Microsoft hopes to jump-start the virtual-reality and mixed-reality marketplace by offering the Windows Holographic software used in its HoloLens headset to other companies to make a range of interoperable devices.
Windows Holographic is a part of the Windows 10 OS.
“For our partners, this creates new business opportunities, unlocking mixed-reality experiences across devices,” said Terry Myerson, executive VP of Microsoft’s Windows and devices group. “For developers, Windows Holographic apps can be written today with confidence that they will run on the broadest set of devices.”
“Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all shapes and sizes from fully immersive virtual reality to fully untethered holographic computing,” he said in a blog post.
To underscore the potential for brand interoperability, Microsoft said someone wearing HTC’s Vive VR headset could connect with a colleague who’s wearing Microsoft’s HoloLens headset to collaborate on a design project.
“Today we invited our OEM, ODM and hardware partners to build PCs, displays, accessories and mixed-reality devices with the Windows Holographic platform.”
He compared Microsoft’s planned HoloLens to the company’s Surface tablets, intended to show consumers and suppliers what can be done with the company’s Windows 10 touchscreen OS on a tablet. “Our development efforts on HoloLens are designed to push the limits and create opportunity across the ecosystem,” he said.
Microsoft said it is already working with Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, Asus, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo, MSI and others to support VR experiences on Windows 10.