Microsoft starts selling HoloLens to business customers

Microsoft is starting to roll out on a limited basis its HoloLens augmented-reality glasses to business customers, beginning with those in the U.S. and Canada.

Microsoft is making its HoloLens augmented-reality glasses available for purchase by business customers in the U.S. and Canada.

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Microsoft announced expansion of its HoloLens availability beyond developers and a handful of select business partners on August 2.

Commercial companies interested in buying HoloLens devices for internal use and development now have the option of buying up to five devices. They also can purchase the HoloLens Commercial Suite, which includes the HoloLens Development Edition hardware, plus a one-year warranty and "enterprise features for added security and device management," according to company officials.

The Commercial suite features include Kiosk Mode: mobile-device management using products including Microsoft Intune; support for the Windows Update for Business option; BitLocker data encryption; Work access over VPN or Wi-Fi; and access to a private Windows Store for Business.

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In March this year, Microsoft made available the $3,000 HoloLens Development edition, which the company only provided to select business customers who were developing showcase apps, as well as to select developers.

During one of the keynotes at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto in July, officials mentioned commercial availability of the HoloLens, but a spokesperson later clarified at that time that the devices still were not generally available to business customers.

Microsoft's HoloLens commercial site notes that those interested in "volume orders, professional service engagements, or more information about enterprise features, contact your Microsoft account representative or email mpcsales@microsoft.com."

I've asked Microsoft officials how much business users should expect to pay for HoloLens but haven't heard back yet.

Update (August 3): Microsoft officials aren't talking about pricing specifics for commercial users. Those interested should contact their Microsoft reps or email mpcsales@microsoft.com, a spokesperson said.

Microsoft officials also announced today that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to the HoloLens Windows Holographic operating system is starting to roll out today, August 2. Microsoft also is starting its rollout of Windows 10 Anniversary Update to Windows 10 PC, phone, and Xbox One users this week, as planned.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said repeatedly that Microsoft planned to make HoloLens available for business use before it becomes generally available for consumer and gaming use. Microsoft hasn't said when the company intends to start selling HoloLens to consumers.