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Wearable Tech

Now you can buy a Microsoft HoloLens (but you may not want to)

No more audition or wait time required for Microsoft's augmented reality visor.

James Martin/CNET
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If you wanted to get your hands on Microsoft's mind-blowing augmented reality headset this spring, you had to audition first. You'd submit an application, and see if Microsoft liked it enough to approve your pre-order.

No more. As of today, any Microsoft developer (in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and some European countries) can order up to five Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition headsets for $3,000 a pop. It's £2,719 in the UK and AU$4,369 in Australia.

Which really means anyone can buy it. There's no way for Microsoft to tell whether you're going to develop for HoloLens or not.

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But you probably shouldn't buy one. Not for fun.

First off, you should know there's no return policy and no warranty whatsoever. We took a look at the fine print at Microsoft's website, and it's pretty clear: All sales are final.

You can't resell it, either, according to the agreement you sign.

If something goes wrong, or if it simply doesn't live up to your dreams, there's next to nothing you can do about it.

Second, Microsoft has also been pretty clear that this version is just for developers, not consumers, and that there's no telling when that might ever change. There's not much incentive for developers to create apps for HoloLens, because there's no knowing when there'll be a market for them. If you're expecting to find an app store filled with cool augmented reality creations, think again.

And then there's the thing that Microsoft hasn't been communicating quite as well -- how uncomfortable the HoloLens can be to use.

Someday, this technology (or one like it) could change the world. For now, the only people who should buy HoloLens are developers hoping to get a head-start on the future.

Those folks might want also want to take a look at Microsoft's latest changelog. The HoloLens has a few new features, including support for the new Xbox One S gamepad.


This article also appears in Spanish: Ya puedes comprar las HoloLens de Microsoft [pero quizás no debas hacerlo]

Update, November 2: Added UK and Australian prices.