Microsoft launches the Mixed Reality Partner Program

At Build 2016, Microsoft launched what was at the time called the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program to help give partners a leg up with technical training for the HoloLens. Now, just over a year later, the company has announced it is launching the "Mixed Reality Partner Program", which expands the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program to include new partners.

Over the past year, the HoloLens Readiness Partner Program has already expanded to include 30 partners around the globe, helping the likes of Lowe's, Stryker and the PGA Tour create interesting mixed reality experiences. Under the Mixed Reality Partner Program moniker, the program will expand systems integrators (SIs) and digital agencies, Microsoft says.

We've learned that successful mixed reality solutions are built on great experiences — and those experiences require both a creative design component and a strong competency in application and infrastructure integration and deployment. SIs around the world already know how to build, support, integrate and extend Microsoft technologies to meet their customers' business and IT goals. As members of the Mixed Reality Partner Program, these SIs and digital/creative agencies will play a critical role in building 3D and mixed reality experiences for enterprise commercial customers.

Companies and organizations that were already a part of the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program will be grandfathered into the Mixed Reality Partner Program, Microsoft says. As for new partners, Microsoft says that those eligible can take part in a "multi-week readiness program that consists of both in-depth technical training on mixed reality solutions and sales and marketing readiness." From there, partners will have access to Microsoft engineering support, marketing and sales assistance, and joint business planning with the Mixed Reality extended team.

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

  • awesome, hopefully great apps will come out of this. This is the moment I have been waiting for before commiting myself to VR/Mixed Reality. An ecosystem where all VR and AR apps can be purchased and used no matter what hardware you are using (the same way it happens nowadays with windows that runs on any PC you have. As soon as 3 or 4 of the MR headsets already anounced are released more or less simultaneously (with the cheapest costing only 300 USD) with at least a few dozen very good quality apps/games, this moment will be the moment where MR will trully goes mainstream.
  • Consumer program! That's what I want;")
  • I have some sort of negative feeling in this news.
  • Agreed. Microsoft needs to get this up and running before Apple releases their VR platform if they want a chance. Apple could easily steal the market away with their army of app developers behind them. 
  • Because of the way Apple is implementing AR to existing devices (ie ipads, iphones) Apple is poised to steal a good chunk of the market.  However, the experience will be nowhere near what the Hololens will give.
  • I think they are much more wary about rushing products/ideas and are trying to get it right out of the box due to past experiences, which could hypothetically take more time. It's a difficult dialect.
  • Yeah me to. This just isn't the way to develop this platform. Unfortunately people are reporting 2019 release date for HoloLens which is pretty much doa. 
  • what would be the better/alternative way in your opinion?