Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed in a BBC interview that HoloLens, the augmented reality headset running Windows 10 Holographic, will be sent out to developers sometime in the next twelve months.
It is the first confirmation of a time frame for HoloLens, which has been previewed at several events. The headset is capable of augmenting a room with virtual objects, for example, adding a Minecraft world on top of a regular dinner table.
The developer kit will be focused on developer and enterprise needs. Nadella said a consumer edition is a few years away, claiming HoloLens is a “five year journey” similar to Windows 10.
Some organisations have already got their hands on the HoloLens headset. NASA is using it to view images sent back from Mars rovers, and has also sent units to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Even though there are other augmented reality devices, like Google Glass and Magic Leap, HoloLens offers a more complete platform for viewing augmented objects. Google Glass appears to be fully consumer focused, despite it mostly being used by hospitals and enterprise nowadays, and Magic Leap is all about gaming.
Nadella also commented on the state of the PC industry, claiming Windows 10 should be able to reach one billion users by two years. He hopes that on top of the 300 million customers in 2016, a good chunk of the Windows 7 and 8 customers pick up their free upgrade.
Considering the massive traffic Microsoft is receiving for the Windows 10 update, reaching over 30TB/s, it is possible it will reach one billion before 2017. The company also has plans to make an ROM capable of running Windows 10 Mobile on Android devices, with a Chinese insider program set to kick off later this year.