Although Microsoft announced its mixed reality headset HoloLens to much fanfare back in 2015, the hardware arguably hasn't enjoyed mainstream success. While the company did manage to finalize a ten-year contract worth almost $22 billion with the U.S. Army last year, reports later revealed that the process isn't going as smoothly as planned. Pressure on this end further mounted when HoloLens head Alex Kipman departed Microsoft following allegations of misconduct. Despite its bumpy journey in recent months, Microsoft is now gearing up to ship the next major version of HoloLens 2 OS.
Microsoft has announced in a blog post that it is ready to start testing its next HoloLens OS update with mixed reality partners (MRPs). Although the blog refers to it as the "new Fall Insider Flight Preview", it will likely be known as Windows Holographic, version 22H2 by the time it becomes generally available. Microsoft typically ships two updates to Windows Holographic each year, the first arrives in the April-May timeframe while the other falls in the October-November window.
As such, Microsoft has requested MRPs to start testing their apps and deployments in the Dev Channel. They are also requested to fill a MRP Feedback form which requires the following information and processes:
- Please conduct end-to-end testing of the latest insider flight with your app.
- Validate IT deployment(s) in your environment against your identity, network, security, and device management systems to help ensure that the OS update does not break any of your deployment workflows.
- Validate your line of business application experience to ensure your apps continue to function as designed after taking the update.
If you're wondering what the changelog for this next update actually is, you can view it in the table below:
|Feature||Description||User/Scenario||Available in build|
|New policies to speed up adding users||New policies we've enabled that allow IT Admins to skip several screens in OOBE when adding new users to devices.||IT Admin||10.0.22621.1008|
|Autopilot reset experience||Improvements in Autopilot reset experience, to enable users to reset HoloLens 2 and restart Autopilot without requiring manual flashing.||IT Admin||
|Clean up users on device||
New policies to manage when to clear out users on the device, to prevent hitting the maximum limit.
|New policy to disable NCSI passive polling||Turn off auto-reconnect to Wi-Fi access points to stay connected to intranet.||IT Admin||10.0.22621.1008|
|Captive portal on sign-in screen, enter Wi-Fi credentials to help sign-in||New policy that IT Admins can enable that allows the use of captive portals on the sign-in screen to help connecting to Wi-Fi.||IT Admin||
|Clean up storage via MDM||Clean up files via MDM, using storage sense to clean up older unused files.||IT Admin||10.0.22621.1008|
|Security Baseline||Two sets of security restrictions you can use to add more control to your devices.||IT Admin||
|Configure NTP client for W32 Time service||Used to set your own time sever for your devices, to help keep them compliant.||IT Admin||10.0.22621.1010|
|Fixes improvements||Fixes and improvements for HoloLens.||All||
Before you update to the latest build in the Dev Channel, do remember that it is on a new codebase. What this means is that once you update, you won't be able to receive monthly updates that are still on the codebase until the fall update becomes generally available. However, you can still flash back to the older version of the OS if you wish to receive monthly updates as usual after testing your apps. If you don't know how to load the latest Insider builds on to your HoloLens device, check out Microsoft's documentation here. The deadline to fill the survey is September 20, 2022.