Microsoft has started selling its HoloLens virtual reality headsets to all of its business customers and developer partners in the United States of America and Canada.
Redmond's still not offering the finished product – only a “Development Edition” is on sale for now. But at least the hardware is now being offered to anyone willing to hand over their credit card details and is shipping ASAP, as opposed to the previous requirement to apply and be approved by Microsoft's virtual-reality-buying-bouncers before waiting a while for kit to land.
It's no co-incidence that Microsoft's made this change within days of the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, because that emission includes the Windows Holographic August 2016 Update. Micrsoft's also added attach-to-process debugging facilities, so you can “use Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 to connect to a running app on a HoloLens and start debugging it.” All without a Visual Studio project to work from.
Even XBOX users get some action: the new Bluetooth controller for the games console will now drive software on a HoloLens.
Microsoft's also debuted the “HoloLens Commercial Suite”, a management tool for the headsets.
The Suite offers mobile device management tools allowing deployment of apps to HoloLens units, from a private app store if desired. Integration with Active Directory means HoloLens users (wearers?) can also enjoy remote access over VPNs to resources behind the firewall.
All of which sounds like quite a lot of fun. If you can afford US$3,000 per headset and limit yourself to five devices. Shop here if those conditions don't offend. ®