Windows Mixed Reality Headset–3Glasses Blubur S1 (Type 2) £320 (approx)

Just taken delivery of what is the only available mixed reality headset to anyone in the UK wanting to develop for the platform (the units from Acer, HP etc are only available to developers in the USA).

So this post is not much more than an unboxing but I will follow it up with a review of the hardware and initial development on Windows 10 Creators (which is a requirement to support development on this headset).

It was quite quick to arrive with little trouble getting through customs:
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As seems to be common place with all tech from China it arrived very well packaged with the familiar yellow/brown tape:

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I have to say that the quality of the packaging along with the initial feel of the device is of a very high standard and I am looking forward to going for a spin!

The language translation always amuses me – this is billed as “The first ever virtual reality headset with highest resolution”!

Spec wise it looks similar to the other mixed reality headsets that are finding their way onto the market:

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What’s in the box?

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(Click on each of the above photos for more detail)

Stand by for a more in depth review meanwhile the 3Glasses web site can be found here: www.3glasses.com/en/

New revenue opportunities for Windows developers?

So I was in two minds as to what the make the title for this blog post but having received the email below from microsoft this morning my immediate take away wasn’t about the ‘new opportunities’ but about the decreased cut of app proceeds imposed on developers.  here is the email:

Adding new revenue opportunities for you is a key priority for Windows Store. To attract more store customers, we recently launched new Windows Store and Xbox gift cards. Gift cards are now available at thousands of new retail locations and online stores in 41 markets. Windows and Xbox gift cards work interchangeably and can be used on both Windows and Xbox stores. Sales associates will promote gift cards to customers who want to give gifts, buy apps without a credit card, or fund a child’s account without the worry of overspending.

With the recent expansion and because gift cards have higher costs due to packaging costs and revenue sharing with channel partners, a Commerce Expansion Adjustment will be added to app and in-app product purchases made with gift cards. The Commerce Expansion Adjustment is an additional percentage on top of the normal Store Fee (percentage of Net Receipts) that is deducted in calculating the App Proceeds payable for apps or in-app product transactions using gift cards.
The Commerce Expansion Adjustment for gift cards will take effect in
specified markets in March 2016 at a rate of 2.24%. Details about how the Commerce Expansion Adjustment is calculated and deducted from App Proceeds can be found in the App Developer Agreement.
Windows Dev Center allows you to choose which markets you publish your apps and how you price them in each market. In doing so, you may want to consider if the Commerce Expansion Adjustment applies in a specific market and factor that into your market pricing strategy going forward.
For further details about the Commerce Expansion Adjustment and the list of markets where it applies see your
App Developer Agreement and Windows Dev Center.
Thank you,
The Windows Dev Center Team

I am sad to see that there is a need to cut developer proceeds in this way.  I have found it difficult to justify the development of apps for Windows and Windows Mobile (in spite of the fact that I have found the process enjoyable and the tooling excellent) and have felt forced into looking at reducing (if not completely eliminating) the time I am able to devote to developing apps for the Microsoft store.

Sad times.

 

Update

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It is with some sadness that I have decided to withdraw all my apps from the Windows Store.  I felt this was necessary in order  to clear the decks and prepare for future projects.

NB My understanding is that this process will take some time before it is reflected in the non availability of some 300 or so of my apps in the Windows and Mobile Store.

Windows 10 Spartan Browser – Build 10049

Woke up this morning and the new Enterprise build of Windows 10 technical preview had installed itself.  After going through the usual setup screens the first thing I noticed was the inclusion of the new Spartan browser: 

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After navigating to my own blog page 😉 I started to look at some of the new features:

 

Toolbar Buttons:

The new ‘add to favourites’ button has received a welcome makeover:

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I switched over in the ‘new style’ tabs back to the Spartan welcome page.

Looking at the next ‘history/favourites’ browser also received the Windows 10 makeover treatment:

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But the first ‘totally new’ feature to catch my attention is the new ‘review’ toolbar that allow various notes and editing features on the browser surface itself:

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The first drawing feature also has an additional dropdown to allow selection of colour and nib size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next button is, as you might expect from the icon, a highlighter that works, well,  just as you might expect:

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(The eraser “rubber” button also works as expected!)

The next button allows the addition of notes to be made to a selected area of the page:

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The final button from the selection on the left allows selection of areas of the page.  These can then be saved (as bitmaps) or shared with others:using the context drop down menu:

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I knew little about the objectives of Spartan and wasn’t sure how I felt about looking/using another new browser – so it was nice to first be presented with something that looks clean (dare I say almost Spartan in it’s appearance) and that worked as anticipated while including some genuinely useful new editing features.

I will continue looking at this build and post more findings throughout the day as I come across them.