Microsoft starts shipping HoloLens 2

Microsoft's augmented-reality HoloLens 2 headset is beginning to roll out to customers in select countries worldwide.

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Credit: Microsoft

Starting today, November 7, Microsoft's second-generation HoloLens augmented reality device is starting to ship to customers who pre-ordered it. Microsoft has been taking HoloLens 2 preorder information starting earlier this year from customers in the U.S., France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.K. 

Also: Microsoft HoloLens 2: Everything developers and IT pros need to know TechRepublic

Once the company fulfills its initial set of pre-orders, it will begin shipping to additional customers, officials said, starting with those in the aforementioned countries.

Microsoft took the wraps off the HoloLens 2 in late February this year at Mobile World Congress.

HoloLens 2 -- which, technically, is the third iteration of the HoloLens, as Microsoft skipped over version two -- looks somewhat different from the first HoloLens, which Microsoft began selling in 2016. It has a visor that can easily flip up; features a larger vertical field of view; connects to Azure to provide various capabilities and services; and is built to be lighter and better weighted. It has a Snapdragon 850 compute engine and an on-board custom AI holographic co-processor.  AI models have been deployed on the holographic processor in order to track users' hand motions and eye gazes in order to interact with holograms.

Microsoft is offering three pricing options for HoloLens 2: A $3,500 HoloLens 2 developer edition (available with financing for $99 per user per month); a HoloLens 2 device-only SKU for $3,500; and a HoloLens 2 subscription version (with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist preloaded) starting at $125 per user per month. 

A Microsoft official misspoke earlier this year and said HoloLens 2 would be going on sale in September 2019. That wasn't the company's actual plan, however.

Microsoft, these days, is positioning HoloLens as a way to provide mixed-reality technology for business uses.