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Microsoft Admits Sales of 'Expensive' HoloLens 'Not Huge', Says More Versions Are Planned ( 69

Microsoft is not giving away too much about the sales figures for HoloLens but goes as far as saying it is "in thousands, not hundreds of thousands". From a report: Speaking at educational technology event the Bett Show in London on Thursday, Roger Walkden, Senior Director and Commercial Lead of HoloLens, acknowledged that the price tag was partly responsible for the small number of sales. Interestingly, though, Microsoft is not bothered by what could be seen as disappointing sales, despite the fact that the company seems to be betting big on HoloLens by adding headset settings in recent Windows 10 Insider builds. [...] But for anyone who feels let down by what HoloLens has to offer, there is good news: "this is version one, and there will be future versions."
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Microsoft Admits Sales of 'Expensive' HoloLens 'Not Huge', Says More Versions Are Planned

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Class action lawsuit!!!

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      Where did they lie? This was always a developer version, nobody seriously expected consumer-level sales figures.

      • I'd been interested in Hololens when I read about it awhile back.

        I'd never heard announcements of them actually releasing it!!

        They certainly didn't advertise it very much...?

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

          Right, the only announcement was for an expensive developer preview version. It's not consumer ready and was never marketed as such. In fact its main market, so far, appears to be commercial.

          That may change. They have been iterating and have shown interest in building out support for wireless vs. wired scenarios and AR vs. VR, and are bringing other OEMs on board. HoloLens 2.0 appears to be under development. And there seems to be a real interest in making it a first-class citizen in the Windows ecosys

          • I'd love to get one myself, it looks amazingly fun....

            However, the drawback to me would be...having some requirement to have Windows 10 on any computer in my home....

  • Doesn't sell huge numbers.

    News at 11.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      Doesn't sell huge numbers.

      News at 11.

      This. It's intentionally priced to keep end users away to keep it fairly low-key while devs are figuring out what they can do with it and MS is working the bugs out. Did anyone expect them to sell hundreds of thousands of them?

      Is making every story a hyperbolic click-bait crapfest the new normal now across the board? I mean, it's been building with politics but it seems that it's becoming pervasive in tech reporting now as well.

      • by hodet ( 620484 )

        ....."Is making every story a hyperbolic click-bait crapfest the new normal now across the board?"

        I would say we have long past that time and we are all worse off for it.

  • Ya think? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have a Hololens and while it's cool, it's still pretty rough. The field of view is ridiculously small and the price tag is way too high.

    I have a lot of experience developing on mobile and embedded devices and find the MS tool chain to be a pain in the ass. I do admit that I'm pretty baised against MS for just about anything though.

    I have a meeting with a defense contractor next month about a possible project using the Hololens so it might be useful for something. If not, it will sit on the shelf next to

    • Re: Ya think? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You forgot heavy and the difficulty some people have adjusting it so it doesn't sag on your face. It's cool to play with for about a half hour and that's it. And that tiny view port at arms length ruins any opportunity to get in close for a look. And a six foot ballerina is only in full view at about 5 meters distance otherwise it's a floating head or torso. Though, it's space tracking is amazing. I hope the next revision brings a more VR type view.

    • I already have a Powerglove, but if you don't want your Hololens anymore, I might be persuaded to take it off your hands.

  • Needs an upgrade (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have tried the hololens for corporate use and it's impressive but it have some major drawbacks. The field of view is very small and needs to increase ninefold for the hololens to be really useful outside niche applications. The hololens also have limited use outdoor, it's lasers have limited detection range and it doesn't work in Sunlight.

    Right now, VR seems more useful but that might change.

    • Re:Needs an upgrade (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @10:52AM (#53748191)
      A big space that I see where this technology would be very useful would be in flight training. Full flight simulators are extremely expensive and break down very easily. Flight Training Devices are cheaper but barely offer visuals (except level 6/7 FTDs) and in some cases don't even have physical controls and rely on flat panels to display the cockpit layout. Using AR/VR headsets along with tracking gloves (assuming low latency) would allow training programs to rely more on FTDs than on full flight sims, saving costs both in device cost and energy used as FFS's are more expensive than FTDs in both cases. Say $20k per FTD for 2-3 sets of gloves and 4 headsets (1 set glove/headset each for 2 students and an instructor, 1 headset for observer) and you could use FTDs for most sim training, reserving FFS's for check rides for type rating and maybe one or 2 classes of sim training prior to the checking event for familiarization with the sim and getting full motion feedback for maneuvers. It would also reduce cost further by just needing the control panels for feedback and dispensing with the half-cockpit layout that some FTDs have as the cockpit can simply be simulated in the headset.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Obviously the product produces actual results that are not even close to the hype. Just like pretty much every other Microsoft product then.

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        Nah, it's better than that. It's like the GP says; the field of vision is very small. Imagine an invisible wall. Now put a window in the wall. You can only see the AR objects if you look through the window. If you look at the wall, you see nothing (you don't even see a wall; remember, it's invisible). That's the best that I can explain it.

        Does that mean the results don't meet the hype? Yes, depending on what you think the hype actually was. Microsoft never sold this as a consumer product. It was only offere

    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      > The field of view is very small and needs to increase ninefold for the hololens to be really useful outside niche applications.

      The headset is not too heavy and is fairly balanced on your head. But I still wouldn't wear it out of very particular use cases. So I don't think it will in the current form ever be used "casually". It is going to be either for entertainment or for a particular business use.

      The field of view is a bit small, but I still can imagine dozens of applications even at that size. And f

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @10:37AM (#53748113) Homepage Journal usually helps to tell everyone you're selling it. Microsoft's marketing for this has been non-existent, to the point I double-taked when I read the summary and said "Wait, they're finally selling them?" I'm not seen a single ad, or even a review.

    ...which also means I'm inclined to believe Microsoft when they say "No big deal" about the low sales numbers. If they wanted higher sales numbers, they'd actually try to sell the things. It sounds to me that they're trying it out on early adopters, and will roll out a more consumer oriented system with full marketing once they and their customer base are happy with the product.

    • I was confused on this as well. For a long time I assumed it was being sold in the same manner as the Occulus development kits, the intent being for developers to begin tinkering with it in anticipation of a better retail release down the road. I don't recall ever seeing any software reviews or anything like that. Surely someone somewhere is making games for this thing, why haven't even game experiments popped up on sites like Polygon or Kotaku?
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      I think staying low-key is intentional, and smart. They know they have some issues (like the FOV) to work on, and they want devs to have the units so they can start finding ways to use them. One of the things that killed Google Glass was that they let it get over-hyped early on before it was close to ready for consumers, giving it to tech "celebs" to show it off and talk about it everywhere.
    • I really got the feeling that Hololens was just being used to create excitement around Windows 10, rather than being a serious product in itself. In their demos they just show you a composite video image rather than what is seen optically through the device, which is a highly misleading thing to do. The actual field of view is apparently terrible.
  • by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @10:42AM (#53748127)

    Roger Walkden, Senior Director and Commercial Lead of HoloLens, acknowledged that the price tag was partly responsible for the small number of sales.

    Up until fairly recently, most news about the HoloLens seemed to present it as some sort of far-off research project, with little hope of a commercial product you could actually ever buy. That impression has probably contributed to a lack of hype and development of third-part applications, too.

  • It's not the price of the thing. If it was 5K per eye rolling at 120 fps .. it would have sold at $1000 each. VR done properly would be a mega hit. The current generation of VR is vomit inducing. It should never have been released. Oculus, Sony, HTC, and Microsoft have killed VR for a generation or two. We probably won't see VR emerge again for another 25 years. They could have avoided this by waiting 5 years until we had the technology to do it. Why release something before it works?

    What if the Ford Model

    • Yes, it's half baked and under heavy development. But if you disallow the release now, you pretty much make development grind to a halt. The only application that will get any widespread use is entertainment. And that in turn is heavily dependent on independent developers, since no AAA studio is going to drop money on something they eventually cannot sell.

      Look at 3D. Yes, it failed. But did it fail after the first failed implementation? Not by a long shot. It was a gimmicky, overhyped crap in the 50s, made

    • You are mistaking what this is. It is not a VR headset and frame rate doesn't apply in the same as it would on a VR headset. It is an augmented reality headset. It scans the environment around you in order to make a real-time 3d model so that virtual objects can be overlaid on the real items you are seeing.

      From what I have heard, it works surprisingly well, it just has a small range of view. Presumably this is because of the high processing requirements of creating and maintaining a stable real-time 3d mode

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      It's not the price of the thing. If it was 5K per eye rolling at 120 fps .. it would have sold at $1000 each. VR done properly would be a mega hit.

      A) it's AR, not VR. It's very different from the Rift and Vive

      B) It's priced at $3,000 for the Dev kit, $5,000 for the commercial suite.

    • Have you actually tried the vive or the rift?

      If you tried one of the two, and it made you sick, especially if it was immediate sickness, then it's not the headset's fault, you are just one of the small percentage of people that simply can't handle VR (my mom is like this, she gets sick with 30 seconds). You will probably never be able to use VR in your lifetime, regardless of how far the technology advances, unless you either take medication or start building up a tolerance.

      It's pretty extreme to say that V

  • The thing costs a fortune. And even if it didn't, there are some pretty obvious limitations to what you can do with AR especially when it requires wearing a dorky helmet.
  • You really have two choices when it comes to new environments like this:

    1)You and a handful of picked producers come up with amazing intial content for the device and sell it with perhaps a limited initial niche.

    2)You crowdsource developing content to the masses and make it easy for developers to write awesome apps, and count on that converting into sales.

    It costs way too much for route 2- you really need to be sub-1K. The costs are in line for route 1, but then you aren't usually selling anything to the

  • Just as they were not bothered by poor sales in the mobile space? Consider yourself middle-fingered, Microsoft.
  • I still don't see the use of such a gadget. As it stands right now, 3D TVs are out of production. Google Glass is gone. We all have multiple devices with multiple operating systems, with data thrown at us all the time in 2D. I don't know that, in general, people can handle much more than we have right now. Is there really a market for this thing beyond some niche video gamers or maybe some kind of high-end flight trainers?
  • For me the price is a large factor, but also being first gen tech. Version 2 should be all manna and honey, right? RIGHT?!

  • by Swistak ( 899225 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @04:19PM (#53750775) Homepage
    Not only the price is insane, you cannot resell or rent it out either. And there's no warranty. At least in America since in civilised countries those types of EULAs are illegal.

    So basically if you Buy one for 3000$ It turns out it's a broken piece of garbage then you're fucked, you cannot even rent it out for others to form similar opinion. that's why there are no reviews, who'd buy such thing for such price and then throw it into garbage?

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor