Microsoft joins XR Association in ‘significant milestone’

Microsoft has joined the XR Association (XRA), joining Facebook, Google, HTC Vive, Samsung and Sony as members.

The trade association, which represents technology manufacturers across virtual, augmented and mixed reality, ‘further signifies the Association’s broadening scope and representation of the XR industry’, according to the press materials.

This is not overly surprising given Microsoft’s ambitions in the field; this publication reported on the release of HoloLens 2 – which the XRA called ‘groundbreaking’ – at MWC Barcelona earlier this year, which the company described as an ‘important milestone.’

As Paul Miller, senior analyst at Forrester Research, saw it at the time, the second-generation HoloLens had significant standalone heft, but its real power would come when it was connected to the cloud.

“We are thrilled to welcome Microsoft to XRA,” said Elizabeth Hyman, CEO of the XR Association in a statement. “This is a significant milestone that reflects the growth of the XR industry, which encompasses augmented reality, mixed reality, and future technologies yet to be developed in the rapidly-evolving XR space.

“Microsoft’s advanced mixed reality offerings, including its groundbreaking HoloLens headset, and its expertise in this arena, strengthen the XRA’s ability to provide a unified voice for the XR industry.”

The addition of the largest tech players into consortia is of course usually a solid sign of progress with any particular technology. Microsoft's continued open stance means the company increasingly embraces such positions; such as with the launch of Compute Express Link (CXL), a group focused on data centre performance, in March.

Heidi Holman, assistant general counsel at Microsoft, will represent the company on XRA’s board of directors.

Read more: Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 at $3500 – but the real power is in the cloud-connected add-ons

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