We recently upgraded 2 of our PCs to Microsoft’s Windows 10 Creators Update. The update includes “mixed reality” features — 3d image manipulation, video simulation via still image manipulation and more. In a story, “Why Microsoft released a Windows update with a bunch of stuff you may never use” published by the Washington Post on Thursday, October 19th, written by Hayley Tsukayama, Ms. Tsukayama contends
“Adoption of augmented- and virtual-reality technology has been slow for a variety of reasons, including high cost, the fact that they are still fairly new and that their purpose has yet to find a solid footing in the everyday life of consumers.”
The user she has in mind is a consumer. But we think Microsoft decided to include these features for a mostly business audience. So we would counter the pricing of gear required to produce “mixed reality” experiences for businesses is not “high”. Further, given today’s trends in personal computing, PC users will more likely be located at a desk doing some work for business, than they would be using PCs for entertainment. Microsoft also included features, by the way, directed to gamers using PCs in this release.
But the real target for the 3d image manipulation, etc. are businesses.
So why this effort by Microsoft? When word came out a few months ago of Apple & Google’s intentions to shift the “tip of the spear” for augmented reality and virtual reality from hardware, to software, the task of magnetizing customer interest in the underlying technology shifted beneath Microsoft’s feet. Microsoft had made very serious efforts to compete in the emerging markets via hardware, specifically Hololens. Now the game was changing. Worse yet, should Apple & Google’s efforts succeed, the sheer number of devices already capable of playing in their respective AR & VR games will be staggering. Unless …
Unless you look at the number of PCs deployed, albeit for business purposes, running Microsoft software and, in all likelihood, Windows 10. By incorporating these “mixed reality” features into the Windows 10 Fall 2017 Creators Update, Microsoft is equipping a lot of strictly business “eye balls” with the capability of using “mixed reality” experiences. In our opinion, this is a late, but smart move to shore up a base of users for Microsoft’s approach.