In a surprise turn of events, Microsoft wowed at its Windows 10 press event, unveiling the highly secretive holographic computing project in the form of HoloLens. Forrester contends that if successful, HoloLens will ultimately expand the way people interact with machines just as touch interfaces did after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.

Further, in new research, Forrester predicts mixed-reality computing will catch on by 2020, with further holographic capability offerings from Apple and Google. Despite the cost, there will be millions of people likely to buy HoloLens by the end of 2016 — as Microsoft first targets media and entertainment, and gamers in particular, who are eager to experience the next big thing.

“HoloLens will expand the way brands interact with consumers forever more, working its way through industry after industry, much the way web and mobile experiences did before it,” writes Vice President and Principal Analyst James McQuivey.

HoloLens will also have profound implications on the enterprise.

“[It] will offer many of the best features of virtual reality and augmented reality, giving business leaders a powerful new tool to enable workforce scenarios like remote collaboration, field work, and training,” writes Vice President and Principal Analyst J.P. Gownder. “It has the potential to radically improve how enterprises conduct business in each of those areas and is a powerful platform for creating interaction innovations.”

As for Windows 10, Forrester believes it will become the enterprise standard that Windows 8 did not, and it will help Microsoft retain its leading position in PC computing.

“However, Microsoft will face a long road ahead to gain Windows share in mobile,” writes Vice President and Principal Analyst Frank Gillett in the research. “While it will win a growing share of enterprise tablet purchases, the plans for Windows 10 don’t show enough potential for creating a differentiated mobile experience that will draw developers and customers away from iOS and Android.”

To learn more about Forrester’s take on HoloLens and Windows 10, visit the CIO blog.