The ageing tech pioneer, which long ago lost the mantle of the world’s most inventive company, is making a bold play to regain that title in the face of stiff competition from Google and Apple. Virtual or enhanced reality is the next frontier in computing interaction, with Facebook focusing on its Oculus virtual reality headset and Google working on Glass project.
Microsoft said its wire-free Microsoft HoloLens device will be available around the same time as Windows 10 this autumn. Industry analysts were broadly excited at the prospect, but skeptical that it could produce a working model at a mass-market price that soon.
“That was kind of a ‘Oh wow!’ moment,” said Mike Silver, an analyst at Gartner. “You would expect to see a relatively high-priced model this year or next year, then maybe it’ll take another couple of years to bring it down to a more affordable level.”