It’s holiday Season and the Santa has made a huge announcement!
….By introducing VR experience as a part and parcel of their upcoming Windows10 Creators update.
Our first thoughts… WOW! Whether it’s roaming into an architectural masterpiece or experiencing educational lessons designed around the philosophy of real life situations. Medical revelation to treat a complicated surgery or a virtual walk in an exotic landscape or just enjoying sheer consumerism at its best; all senses heighten, all senses engaged- what a holistic experience it’s going to be! An experience that’s not only wholesome but accessible and economical too.
But you already know that about VR experience, so what’s the catch in this?
For all other sort of VR experiences out there in market, you need a high-end computing device (costing generally $1100+ up to whatever you can spend), a reasonable room space and of course, a $500+ VR head-mount (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PSVR) currently focused on gaming only experiences mostly. And we’re not counting Mobile VR in the race, not yet!
On the contrary, Winows10 Creators update (scheduled for early 2017), will enable all our regular Windows10 running PCs and laptops with VR experience. And the announcement doesn’t end just here. Microsoft has partnered with HP, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer to bring out $299 VR headsets this holiday season.
Yeah, just $299, and that’s it… you’re experiencing VR gaming, holographic computing (to an extent), and all the 360 visuals, which were just useless to you a while back!
However, the pessimist in us does have its reservations. Are the existing developers ready for such a powerful tool at their disposal? Have we imparted enough sense of responsibility in our existing and upcoming native users of technology to use this power for betterment? Or we just going to compromise on the quality of VR experiences out there as anyone and everyone will be able to produce a project that is VR-ish in one form or the other? Is this move just another economy shaker for Microsoft or are they really on a quest of a futuristic approach in terms of this form of technology?
Too many questions, but we can answer at least the last one. Microsoft is not there just to be in the race. VR is a shift of medium for everything, just like millennials experienced the transition from paper to computing devices, and then handheld magic mirrors, we call smartphones.
According to Terry Myerson, 400 million devices are currently using Windows10, and the numbers are increasing. Microsoft expects 10-15% of them to adopt in for VR experience, so in first quarter of 2017, we’re looking at some 30 million+ VR enabled Windows10 devices. The projection is bigger than any other VR device projections out there, so the Santa is not just here to ring the bells!
This unleashed power coupled with the features proposed, proves to be another milestone not just for Microsoft but also for the end user like us (hopefully!)