Reply To: Why it's not too early to start learning about Microsoft's Mixed Reality apps

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I realize there is more to AR than just the UI platform and that Microsoft wants to tie everything to azure. That is fine. But given AR has such strong underpinning to the UI and UX, it simply cannot be ignored that you have to place your bet carefully for a huge part of your budget will be on UI development and procuring devs with those skills, or getting them trained. As an architect who has seen Microsoft reboot its UI tech, over, and over, and over, each time burning early adopters (Silverlight, WinRT weird UI, etc), what commitments are you making this time that you didn’t before to ensure I am not simply going to have to re-write to another MS UI platform in two years, or worse yet, iOS/Android when their (assumed) AR glasses enter the market?


But maybe I have the wrong question here because I think the PM on this thread is not pushing the platform necessarily, and even if they do reboot this AR stack, I’m sure Dynamics will get the cash needed to switch course. If that is the case, then I would pretty much vote to get a Microsoft PM on a future interview who IS trying to get me to make AR apps on their stack because I’m weary of investing too heavily on Microsoft’s possibly new “Silverlight” before google/apple pay their hand.


But then let’s throw a UX question here for the PM: Unlike maybe some of the readers out there, my company owns several ERP and CRM companies and solutions that play in all sorts of markets. But at the core, a lot of these canned demos of a person fixing a Jet engine or a plumber hooking a pipe, just don’t apply to our user. Therefore it is not clear if HoloLens even has an edge for us, and if we can even justify the cost barrier for enterprise adoption to gain whatever these holograms bring. To me, it seems the device does not have a huge advantage over just a smarphone/tablet that lacks “holograms” but it is “good enough” for an ERP or CRM worker, or even a salesman. And unless windows pulls a miracle, those slates will be android or ipads/iphones.


I will pre-empt a response I expect to get: “we’re committed”, and google and apple have no enterprise footprint in this area. Ok. I think Microsoft is always committed until they are not. But that aside, second point, neither company (apple or google) had any footprint in the enterprise while my users were rocking those blackberries and windows mobile 6 devices a decade ago. Wow that sounds really negative. But architects are skeptical of new unproven tech, and if you add Microsoft UI tech to a conversation, our level of skepticism levels raise to the square of as many times Microsoft rebooted its mobile plans.

My actual formula is

Skepticism = (base skepticism) * (1 + platform_reboots) ^ 2