Microsoft partners including Samsung, Dell, Lenovo to launch slew of Windows VR headsets i...

Posted:
in macOS edited October 2017
In its push into the virtual and augmented reality market, which the company has branded as "mixed reality," Microsoft is leveraging its army of hardware partners, many of whom are releasing new virtual reality headsets over the next few weeks.




Microsoft's virtual reality ambitions for the fall of 2017 were unveiled on Tuesday at an event in San Francisco. Notably, however, none of the headsets announced Tuesday are augmented reality, and Microsoft's own HoloLens AR hardware remains available for developers only.

With the Windows mixed reality launch a VR-focused affair, Microsoft partners Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will debut their own VR headsets on Oct. 17. The Acer and Lenovo products will be priced at $399 with motion controllers, while Dell and HP run $449, also with controllers.




A few weeks later, Microsoft partner and Apple rival Samsung will also launch the HMD Odyssey VR headset. It will be priced at $499 and debuts on Nov. 6.

All of the headsets work with PCs running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, provided they have the necessary hardware to drive the VR displays. Microsoft says PC requirements will vary for available apps and content.




Apple, too, is investing heavily in AR and VR, though its approach is very different. Apple's strategy has been decidedly augmented-first, and the company has already launched what is presumably the largest AR platform on the planet with the debut of iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad. Apple's ARKit is compatible with the iPhone 6s and newer.

Separately, Apple is also pushing into virtual reality on the Mac with the launch of High Sierra, though support for external graphics cards that most users will need to take advantage of VR remains in beta. Apple has said that eGPU support in macOS High Sierra will exit beta in the spring of 2018, making VR apps on Mac viable for mass market adoption.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    EngDevEngDev Posts: 76member
    The Samsung one looks quite interesting. It uses a 1400x1600 AMOLED display for each eye, has a 110 degree field of view and AKG audio.



    Pricing with the controllers is $499.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 2 of 14
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,877member
    Give credit to MS.  Windows 10 is turning out to be a great Mixed Reality platform.
    entropys
  • Reply 3 of 14
    I’m a bit confused by the fact that a) there are any partners who are up for the "you sell commodity hardware at shrinking margins while we sell profitable software" model, and b) Microsoft would even want a part of it when they have been trying to move to a vertical Apple-like model ever since the Zune.

    Did Steve Ballmer come back from retirement to strategize this?
    edited October 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Gee, the designs have come so far since the Atari Jaguar VR headset ...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Give credit to MS.  Windows 10 is turning out to be a great Mixed Reality platform.
    Compared to...?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,649member
    Give credit to MS.  Windows 10 is turning out to be a great Mixed Reality platform.
    Oh you are awful!
  • Reply 7 of 14
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,836member
    Give credit to MS.  Windows 10 is turning out to be a great Mixed Reality platform.
    Perhaps...but thats about all Windows 10 is good at. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    I think this technology has some ways to go. At this stage, the market prospects are all more virtual than reality. 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    I got the feeling that when Apple comes out with a Airpod / AR Glass / Watch combo of wearable with real power (say within 2 years, everyone of those people will suffer).

    Microled makes a lot of sense for the watch, but it makes even more sense for some AR glasses. Battery for all those wearables is the key to make these things portable and you can either get a breakthrough in battery tech, or work real hard to use less power. Battery tech moves at a snails pace, so Apple seemingly is working on option two. Option two works pretty well if there is a battery tech breakthrough too. You got the power saving ...

    And the power. You can then do things like having normal looking glasses do VR and AR, which is the ultimate goal for those kind of things.
    edited October 2017 watto_cobraGG1
  • Reply 10 of 14
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,877member
    Give credit to MS.  Windows 10 is turning out to be a great Mixed Reality platform.
    Compared to...?
    macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
  • Reply 11 of 14
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,877member
    macxpress said:
    Give credit to MS.  Windows 10 is turning out to be a great Mixed Reality platform.
    Perhaps...but thats about all Windows 10 is good at. 
    As a desktop OS, it does very well for 1) enterprise software / services, 2) Gaming, 3) Creative Pros, and now 4) VR / MR
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I’m a bit confused by the fact that a) there are any partners who are up for the "you sell commodity hardware at shrinking margins while we sell profitable software" model, and b) Microsoft would even want a part of it when they have been trying to move to a vertical Apple-like model ever since the Zune.

    Did Steve Ballmer come back from retirement to strategize this?


    Even if they are trying to be vertical like Apple, Microsoft isn't stopping other manufacturers from selling PCs. The Surface line is just a way for Apple to get a foot into the hardware market.

    The same thing holds for this as well. Microsoft will probably come out with their own VR unit, but it won't stop supporting others.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Too bad it's not 2015. The clunky headset version of VR has proven to be an enthusiast-only type of technology. 
  • Reply 14 of 14
    foggyhill said:
    I got the feeling that when Apple comes out with a Airpod / AR Glass / Watch combo of wearable with real power (say within 2 years, everyone of those people will suffer).

    Since you will need a macOS device - which most people do not have - to run it, I say that they will not. Keep in mind: the only reason why iPhones and iPads (and before them the iPod and after them the Apple Watch) have anywhere near their huge market share in America is because Apple released iTunes for Windows. Most iPhone and iPad owners use Windows machines to manage their i-devices.

    So any solution that requires a macOS device will have their market share limited by that. By contrast multi-platform solutions - and Microsoft solutions - will do fine because they will be the only option that everyone else who does not have a macOS device will have available to them. It is similar to what happened with Android. The iPhone being an AT&T exclusive for years allowed Samsung, LG and the rest to gain traction via Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.
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