Microsoft, which previously sold its HoloLens headset in the U.S. and Canada only, is expanding the mix-reality headset to six new countries — Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — describing the step as a sign of maturation of the HoloLens business.
HoloLens is available for preorder in those countries starting today, slated to ship in late November. Microsoft will be selling the HoloLens in those countries as both the $3,000 Developer Edition and the $5,000 Commercial Suite. The move comes seven months after the device shipped in the U.S. and Canada.
The global expansion is similar to the rollout of Microsoft’s Surface devices, launching initially in the U.S. and Canada before expanding internationally. It’s a sign that the business is maturing, and the manufacturing process has been ramping up.
Microsoft is seeking to carve out its own niche in the broader world of virtual and augmented reality. The company describes its approach as “mixed reality,” as the headset allows users to place holographic objects on the world around them.
While devices such as Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have focused largely on gaming as a first step, Microsoft’s strength so far with HoloLens is in enterprise and commercial applications.
Earlier this year, Microsoft has announced plans to open the Windows Holographic platform to other device makers as part of Windows 10, aiming to create more of a platform for a variety of devices. The company says more than 80 mixed reality apps are now available through the Windows Store.