With HoloLens 2 (hopefully) just around the corner, Microsoft has announced that it will no longer be providing any major operating system updates to the original HoloLens.
The HoloLens 1 was released back in 2016, which feels a bit like ancient history in the ever-evolving world of spatial computing. Ever since the HoloLens 2 announcement earlier this year (though it's still only available for pre-order), the HoloLens 1's days were numbered.
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However, Microsoft isn't forsaking loyal, longtime owners of the HoloLens 1, the company is simply moving the headset to a Long Term Servicing (LTS) state.
That means that while there will still be updates available for the headset, those future updates will "focus on issue and security fixes, while maintaining feature parity with the Windows 10 October 2018 release for HoloLens (also known as RS5)," according to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update release notes.
Those updates will be available for the next 10 years, so even if you never upgrade to the HoloLens 2, or any future Microsoft AR headsets, your piece of legacy tech will still be running.
On the other hand, if you're interested in staying current with Microsoft's major OS updates, you'll have to upgrade to the HoloLens 2. That'll run you a cool $3,500 (you can check the pre-order details here).
Sure, that's a lot of money, especially if you already have the original HoloLens. But there are several major improvements in the second-gen HoloLens. The HoloLens 2 is both smaller and somewhat lighter than HoloLens 1, and it has a comparatively larger field of view.
The HoloLens 2 also improves on the device's gesture tracking by following not only your hands, but your individual fingers as well, delivering an overall more immersive experience. Also, manipulation of virtual objects using the HoloLens 2 is a step up, with resizing, scaling, holding, grabbing, and dragging now far easier than the relatively limited control options offered in the first version.
Additionally, with the Windows 10 May 2019 update, HoloLens 2 users will also be able to launch classic Win32 applications inside Windows Mixed Reality.
The most recent major OS update available for HoloLens 1 is the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, and that will be the final OS update that isn't a bug fix or security upgrade.
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