Microsoft HoloLens successor reportedly in the works for 2019

Anyone waiting in the wings for a Microsoft HoloLens successor will want to prepare for a long road ahead. According to a new report from Thurrott.com, Microsoft's follow-up to the first HoloLens won't arrive until 2019, if current plans stay the course.

So why the long wait? A reshuffled product roadmap that sees Microsoft skipping what would have been its second-generation HoloLens in favor of speeding up the development and release of what was to be its third-generation release. From the report:

By skipping what was version two on their roadmap, the company can accelerate version three which will be closer to a generational leap and help keep Microsoft ahead of the competition. My sources are telling me that this version of Hololens will not arrive until 2019.

That's quite the wait, especially considering the first iteration of the HoloLens was first shown off to the public over two years ago and started shipping to developers last year. However, substantial improvements to things like size, field of view, and battery life would likely make the wait worthwhile.

More importantly, if true, Microsoft's willingness to wait until a more substantial upgrade over the current tech is ready shows the company's willingness to play the long game with HoloLens as it seeks a top spot in whatever burgeoning market springs up around mixed reality headsets. In the meantime, we can look forward to a line of Windows Holographic VR headsets later this year that, while not as impressive as HoloLens, should offer some fun of their own.

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

18 Comments
  • This is probably very helpful in order to get more oems with new devices for windows holographic since hololens stays out of the competition. This has been an issue in early days of surface ;)
  • Microsoft new strategy over the past couple years seems to be staying the hell out of the low margin hardware business (WP 99.9% lowend, Band, VR, Surface 3). They only release differentiated premium devices now (Surface Pro/Book/Hub/Studio, Hololens) as elaborate reference designs and let their OEMs who are willing to accept 1-3% margins hit lower price points.
  • Yeah, this is the best plan they had come up with. This will shed light on what they had it wrong in the first iteration, to make things even better now. This is happening so soon that msft clearly isn't giving time for the rivals to think, to let them get one out of their furnaces.
    Seen Google lately, they are trying to project lasers into the eyes to produce realistic holograms in our minds while we spectators carry a power supply on our backs. They're highly obsessed with androids and artificial stuffs, no human touch.
  • The problem is they arent doing that nor is the industry following. All of the third party AR glasses on the market are using Android, if Apple's forth coming AR glasses become a hit then an Android tide will flood the market. What MS needs to be doing is giving away AR Win10 or whatever they want to call it so Windows is in those glasses, make any deal nessecary to slow Android down. Hololens is the high end of the market and 2019 might be too late, sure Hololens is way more advanced and does more but it wont mean jack if all the app developers are still on iOS/Android.
  • The title is much better than some Microsoft related websites
  • I think that whenever we see this kind of news, we get flashbacks to the band and kinect (not dead, but not healthy). I don't think that's the case here. Seems like a reasonable move to make a generational leap, but the community is sensitive to these information releases.
  • Hololens was announced 2 years ago and there is still no competition in sight. ODG has no spatial mapping and Microsoft bought most of their patents back in 2014. Meta 2 is a huge helmet and wired. Magic Leap is now a joke. Spatial mapping is where they have a huge R&D lead on the rest of the industry from their 10 years work on kinect. They most likely would have released V2 if Magic Leap was ready to deliever and wasn't revealed as complete BS & several years behind Microsoft. So if you're MS you might as well take what you have learned from developers/early adopters & put some of those new patents to work on V3 and raise the bar again for the rest of the market to chase. Meanwhile they are licensing their tech to OEMs for mixed reality VR HMDs and will attack the more attainable <$400 consumer space for Mixed reality.
  • The question is, does competition matter? They don't need to worry about others in AR as much as the existence of VR, which is much cheaper an entry point. If they weren't going to get HL2 under the current one's price tag, the second generation doesn't need to exist. That $3,000 barrier to entry is goign to limit the market, no matter what. Cool as it is, I'd MUCH sooner spend $500 on a VR setup than $3,000 on an AR one, simply because of the $2,500 gap. Hopefuly, this next iteration aims at lowering the price, so it's more than just a rare commodity in large businesses (like hospitals, Lowe's and NASA).
  • I'm not convinced vr isn't like 3d. Will it really be that popular in 5 years? Right now its hard to find a new tv that has 3d it seems...
  • The same can 100% go for HoloLens, though. However, VR has such an advantage in pricing and availability that it has a better chance right now.
  • They are also going after the VR market by licensing Hololens positial tracking & spatial mapping tech to their OEMs to create VR HMDs undercutting Ocolus & Vive on price. VR is currently running into a brick wall due to combined cost $650 on the console side & $1100 on the pc side, so there is obviously no consumer market for AR at $3000, which is why MS targeted the enterprise where 3K is no big deal. We are probably 5 years away for Hololens being <$1000.
  • 3000$ is the SDK price they have no consumer edition for the moment
  • I agree. It's not that common to have Microsoft in the lead in something by this much and them sticking with it. Usually they bail (tablet pcs, smart watches, music subscriptions). I'm glad they are doubling down on a their lead.
    My only worry is i heard rumors apple has an ar glasses thing in the works with Carl Zeiss or something. They have a tendency to release something and have it catch on...
  • Apple was working on a tv & self driving cars until they werent. Alot of rumors around Apple are from wall street analysts desperate for Apple to find the next big thing so they can be a hyper growth stock again. Apple doesnt enter new markets until someone else takes the intial risk, proves market viability & sells millions of devices first. AR is simply too expensive for the consumer space right now. AR is also more of a software challenge than hardware, Apple is primarily a hardware 1st company. That being said, they did purchase the company that made the 1st version of Kinect with Microsoft a few years ago, so i'm sure they are working on something.
  • True, apple was working on tvs and cars and now isn't. But they also brought to market current touch screen smart phones and watches... And kinda set the standard with them. We will see. Pricing for consumers just isn't there yet though.
  • I suspect this story/leak is confirming what Nadella already told us: http://www.businessinsider.com/nadella-hints-hololens-is-5-years-away-20...
  • Is ms giving opportunity to apple?
    Like for the phones?...
  • They may be ahead but not by much......could be another windows phone/mobile scenario. Two years in the tech industry is far too long. Be careful!