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Microsoft’s first VR headsets are now available for developers to preorder

  • Mixed reality headsets from Acer and HP for developers are available for preorder as of Thursday.
  • Microsoft's hope is developers will use these early products to build new apps.
  • The mixed reality headsets port a user into a virtual version of Windows.
CNBC: Microsoft Mixed Reality
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Microsoft announced on Thursday that the first mixed reality headsets that work with its Windows 10 operating system are now available for developers to preorder.

Two options are available, designs built by Acer and HP, though both offer similar feature sets. They'll work with Microsoft's new mixed reality motion controllers, announced this morning, which will allow users to interact with the digital environments around them.

Handout: Microsoft mixed reality
Microsoft

CNBC had a chance to try out the Acer mixed reality headset last month, and we came away impressed with its ability to transport us from the real world into Microsoft's virtual version of Windows.

Handout: Microsoft mixed reality 2
Microsoft

Microsoft is only opening up orders to developers in hopes that they'll create new experiences for consumers ahead of a broad launch. Acer's Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is priced at $299, while HP's model costs $329. The headsets are available for developers in the United States and Canada.

Handout: Microsoft mixed reality 3
Microsoft

The headsets are expected to ship to developers this summer.

Mixed Reality is Microsoft's take on virtual reality and allows a user to step into a virtual world and use real Microsoft products and apps. Augmented reality, which Microsoft is also working on with products such as the HoloLens, allows users to still see the real world, though with software overlays on top of it.