Microsoft promises an open HoloLens ecosystem

At its MWC keynote in Barcelona today, Microsoft promised to keep the HoloLens ecosystem open. That means third-party app stores and browsers, for example, with Mozilla already announcing its Firefox browser for HoloLens today.

“Developers will have the freedom to create their own stares as first-class citizens,” Microsoft’s HoloLens chief Alex Kipman said today and stressed that developers will also have the freedom to create great web browsers.

All of this should be obvious, but there have, of course, been times in Microsoft’s history where an open ecosystem was not exactly what the company focused on. And browser competition was surely not on the top of the company’s list during the browser wars. That cost the company dearly, both financially and in terms of developer goodwill. Maybe that’s why it is now making this announcement, too.

“We believe in an open API surface area and driver model,” Kipman said. “We will continue to participate in guiding open standards like OpenXR so anyone can innovate with our headset from the sensors that are being used to the differentiated experiences that are being created.”