Today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Microsoft announced that they will be bringing the holographic experience to Windows 10 PCs next year. In 2017, the company will be releasing an update for Windows 10 that will allow ‘mainstream’ PCs to run the Windows Holographic shell along with applications for that platform, on their own computers.
The question that remains unanswered is what exactly Microsoft classifies as a ‘mainstream’ PC. Seeing as Hololens does not appear to have a high end GPU packed inside the hardware, it would seem that a modern PC should be able to run the shell. But, until the company clarifies on the exact specs needed to run the experience, know that it may not run on older hardware.
With that being said, the company did say that using an Intel NUC, they were able to run the holographic experience at 90FPS, so it seems it’s a low barrier of entry to run the shell.
It will be interesting to see if users can find unique ways to use the Holographic shell with the desktop environment for a compelling new reason or if this is simply Microsoft expanding where it can be used to help introduce the product to more users. Either way, being able to run the shell used by Hololens on your desktop will likely peak the curiosity of some users.
Microsoft did not say when the shell would become available in 2017 but it likely aligns to the release of a Redstone build. Using these dates as a guide, either late spring or late fall should roughly align to the expected release of this new feature.