Microsoft doesn't care about HoloLens headset sales.
It's been over six months since Microsoft opened up the mixed-reality headset to everyone. The company began selling developer kits last year for $3,000 a pop, and then in August, it made them available to Americans. Two months later, HoloLens launched in the UK. If you had £2,719, you could get your hands on the self-contained device, which doesn't need to be connected to a separate computer (all the processing, storage, and other PC tech are in the headset itself). So, how are sales doing? Not so good, apparently.
Microsoft has just revealed that HoloLens sales haven’t reached millions or even hundreds of thousands so far. In an interview with The Inquirer on Friday, Roger Walkden, Microsoft's HoloLens commercial lead, explained: "We're not trying to sell hundreds of thousands or millions or anything, it's expensive, and it's not in huge numbers... We're happy with the level of sales that we've got. I can't tell you anything about the numbers, but it's in thousands, not hundreds of thousands, and that's fine. That's all we need.”
In other words, if Microsoft doesn't care about sales numbers, then neither should we. After all, the company isn't marking HoloLens as a consumer device. Make no mistake: it is still describing HoloLens as a "development edition" device that's meant specifically for developers. Still, sales are open to anyone. Unlike a virtual reality headset, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR, the HoloLens has a clear visor that allows computer graphics to be overlaid onto real world objects. In our review, we were thoroughly impressed by it.
Keep in mind -- similar to how Microsoft is partnering with PC makers like HP and Dell to create Windows 10 VR headsets -- Microsoft has hinted that partners could one day create their own HoloLens alternatives. Perhaps Microsoft is more interested in improving its Windows Holographic technology, rather than marketing the headset and driving up those meager sales numbers.