HoloLens sales number in the thousands, Microsoft says (and that's OK)

Though sales number for Microsoft's HoloLens headset weren't broken out in its latest earnings report, one Microsoft executive has hinted where they currently sit. In an interview with The Inquirer at the BETT show in London, Microsoft's HoloLens commercial lead Roger Walkden stated that HoloLens sales are currently in the thousands, and that's okay.

From Walkden:

"We're not trying to sell hundreds of thousands or millions or anything, it's expensive, and it's not in huge numbers. So we're happy with the level of sales that we've got - I can't tell you anything about the numbers, but it's in thousands, not hundreds of thousands, and that's fine. That's all we need."

That's definitely not surprising given the cost of the current HoloLens coupled with the fact that it's still very much a work-in-progress aimed squarely at developers and commercial users. And while Walkden was vague on HoloLens' future roadmap, he was sure to note about the current headset that "this is version one, and there will be future versions."

Meanwhile, we're already starting to see Microsoft's work on its Windows Holographic platform pay off with a slew of OEM VR headsets that are due to launch later this year. While different from the untethered HoloLens, the OEM headsets — which are expected to start at a much more affordable $299 — will feature inside-out tracking and the ability to run on low-end hardware. The first developer kits for these headsets are set to go out at GDC in March.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • That's better than I would have thought, honestly. I figured production and sales would be slow with such new tech and the high price tag. I can't help but wonder what kind of long-term future it has without seriously addressing the bulkiness and getting the price cut by quite a bit, but even if HoloLens has no true future, it sounds like they moved a bunch and did something useful by developing the platform for VR.
  • This is proof of concept basically. Next version will be better, faster and less expensive. Mass market economies of scale eventually.
  • Whole thing is cool. I just cant figure the design out. It never looks like it is fitting anyones' head properly.
  • Not sure what you are confused by. There is an adjustable headband type strap (in terms of where it fits) that keeps it snug to the head, and an optional secondary "ear to ear" strap (like a pair of headphones in terms of how it sits on the head) that can take weight off the nose. It does take a bit to get it sitting right so the displays can be seen properly (it's very easy to make the displays sit too high and only have the bottom half visible) but once you have tried it a few times, it's easy enough to get on. It's not quite comfortable enough to wear all day (I started to get a bit of a headache after 20 minutes) Notice that the Holographic headsets announced for this year all have a design similar to the PSVR, which is apparently more comfortable (I haven't tried it myself). I expect any future consumer Hololens (if ther is one) will probably favor that style of fit.
  • It's safe to say that for the product it is, ie, a basically non-commercial very expensive first version, this means it was a success. Well done.
  • Are they going to move in the direction of Core M or Snapdragon 835 (or both?) with the next iterations of HoloLens? I can't see them staying with Atom given Intel's lack of interest in mobile.
  • atom was canceled, cheap Celeron/Pentium/ARM are the future in low cost/mobile/2in1 devices
  • Isn't the TDP for Celeron/Pentium too high for something like HoloLens?
  • Hopefully once Intel does their 10 nm die shrink, the TDP of Celeron will be acceptable in a device like the HoloLens. Or perhaps Microsoft might just make a deal with Intel to get custom chips for the HoloLens.
  • It's a bit more polished than a proof of concept.., but yeah it's really aimed for a 2020 release, final version should be smaller, thinner, lighter and faster (current version is rumoured to be 50% final clock rate) I purchased 2 late last year and did a demo to management.. they've bought into it big style, with the business use I presented it recoups the $3000 with one use.. so to the right customer it's cheap!
  • Drop it to $500...Make it compatable with Xbox one games....and watch it sale !
  • But this is developers' version only.
    Of course customers' version will be cheaper and will have more features developed during this period.
  • Still waiting to see...
  • That's a lot because selling only a thousand headsets would make their sales 3M$ but they are many thousands and these are only for developers and they haven't released a customer version yet.
  • Suppose they sold 10,000, that's pretty much 30 million in sales which is pretty good.
  • I have one and it's fantastic. The only command that missing is the follow me command that they show on build.This is great as it is