that Google realised how much of a backlash they were causing by creating a head mounted device that can record other people, since they pulled the Explorer program. The everyday public despises it (as you say, Glasshole). It has been banned in many places, you can't use it driving in many areas (illegal, one person was pulled over citing that it is a monitor). I don't think that is something that will change either, at least not until wearing headsets like this at home becomes mainstream.
This is the first time I have been genuinely excited about any Microsoft product since Windows 7.
This is something I would definitely use.
I can imagine overlaying debugging screens above my computer monitors. Moving more work off my precious screen real estate without needing several new monitors. The potential for something like this is limitless. Provided it really works like we have been shown.
Software; Oh my god, what did your customers do to you to inflict this on them?
Not just the customers. I have experience coding for a modern Samsung Smart TV. The less I have to do working with Samsung powered products the better.
Although I do not know how much I am at liberty to discuss about the back-end. I can say that we use automated systems and sometimes manual.
We detect when commercials begin, and the user has complete control over what happens next. They can stay, or be automatically switched to a channel with a show that they like and have the option to switch back afterwards, or just mute the channel until adverts are over. If you are recording a show, we can pause/resume the recording or add markers into the recording so that you skip past through the commercials. Commericals can sometimes account for nearly half of the overall recording filesize. Cutting it out has more benefits than just watching! The number of recordings you can fit on your device often depends on it. Especially if you are recording HD.
We also have access to a VOD service, through third party plugin Apps. The operating system is Android, and we allow Apps to extend functionality of our App.
[Full disclosure: I work on a product like this]
This kind of system is also in operation in Germany. There was a major lawsuit between RTL (huge German broadcaster) and TC Unterhaltungselektronic AG, that very much reflects this lawsuit. Here is a link to the German court ruling as reported by Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/fernseh-fee-bgh-erlaubt-verkauf-von-werbeblockern-a-305779.html
I realise this is a bit of a shameless plug, but it is relevant to the interests of this thread:
This is 100% correct.
I once had a TV License inspector appear at my house because I had not registered with the agency. I had a TV in my living room, but its sole purpose was to use game consoles.
The letter they send before their visit is pretty scary too!
They will try to strong arm you... However, as long as your TV set is not logically set up to view television (not close to a socket or with a cable simply disconnected and laying there for the sake of the visit). You do NOT need to pay a penny!
I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller