According to a report by BusinessInsider (Paywalled), Microsoft has decided to cancel the release of its HoloLens 2 replacement the HoloLens 3.
As per the leading blog, Mspoweuser, the confusion arose due to the differences in product strategies between the internal teams at Microsoft. Alex Kipman, who is the lead developer of Hololens, saw a consumer-friendly AR device as the future of Microsoft’s metaverse strategy, whereas the other group within the team believed in keeping the Hololens headset inclined towards enterprises. With such a directionless approach, Microsoft’s Hololens team was left in a stalemate.
During an all-hands meeting, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela called the Hololens ‘a rounding error’ for Microsoft’s business and just “a nice gadget for promotional videos.” Insider sources have told Business Insider that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella envisions building software for the metaverse, irrespective of who is making the hardware just like windows.
Microsoft’s VP of Corporate Communications, Frank Shaw, though, mentioned to Business Insider that HoloLens “remains a critical part of our plans for emerging categories like mixed reality and the metaverse.”
Despite the cancellation of the newer headset, the team at Microsoft has been circulating a Forrestor report from last year highlighting that businesses implementing Hololens 2 had an ROI of 177%.
Last year in April of 2021, Microsoft received a contract worth $21.9 billion to provide the United States Army with Hololens 2. The headset will be used by the US Army for various purposes from land navigation training to rapid target acquisition and thermal imaging to mission exercises.
As per a report from Korean media, Samsung is working on a new AR headset involving the HoloLens. The project which will reportedly run till the end of 2023 involves various divisions from Samsung Display, Electro-Mechanics, and SDI.
Although it is not clear how the partnership is exactly set up, the report says Samsung could potentially be supplying hardware components to Microsoft to build a headset.
Although the company scrapped the idea of building the next version of the hololens, its partnership with Samsung to create a new cloud-based mixed reality device highlights Microsoft’s commitment to the future of the metaverse.