Microsoft Pulls from Apple’s Playbook

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Last year I attended one of the premier Augmented Reality industry events, Metaio’s InsideAR and got a chance to meet up with Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design.  We were discussing the state of the industry at that time and both thought it was interesting how niche the space still was.  Providers & early adopters understood the return on investment (ROI) that can be gained by integrating Augmented Reality solutions and overall, market awareness has increased immensely in this regard during the first part of 2015.

In 2014 however, the Augmented Reality community was still fairly small but growing fast as hardware providers were strategically on a path to support interactive and immersive computing applications while developers pushed the envelop on what could be achieved at that time.  Before we shook hands and parted ways, Jim said something interesting.  He said, “You know how this will go right? Pioneers always get the arrows and settlers get the land.”

Microsoft has made some very interesting moves over the past few months which were set in motion a while back.  While we were all a buzz over Google Glass, they purchased Minecraft in 2014 for $2.5 billion with a “B”, patented facial-mood sensing recognition and redesigned their operating system to support the future of immersive and intelligent computing.  When we caught on, they had finalized their partnership with Unity and re-branded Augmented Reality as Holographic Computing.

While early pioneers have emerged and taken the ‘arrows’, some successful (Metaio) and others not so much (Google Glass), Microsoft has strategically implemented and seems to be executing a plan to emerge as the software and hardware platform of choice to develop Holographic Computing applications.  This seems like something we would expect to see from Apple, not Microsoft.

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft developers will be able to develop on one common, unified core and publish applications on any device running the new Windows operating system.  Yes, this includes HoloLens.  Microsoft’s hold on the market in 2000 was a whopping 97% and has since dropped to just below 20%.  It appears that they are investing in immersive and intelligent computing to make a stake and regain what was once a Microsoft-dominated environment.  All of this should make developers happy, especially Augmented Reality developers interested in developing for the enterprise.  The corporate environment is still all in on Microsoft and existing applications can be ported to the HoloLens or contain complementary HoloLens plugins and modules.

I am impressed, excited and will be brushing up on my Visual Studio skills that were put on the shelf a few years back.  Developers interested can join the Windows Insider Program to get an early peak at Windows 10 and prepare to develop for HoloLens.

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Microsoft Pulls from Apple’s Playbook on June 3, 2015 rated 4.9 of 5

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