Microsoft’s mixed reality isn’t dead, it’s just moving to where businesses will pay for it

Anyone concerned that Microsoft is evolving into a more accessible version of IBM, rather than the consumer company many would like it to be, isn’t going to feel any better after the company’s Build developer conference starting May 8 in Seattle. Two expected moves will reinforce that enterprise direction: a Kinect sensor for Azure, and two HoloLens apps that are being adapted for businesses using mixed reality.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella is expected to open Build on Monday by describing the “intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge,” which has been Microsoft’s unofficial mantra for about a year. Microsoft plans to define what it means by intelligent edge: By 2020, there will be about 30 billion connected devices, each generating about 1.5GB of data per day. Smart buildings and connected factories will add to that. Expect to hear quite a bit about the Internet of Things on Monday—“the world is a computer,” Nadella is expected to say.

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