Microsoft: Holo Lens 2 is just a supporting role, the real protagonist is…

jtzyvr  2019-03-03 06:29  阅读 236 次

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Microsoft launched the second generation of Holo Lens during MWC2019 at 1 a.m. Beijing time on February 25. HoloLens 2 has a larger field of view and a more comfortable wearing experience than the previous generation. It uses Qualcomm 550 chips and Microsoft's own AI engine, and has stronger performance.


Microsoft: Holo Lens 2 is just a supporting role, the real protagonist is... VRgame 第1张

Almost four years later, the iteration of Helo Lens 2 triggered a boom in employment, and even the whole industry boiled over it. For this hardware, you can refer to the evaluation: "Price $3,500!" Microsoft Hololens 2 evaluation: Super multi-person collaboration and interaction.


While many AR hardware companies are retreating, Microsoft is still at the forefront. This article will analyze the strategic intention of Microsoft's VR/AR layout from the new products of Microsoft's press conference and Microsoft's trend this year.


& Deepening the B-end market: Creating AR standard-nbsp with Open development strategy;


At the conference, Alex Kipman, the father of Holo Lens, said: "The design of Holo Lens 2 is based on"front-line workers"in industries including factory workshops, operating rooms and people from other places. It's designed for people who need both hands to work and intelligent devices to guide their work.

  • In February 2016, Holo Lens officially began to pre-sell to developers.
  • In August 2016, Microsoft launched HoloLens business suite.
  • In August 2017, ThyssenKrupp equipped 24,000 + engineers worldwide with Holo Lens equipment.
  • In September 2017, Ford used Microsoft Hololens to design cars.
  • In April 2018, Microsoft officially revealed that HoloLens sold 50,000 units.
  • In August 2018, Mercedes-Benz introduced more than 100 Holo Lens into the training center for automobile training.
  • In November 2018, Microsoft received 100,000 Holo Lens orders from the U.S. Army for a total price of $480 million.
  • In December 2018, Microsoft and Toyota entered into a partnership to introduce Holo Lens into the factory workshop.



Looking back on the development of HoloLens, in its original prototype, it is actually a dual-location AR device on both B and C terminals, which is related to the development team of HoloLens. Initially in team building, the development team followed the core members of the Xbox project, and they were very familiar with the entertainment needs of consumers. In the interview, the development members revealed that the team has always adhered to the concept of consumer-class production Holo Lens.

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But after four years of AR layout and HoloLens market exploration, Microsoft is more determined to target products in the B-end market.


At the conference, Microsoft officials also said frankly: "Objectively speaking, Holo Lens 2 is still far from what consumers expected, the experience is still not comfortable enough, and the price is not less than $1,000. For HoloLens 2, Microsoft dares not say that it is ready for C-end consumers.


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Although we can see games and other consumer applications in HoloLens 2 in a presentation from Microsoft, the bigger and more important part for Microsoft is still the enterprise. At the conference, Microsoft said it would provide Windows Hello authentication, industry authentication and batch management deployment tools for B-end users.


In addition to deepening the B-terminal market, Microsoft also proposes to further improve the development tools and build a unified infrastructure.


At this conference, Microsoft put forward the strategy of Open development, and said that in the future AR layout, it will further open the HoloLens mixed reality ecosystem to build a unified infrastructure: 1. Open application store; 2. Open API and underlying platform; 3. Open network browsing.

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Among them, the most important is the open API and the underlying platform.

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Open API

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In terms of open API, it is not difficult to see that Microsoft's market has been changing and becoming more open in the past two years.

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  • In August 2016, AR development platform Vuforia released a new SDK to increase support for HoloLens.
  • In December 2016, Unity 5.5 began supporting Microsoft Holographic.
  • In June 2017, Microsoft released Mixed Reality Partner Program (MR Partner Program);
  • In August 2017, Microsoft renamed the open source tool HoloToolkit Mixed Reality Toolkit and provided new features.
  • In June 2018, Unity's new plug-in allows developers to preview PC-side 3D content on HoloLens.
  • In September 2018, Microsoft officially released Dynamics 365 MR tools for HoloLens business users.

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Open API for Microsoft, on the one hand, is conducive to improving the attraction of developers, on the other hand, flexible and extensible development architecture can achieve complex business functions, improve the efficiency and output of solutions, and can facilitate the support of third-party technologies and frameworks.

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At this conference, Microsoft launched a new Dynamics 365 Guide program at the conference, following the development software of Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Layout.

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In addition, Microsoft will integrate HoloLens 2 with its Azure cloud service directly, and combine Dynamics 365 service to provide perfect cloud AR service and multi-person interaction. It is reported that HoloLens 2 can even be directly compatible with ARKit and ARKore in content design.

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In addition, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, was unexpectedly present at the conference. At the meeting, Tim Sweeney announced that Fantasy Engine 4 would support HoloLens 2. As soon as the news came out, many developers were excited about it.

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Bottom Platform

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Unlike VR, there is no mainstream standard for AR devices. Apart from the Lumin OS system used by Meagle Leap, most ARs are ported on Android systems. Microsoft, supported by Windows system technology, naturally wants to form its own system in the development of AR industry.

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It is worth mentioning that, according to people familiar with the situation, HoloLnes 2 will also be one of the first devices to include the Windows Core Operating System (WCOS). However, Microsoft currently only says that HoloLens 2 will include a version of Windows 10.

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In short, we can find that Microsoft's strategy in HoloLens 2 is to take a "software + service + hardware" three aspects of the road at the same time. However, in the context of the current difficulties in opening up the B-end market, Microsoft is making Holo Lens 2 do more through its Azure cloud computing and open development strategy. In his speech, Kipman said Microsoft would keep Holo Lens 2 open. HoloLens will work with Microsoft's cloud services, and it will also work with other ecosystems.

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& nbsp; VR / AR strategies, first "soft" and then "hard" & nbsp;

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Back to Microsoft's strategic intention of laying out VR/AR, if we comb Microsoft's strategy of AR and VR, we can easily find that Microsoft takes two completely different paths on VR and AR. For Microsoft, AR is more important.

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Microsoft's VR strategy is basically the same as PC's: OEM hardware partners produce equipment, Microsoft concentrates on building platform, ecology, and core experience. This is "Windows MR Ecology".

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On how to promote VR, we want to use the advantage of Windows ownership to help mixed reality (WMR) to hit the market. However, due to the high demand for personal computers, the market is limited to a few people who use desktop or laptop computers with high-end graphics cards. Although the WMR platform has been striving for market share, it seems that Microsoft has decided to delay achieving this goal.

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Recently, Windows United. de reported that Microsoft's recent changes to its alliance plan reflect the platform Microsoft wants to support. And Microsoft will no longer pay a commission on Windows Mixed Reality headliners sold through Microsoft Store.

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However, in AR strategy, Microsoft not only holds the hardware device technology firmly in hand, but also provides more investment in the underlying development and platform. This is partly due to the different technological foundations of their development, and partly to Microsoft's new ideas.

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In 2014, Microsoft CEO Satia Nadera took office, and he made a large-scale structural change and strategic adjustment to Microsoft. Satia Nadera abandoned Steve Ballmer's strategic positioning as a "device and hardware provider".

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In turn, the strategy of mobile priority and cloud technology priority is put forward.

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Satia Nadella said: "The biggest changes that are taking place today are cloud trends and mobile trends. These two trends occur together."

In the past two years, Microsoft has been trying to lay out cloud computing. Microsoft's Azure, led by Nadela, continues to nibble at Amazon's edge, increasing Microsoft's market share from 10% in 2017 to 18% in Q2 in 2019.

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On the hardware platform, Microsoft is focusing on AR. Nadela has said publicly on many occasions: "Microsoft's vision of the ultimate computer is an infinite digital display, so that users can not only see the analog world, but also a variety of digital objects, which is why we develop Hololens holographic glasses."


For Microsoft, which failed to catch the wave of smartphones before, it will obviously exert more power on the next computing platform. It is believed that the combination of Microsoft VR/AR and cloud is deeper under the double tide of cloud trend and mobile trend.


However, whether AR or VR, in the final analysis, Microsoft's main goal is to focus on cloud services.



& nbsp; mobile priority, cloud technology priority & nbsp;

And how to focus on cloud services? This is a complete list of the latest Q2 quarterly earnings for 2019 and the speech of Microsoft CEO Satia at the earnings teleconference.

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In the Q2 quarter of 2019, Microsoft's revenue and profit growth continued to benefit mainly from the robust financial performance of Office 365 and Azure. Productivity and business process business revenue amounted to $10.1 billion, up 13%. The following is a highlight of business overview:


  • Benefiting from the growth of enterprise-level nbsp, office-nbsp, 365 services revenue by 34%, enterprise-level nbsp, office products and cloud services revenue by 11%;
  • Consumption-level & nbsp; Office products and cloud services revenue increased by 1%, consumption-level & nbsp; Office 365 subscribers increased to 33.3 million;
  • Thanks to the 30% increase in user interaction, Link UK's activity reached a record level, and Link UK's revenue increased by 29%.
  • Thanks to the 51% growth in business revenue of & nbsp; Dynamics 365, the revenue of Dynamics products and cloud services increased by 17%.
  • Intelligent cloud services revenue reached 9.4 billion US dollars, an increase of 20%. The following is an overview of outstanding business: thanks to the 76% increase in Azure revenue, server products and cloud services revenue increased by 24%, and enterprise services revenue increased by 6%.
  • More personalized computing revenue of $13 billion, an increase of 7%, highlighted by the following business overview: Windows OEM revenue fell by 5%; Windows Pro products and cloud services revenue increased by 13%; Surface revenue increased by 39%; Game revenue increased by 8%; Xbox  software and services revenue increased by 31%; Search Engine advertising revenue, excluding traffic import costs, increased by 14%.


From the above data, it is not difficult to see that the growth rate of cloud-related business is the highest among all the above businesses. Windows OEM, which accounted for the highest proportion of revenue in previous years, is still declining in the new quarter. As for Holo Lens'performance, the official has not made it public this time.


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At the conference call, Satya Nadella said: "The right direction and strong business execution have led to another strong financial season. It is worth mentioning that in this quarter, the revenue of our enterprise cloud business grew 48% year on year, reaching 9 billion US dollars. This gives us a good start in 2019. This is the result of our innovation and trust from our customers, who believe that we can push its digital transformation. We are happy to help our customers build the digital capabilities they need to achieve prosperity and growth, and build a business model that is basically consistent with their success.


Of course, in addition to Microsoft, other Internet giants involved in cloud services, such as Amazon, Tencent, Ali and Baidu, all adopt the same strategy. Faced with the eve of 5G telecommunications reform, every giant wants to expand its share in the fast-growing market.


However, the war of cloud platform has changed from single product competition to ecological competition. More resources need to be strived for and actively follow the next wave of technology in order to occupy an active position in the competition. VR/AR, Internet of Things and AI have become new markets that everyone is competing for. And the amount of information needed by these technologies is huge, which makes the cloud and 5G become indispensable backing.


With the development of these industries, the demand for cloud technology will continue to improve.

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