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Satya Nadella: Microsoft HoloLens will focus on enterprise customers first

Even though Microsoft has been showing HoloLens gaming demos of Minecraft and Halo at events like E3, the company's CEO, Satya Nadella, has confirmed that the first version of the augmented reality headset will focus on the enterprise and business sectors.

In a chat with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that was conducted just after his keynote address at the 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Nadella explained that while HoloLens in gaming is still in the works, the company will try to market it to business customers first:

"I did buy Minecraft to create a new genre of gaming for mixed reality. We bought Minecraft for many reasons: because it's the number one PC app; it's the number one console app; it's the number one paid mobile app on iOS and Android. I wanted a hit game even for the new medium of mixed reality. And we will have that. Gaming will always be a scenario and there will be other entertainment broadly. But, with the V.1 of HoloLens, I want us to push a lot more of the enterprise usage.""In general Microsoft's approach will be always this dual-use focus, or this multi-focus. What we can uniquely do is bridge consumer to enterprise. That's in our DNA. That's why it's even in our mission statement of empowering people and organizations. I want every technology of ours to seek that out. In the HoloLens case, when I look at the interest, it's amazing how many are in hospitals, healthcare, retail. That's where I'm seeing the interest and we'll definitely go after it.".

In the meantime, Microsoft already has an agreement with virtual reality company Oculus to provide an Xbox One controller with every one of its Oculus Rift headsets when they go on sale in 2016, and it will also support viewing Xbox One games via streaming on a Windows 10 PC.

Source: ZDNet

44 Comments
  • I want holographic Cortana..
  • I hope Windows Hello can recognize me when I'm wearing Hololens :D
  • I wouldn't bank on that. I don't think Hololens has any kind of biometric sensors. If you mean the camera recognize you with it on, I still think that's a difficult situation. Iris scanners probably won't work through the lens material, and I would bet your face is too obstructed to get an accurate read. Though we could be surprised.
  • Wow, imagine you can see cortana just like in the game halo answering your question and doing porn search for you.
  • How about Cortana doing a little striptease virtua girl style :)
  • +1   ;)
  • "I did buy Minecraf" A bit pretentious but I guess most CEOs have big egos. :)
  • Yeah... I am not sure how to feel about him yet. But the wording of that was interesting.
  • Yeah, he actually keeps saying  I this and I that throughout.   Granted, the CEO is the person people think of when talking about a company, but does seem a little funny. :) The overall interview is quite interesting and slightly comforting as far as phones goes as he says that if there are OEMs, they will have one stragegy and operational approach, and if they don't have OEMs, they will have another. I.e. hopefully they will keep their presence in many markets and carriers until other OEMs pick up.. _hopefully_. And product portfolio may also differ signicantly based on the other OEMs interest.    
  • If true then Nandela has some good qualities after all "If anything, the free upgrade for Windows 10 is meant to improve our phone position. That is the reason why I made that decision. If somebody wants to know whether I'm committed to Windows Phone, they should think about what I just did with the free upgrade to Windows, rather than -- hey, I making four more phone models of value smart phones."
  • Unfortunately, I think he's also displaying a certain level of ignorance if that's why he is giving Windows away for free. But thanks anyways, at least until I get a MBA in a few months.  I guess I can bear using it that long.
  • You might be reading too much into it.
    When he says 'I', it also means he's taking full responsibility for the purchase, be it a success or failure...'we' would make it easy to deflect any fingers pointed at him...could mean that he is confident in his choices for the good of the company...ever thought of it like that?
  • I know, as I also already kind of noted ("Granted, the CEO is the person people think of when talking about a company").  I am just having a little fun with his style of talking. :)
  • I really like how he uses "I" when talking about risky things, but gives credit to the rest of the company by using "we" when talking about what his vision for the company is. It sounds like he's taking responsibility incase things go wrong, but also giving credit to the people who are doing the actual work. I'm starting to like him more.
  • Since he's been CEO, MS stock has risen, so I think he's ok.
  • Translation: We can buy it, but it's going to cost A LOT. Probably $2500+
  • Or: We can buy it, it will be a decent price like $900, but won't have the consumer features we expect it to have yet. Focusing on business doesn't always mean expensive.
  • Really? The surface hub costs $10K, and its just a big tablet. There is much more engineering in the Hololens than that hub.
  • I agree.  The initial price is going to be high.  As such, only sizable corporations will be able to afford it. (An wealthy nerds like me)  The high introductory price serves several purposes.  It accelerates recovery of investment costs with high margins.  It helps slow the adoption rate allowing support to keep up with demand and minimize impact of major problems with the software or hardware (recall). It is easy to lower the price later.  It is near impossible to raise the price later.  Thus starting high makes more sense.  After the intial rollout and hardware/software bug fixes, then version 2 can be for the masses.  It needs to be near perfect or support services will be overwhelmed.
  • There is a company called Daqri that has an augmented reality helmet very similar to the HoloLens. Their focus is strictly the industrial market. Current production costs (in low volumes for testing) is around $15,000. I know someone that works there, I'm not guessing on the numbers. Surely higher production numbers will bring costs down, but this isn't standard tech and it's going to cost quite a bit to make. My guess is some features will be strictly business, at a higher cost, whereas the consumer version will have fewer features. In other words, enterprise will pay for the loss-leading consumer market. To put it in perspective, look how much Google Glass cost and it didn't do anything remotely as complex as the HoloLens.
  • The unfortunate truth has been spoken
  • Nadella's the MODEL CEO. I'll see myself to the door again.
  • This is good choice, there are thousands of Internet of Things OEMs like Samsung, Whirpool, General Electric, LG, etc that would love to make apps for smart homes using Holo Lens. Just imagine you open your refrigerator with HoloLens turned on and you can see which food is in excelent state, which food is in bad state. Just imagine with HoloLens turned on you can see if there is gas presence going out your tank, or if humidity on your laundry room is making your cloth not to dry up when you're on raining season.
    I'm sure HoloLens with all this Internet of Things revolution is going to be a central part for partnership between Microsoft and smart home OEMs.
  • I really did want a Hololens (pending a sub $1000 price and a personal test on the field of view) but this would mean to me that the initial price point is going to be high. A little disapointing but not altogether surprising.
  • Guess you need some attitude and arrogance to survive in this competitive industry...
  • So wait, Nadella bought Minecraft with his own money?
  • I don't think he will be interested to explain it to you :P
  • Yeah he bought one copy for $10.
  • Nadella has a way with his words. Like Daniel Rubino. Haha. Remember the woman's salary fiasco.
  • Was that Nadella's fault or the overreaction of a society that prides itself on overreacting to such issues? What he said was, “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise." I don't take that as anti-female at all. I think it's a question asked in a female forum that he would likely apply to the entirety of the workforce. To me, it says that if you work hard at your job and show progress and results in that work, you'll be given every opportunity to make more money and advancei n the company, regardless of being male or female. However, because of where it was said, and the overly sensitive nature of folks, it was applied solely to women, and everyone made the assumption (based on no words) that he thinks the situation to be different for men.
  • I don't always agree with you but people did overreact to what he said. From a female perspective, it felt like the women asking him the question were looking for special dispensation based on their sex. He gave the best answer he could since, short of saying he'd give women extra consideration in the workplace which would be discriminatory, he basically said he trusted the system in place.
  • He also clarifies that the "business" category of phones is basically about apps and security. So likely no speficif hardware/devices per se. I.e. there may be just two broad hardware categories: value phones and flagships. One can prey other OEMs fill the middle. :)
     
  • Read the full interview. He has said even if no one makes windows phone we will make it.
  • I know, I mention that same point in my comment above and its good to see MS is going to be flexible there and make sure it makes the phones if other OEMs dont. But a strategy is a strategy and it talks about low end, highend, and business phones. In its current formulation there may be a bit of a gap in the middle.
  • There are no other categories left.. Business phones will b de the mid range I guess
  • Sound more like software will differentiate, so not necessarily any separate business devices as such. Continuum also seems to require high end hardware.
  • Yes I tend to agree, probably business phones will have secure chips and the like.  On a side note, even with only 2 business segments at MS's current rate that's still 8 phones a year. 
    640, 640XL, 940, 940XL --> 645, 645XL, 945, 945XL
  • I am not surprised.
  • H
  • Sure. The price will be so prohibitive they have no choice.
    Releasing to customers without the proper sticker price sweet spot is the perfect recipe to kill the product. At the same time, it's a dangerous strategy that opens the door to upcoming contenders (don't be stupid - they are coming) that may steal the puch to the global crowd.
  • Well, the day people can finally use a V.2 with Minecraft no one will want 'cause no one will be playing that game anymore...
  • It makes sense. it will take time for a consumer cheaper version. this might work for anyone, I mean, Maya would be nice to use with it... I am sure, but not every consumer can get a hololens like they can get Maya so only because they use it it doesn't mean they have the money for it :P
  • I'm ambivalent about Satya so far, but his decision to buy Mojang will go down as one of the best acquisitions in Microsoft's history. This is a brilliantly concise quote to throw back at all of those short-sighted skeptics who questioned whether Mojang was worth $2.5 billion or not: "We bought Minecraft for many reasons: because it's the number one PC app; it's the number one console app; it's the number one paid mobile app....I wanted a hit game even for the new medium of mixed reality. And we will have that."
  • Hololens V1 will likely be expensive. It'd be smart to concentrate on businesses that will be to afford it while building awareness and desire to own in consumers. Super-passionate early-adopter consumers may game with V1. By V2 or V3, Hololens will more ready for mass sales when manufacturing economies of scale kick in and the experience has been refined.