What happened to the Microsoft Hololens?

Where to buy a Hololens
When will the Hololens be available / released/ is coming out?

last update: 2nd of January 2019

You cannot get a free Microsfot Hololens device. You can either buy or rent. To buy the Hololens, check the Microsoft online stores. Alternatively, you can order it offline from a reseller near you as per the list of certified re-sellers by Microsoft.. The cost of a Hololens V1 Development Edition (currently out of stock) is 3000 USD, and that of the Hololens V1 Commercial Suite is 5000 USD. The company has not yet released any version for the general public yet. Keep in mind that sales are final and non-refundable, meaning that you cannot go back once you agree to pay. The product is sold with no warranties and is restricted to be used by children below 13 years of age. Buyers will not be able to resell or rent it either, as per the purchase agreement. If anything goes wrong, or if it simply doesn't meet your staisfaction, you can do nothing about it. You can not get it cheaper from Microsoft and there is no financiang option available.

The HoloLens "Commercial Suite" appeals to businesses that are looking to stay on the cutting edge of the technology in adopting augmented reality for use in the work place. With the "Commercial Suite", Hololens is available for bulk purchase. The Commercial suite comes with special features for businesses such as a 'Kiosk mode', which limits what apps will run to enable demo or showcase experiences. The "Mobile Device Management (MDM)" for Hololens, is another feature for the IT departments to manage multiple Hololens devices simultaneously.'Identity' is a feature for PIN unlock of next generation credentials, and "Windows Update for Business" a feature to support long term servicing branch. "Data security", is another feature that serves as a BitLocker data encryption and secure boot to provide the same level of security protection as any other Windows device. "Work access", yet another feature to remotely connect to the corporate network through VPN on a Hololens. Finally, "Windows Store for Business" to set up an enterprise private store with your company's apps and distribute your enterprise software.

If you need free access to the Hololens for a demo trial, you can visit Microsoft showrooms or any of its official dealers and try the Hololens augmented reality experience using a special kiosk made specifically for that purpose. Microsoft has developed and made available a variety of demo applications, targeting a variety of industries, to showcase the potential use of the technology and to open up the possibilities of imagining a world that is mixed between the physical and the virtual.

Microsoft is also listing certified service providers that are allowed to rent the Hololens, those are announced on the Microsoft stores. Microsoft introduced the rental option when they discovered that companies have interest in trying the product for a specific time to evaluate their needs and use the product before they add it to their inventories. Even though the rental option is now only available in North America, Microsoft announced that it has plans to expand it to other areas in the world. "Abcomrents" is the official rental partner for now in North America, where the company do not provide a definitive rental price for the Hololens, as the price varies depending the number of units requested and the rental duration. Other locations outside North America that will experience the rental services pretty soon are Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Microsoft has made the Hololens available in forty one markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. It must be added that rentals are for corporate use and not available for personal use.

Eventhough the device cannot be free, developers are able to use the development tools and PC emulators for free to create apps for the augmented reality headsets. The emulator will enable you to develop and test applications on your laptop or desktop using your keyboard or mouse. Initially, developers were installing game engines to make their first HoloLens apps, but recently "Buildwagon" platform is taking the spotlight for augmented reality development due to its web based development platform and comprehensive Javascript library. "Buildwagon" offers developers a free accounts for their first project as an opportunity to evaluate the platform, however they have to upgrade to a paid account later on if they decide to use commercially

The development version of the Hololens V1 is out of stock since October 14, 2018. After selling thousands of the development edition (Estimated ~100,000 sold so far) at the price of 3000 USD per device, the Microsoft Hololens is out of stock. The Hololens V1 commercial suite became also out of stock since December 14, 2018. The commercial suit was being sold at the online Microsoft store and certified resellers at the price of 5000 USD.
At this stage we don't know if Microsoft will have the Hololens V1 Development Edition available again for developers, or the line will be discontinued.

It could be that they are just deactivating the Development Edition as a separate SKU since "Hololens V1" is nearing the end of its cycle. Probably, Microsoft is running low on the remaining inventory and want to ensure there is no gap in availability before the second version of Hololens is released. However, it would be embarrassing for Microsoft to run out of the Hololens, and probably giving a way for Magic Leap to compete. Rumors from technology news sites have been spreading that the Hololens second version will only be released during the last quarter of 2019, which implies that in case the Development Edition remains out of stock until then, developers will be obliged to either buy the Commercial Edition, or consider switching to competition where Magic Leap and other devices will be gladly waiting.

There has been substantial talks about the release date of the second version of the Hololens, Hololens 2, (or version 3) as a next gen headset. The expected launch date is early part of 2019, but rumors project the date to be postponed until later during 2019.

All news about the Hololens next version or edition remain in the realms of speculations, since Microsoft hasn't made any official communition about its plans yet. However, we expect the company to have a solution for availing the Development edition of its first Hololens edition soon, specially if Hololens 2 launch will take place at the end of 2019. The latest rumors mention the codename Sydney for HoloLens 2 that will be released at the Microsoft build conference that is expected to be in April or May 2019.