Microsoft is opening up preorders for its HoloLens augmented reality headgear to six new markets around the globe. As of Oct. 12, potential buyers from France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and Australia can get the headset.
The additional news is that the device is ready for both development and commercial use, albeit its existing limitations.
Six and a half months ago, Microsoft released the Development edition of HoloLens for Canada and the U.S, and 18 months ago the company showcased the device for the first time.
The standard price for HoloLens is $3,000 in the U.S., and regional price tags will be based on it, with minor differences because of exchange rates. Shipping of Microsoft's headset is scheduled to start in November for those who have the cash to afford it.
The company hopes that more coders will develop an interest in the HoloLens in the following months, leading to an extended array of apps for the device. At the moment, Microsoft is trying hard to capacitate support from app builders, so that the HoloLens will gain more lift. As a reminder, the headset is running on Windows 10.
Customers should know that Microsoft updated its approach: earlier this year, clients had to sign up for HoloLens Development Edition units. Users in the six new countries can simply purchase the headsets via the Microsoft Store online, just like customers in Canada and the U.S.
However, keep in mind that the HoloLens is a hefty investment and an augmented reality gadget. The device sports a spicy price tag, and it should be mentioned that third-party app support has yet to hit the consumer segment. On the other hand, the device is very useful to brands such as Case Western Reserve University or NASA, and automotive builders from Saab and Volvo are already making use of them.
The headset is strong in specs, but its caveat comes from another direction: the only language available for HoloLens, at least for the moment, is English. Microsoft did not say when it plans to offer support for other languages, or how challenging that task will be. Seeing that the device runs on Windows 10, we might see multiple languages quicker than we expect.
Microsoft's augmented reality headset could give an edge to a number of companies in the six new markets, and we are looking forward to seeing what the consumer apps will be once HoloLens drops its price enough.