Microsoft celebrates HoloLens' first birthday with a look back at the past year

Today marks exactly one year since Microsoft started shipping its HoloLens mixed reality headset to developers. Microsoft is celebrating the anniversary with a new blog post detailing some of the the HoloLens achievements from the past year, along with a look forward.

Here's a look at just some of the highlights from the past year, from Microsoft:

  • Over 150 exclusive mixed reality apps are now available in the Windows Store.
  • HoloLens is available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, France, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States and we will begin to ship in China before summer.
  • We have expanded the promise of mixed reality by making it attainable for everyone. Windows Mixed Reality, the HoloLens software platform, is built into Windows 10, opening an ecosystem of hardware and software that will revolutionize how we interact with people, places and things.

Of particular interest are the 150 exclusive mixed reality apps now on the Windows Store. Given that HoloLens is currently only in the hands of a limited number of developers and commercial partners, that's pretty impressive. And with examples ranging from designing operating rooms to kicking back with Grumpy Cat, it's clear that there's a whole world of both serious and silly applications that we're only scratching surface of.

With an eye on the future, Microsoft has also announced it is stepping up its mixed reality marketing efforts. The company is setting up a dedicated team for mixed reality marketing that will operate separately from the Surface devices team. To lead the team, Microsoft has brought on Elizabeth Hamren, whose prior positions include CMO of Oculus VR, along with stints as VP of marketing at Dropcam, Plantronics and Jawbone. As a result, we should start seeing Microsoft make a bigger push to bring visibility to HoloLens and upcoming mixed reality headsets from its partners that are due this holiday season.

Microsoft says we'll hear much more about the company's plans for HoloLens at this year's Build conference, set to take place in May.

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