As part of the launch of the Windows 8.1 public preview, Microsoft announced that the update to Windows 8 would include native driver support for 3D printers. Today, Microsoft posted up a new entry in its "On The Whiteboard" series that offers up some of the reasons why Microsoft is supporting 3D printing in its latest OS.
The video, posted on YouTube, begins with a visit to MakerHaus, a company in Seattle that lets people use their studio and tools, including their advanced 3D printers, to create products and designs. MakerHaus"s Mike Kemery is shown talking about how, in his opinion, putting in 3D printing support in Windows 8.1 is one of the first steps to turning this hobby-like venture into something that will be as revolutionary as desktop printing was 20 years ago.
The video also features Microsoft"s Shanen Boettcher who compares the current mainstream reaction to 3D printers to people who thought, way back when, that there was no need for a microwave oven in the kitchen. Boettcher says that in the future, 3D printers will be considered " ... a convenience that people are going to really enjoy." He says that Microsoft wants to make 3D printing as easy as printing a Word document is today.
Microsoft already sells the MakerBot Replicator 2 at its Palo Alto and San Francisco Microsoft Stores retail locations for $1,299, with plans to sell that device in other stories later this year.