You can now buy Microsoft’s HoloLens Development Edition, the company’s futuristic augmented reality helmet, without having to go through an application process. Until now, Microsoft only made HoloLenses available to developers who put in an application. Now, if you have $3,000 to spare and you are in the U.S. or Canada, you can simply buy up to five units directly from Microsoft.
At $3,000, HoloLens is still pretty expensive, so I don’t expect that too many people will just spontaneously want to buy one, but at least if you want one, you can now have it. Officially, Microsoft says HoloLens is available to developers and business customers (this is still the “Development Edition,” after all), but even if you’re not one of those, it will still happily sell you one. All you need to buy one, after all, is an address in the U.S. or Canada, a Microsoft account and enough money.
Microsoft notes that its retail stores do not have HoloLens inventory.
In addition to making HoloLens more widely available, Microsoft also today launched the HoloLens Commercial Suite, which includes the hardware and additional enterprise security and device management features.
As part of this enterprise suite, HoloLens is getting a Kiosk Mode so you can limit which apps run on the device, support for identity management, device management, BitLocker support for data encryption and more.
This update clearly shows that Microsoft wants to get HoloLens into the enterprise market — a market Microsoft knows better than virtually any other player out there.
Microsoft started shipping HoloLens to select developers in March. That fact that it is opening up this program so quickly means that it feels pretty confident in the hardware (and that it can produce it at scale), but also that a wider consumer launch probably isn’t that far off.