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Microsoft Opens HoloLens Development Program to Public

Microsoft's augmented reality hardware HoloLens is moving out of the invite-only stage and giving more of the public an opportunity to develop and test the platform.

In conjunction with the release Tuesday of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft moved beyond its initial four-month program of shipping HoloLenses to select developer and commercial partners and opened the not-yet-production-ready devices to North American buyers.

"We've fulfilled the orders for our first waves of developers, and today I'm pleased to announce that we're expanding the program, making HoloLens Development Edition available to all developers and business customers in the United States and Canada," wrote Alex Kipman, technical fellow in the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, in a blog post.

The Microsoft HoloLens Developers Edition is on sale in the U.S. online store for $3,000, a price that includes the goggle headset, a clicker, a carrying case, a charger and cable, a microfiber cloth, nose pads and an overhead strap. Customers are allowed to buy up to five HoloLens devices and are warned that it's for developers only, non-refundable and not intended for use by children under 13.

The intention of the broader release is to encourage development and commercial partners to begin creating the killer apps that will make the devices widely appealing once they reach the commercial release stage.

Kipman also announced the release of a HoloLens Commercial Suite, which includes a limited demo/showcase mode, Mobile Device Management for HoloLens, integration with Azure Active Directory for credentials, controlled OS updates to the devices through Windows Update for Business, BitLocker data encryption and secure boot, and the ability to connect to networks using a HoloLens either remotely via a VPN or wirelessly with Wi-Fi credentials.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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