Microsoft has canceled development of a third generation HoloLenssecond Business Insider: the company would not know which direction to take, say the internal sources of the American financial newspaper, which goes so far as to say that the entire HoloLens initiative as we know it could be completely at an end.
As we know, with HoloLens Microsoft has focused on the business sector: the headset is basically only available to companies, developers and professionals. The company has demonstrated the potential of augmented reality in various fields through important strategic partnerships, such as car design with Ford or the design of major construction works. Recently the team managed to sign a contract with the US military to make a special combat version of the headset, but the results so far have been below expectations.
Microsoft is currently divided into three “factions” that follow different currents of thought:
- one, captained by historical division leader Alex Kipman, points to bring HoloLens to the consumer sectorsooner or later;
- another feels it is best to continue on limit yourself to the business sector and look for other contracts like the one with the army;
- and then there’s Satya Nadella, the CEO of the company, who is more than the idea of abandon the hardware and focus on the softwareand sell this software to other companies – a full-fledged business model similar to that on which Windows is based.
It seems that Microsoft has tried to establish a partnership with Samsung to pursue Nadella’s idea, but it didn’t lead anywhere. Microsoft appears to be unwilling to accept the idea of another company using its display-related technologies. Overall, it is easy to draw a parallel with the situation of Cortana, the promising virtual assistant of Windows Phone first and then of Windows 10, now substantially canceled, also a victim of internal differences on how to make it evolve.
The report is peculiar because it apparently contradicts some of the latest news we’ve heard so far: for example, last December Qualcomm and Microsoft announced a partnership to develop a specific chip for AR headsets, and it was more than easy to speculate that the we would have seen in a hypothetical HoloLens 3; and instead, according to sources, the viewer had already been canceled several months earlier, in the summer.
In any case Microsoft’s interest in the metaverse and the entire AR industry remains high: Nadella even cited it as one of the reasons behind the huge acquisition of Activision Blizzard, for example. Also Nadella has publicly declared her intention to do something with Xbox related to the metaverse; Mesh, a platform for super immersive virtual meetings, was also recently announced.