According to a report published by Business Insider, Microsoft has canceled its plans to release what the company would have called HoloLens 3. Citing sources inside Microsoft, the report says that Microsoft may have scrapped its plans to develop HoloLens like hardware due to “described confusion and strategic uncertainty.”
The report highlights internal conflict concerning the future of HoloLens—while HoloLens chief Alex Kipman wants to the tech consumer-friendly, another fraction believes that Microsoft will be better off with keeping its reach limited to businesses and enterprises. The internal divide seems to have left Microsoft directionless about the future of HoloLens, leading to the cancellation of the HoloLens 3.
Insider sources tell Business Insider that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is more into making software for the metaverse and consumers and wants other AR and MR headsets to get the benefit from it. The strategy is very similar to how Microsoft went ahead and killed Windows Phone but continued to serve the consumers by bringing useful apps across different platforms.
Microsoft reportedly tried to collaborate with Samsung to build hardware to run Microsoft’s software, but the partnership seems to have not reached fruition, and one of the reasons behind it could be that the former was not willing to let another company use the display technology it developed for the HoloLens (via XDA).
However, Microsoft’s Frank Shaw told the publication that HoloLens “remains a critical part of our plans for emerging categories like mixed reality and the metaverse.” He also added “we remain committed to HoloLens and future HoloLens development.(via OnMSFT)”
Microsoft first introduced the HoloLens back in 2015, and while it was way ahead of its time, a lack of direction about what to do next with it seems to have thrown Microsoft out of the competition. On the bright side, however, Shaw’s statement was reassuring that Microsoft is not out from the AR race. The lesser time it takes to come out of the state of confusion, the better it is.