Microsoft confirms HoloLens 2 will receive Windows 11 as an optional free update, and it’s coming to the AR headset by late June.
Following reports of downsizing in the HoloLens group, Robin Seiler, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows and devices, announced this upcoming update as part of the company’s “strategic commitment to HoloLens 2 and mixed reality.” While HoloLens 2 users can continue using Windows 10 once the update rolls out, Seiler claims updating to Windows 11 will improve app performance.
“The free upgrade to Windows 11 promises continuous platform support, meaning our customers can trust in the continued security of their devices,” explains Robin Seiler. “With the upgrade, HoloLens 2 users will continue to receive monthly security servicing updates that reinforce the protection of sensitive information while also improving app performance.”
Beyond Windows 11 support, it’s unclear what the future currently holds for the HoloLens platform. Following reports from Business Insider that a HoloLens 3 device had been cancelled in 2021, it was later hinted that a successor would eventually happen. Last December, Microsoft’s mixed reality VP, Scott Evans, stated how customers “don’t need a successor yet” but claimed “Microsoft is pushing forward on all core hardware technologies.”
However, Microsoft has since faced multiple setbacks. After selling 5000 IVAS units – a highly modified HoloLens 2 variant for the US Army, US Congress later blocked a $400 million order for a further 6900 units, following reports that field testing revealed “mission-affecting physical impairments” and poor reliability. One week later, Microsoft revealed it was laying off 10000 employees, totalling 5% of it’s workforce.