Chatrooms are coming back. Mark my words this is for VR chatrooms and meetings. Kids are always moving to social networks that are hidden away from their parents. A virtual chatroom where you could possibly appear however you wanted and possibly make invite only? People would eat that up. I know second life in a way already has that covered but that's the wild west and has a high technical bar for entry. This would be a controlled and branded experienced.
I agree with this, and I've explained this to others as I demo'd the Rift. However, I think Facebook screwed up because they do not need to own Oculus to make a VR application for it. In the end, I think this is good for moving VR forward due to the extra capital, but Facebook is not a hardware company. This would be like them announcing they are acquiring Samsung's display business.
Again, I think ORs software is basically Glide, but we'll move to DirectX or OpenGL. But even that's not quite right because that has more to do with graphics cards, which are complicated. VR sets are more like monitors. Quick: name 3 monitor companies. You can't, because there are so many with each basically being exactly like the next. It's a total commodity, with only a few players remaining in the high end (I do love my Dell Ultrasharp IPS.)
I agree with Beamer (as I type this on my Dell Ultrasharp). In fact, at the end of the day, we'll probably be wearing Samsung VR headsets, not Facebook headsets. The software development industry needs to work to standardize the VR interface, and become headset agnostic. Hopefully Valve can take the lead on this. In fact I would love to see a "VR HDMI" standard just like there is a "3D HDMI" standard (with the obvious technical differences).
When I demo my VR project, I always emphasize that it will be headset agnostic. Obviously, the Rift is the only one on the market right now, but I will add support for all available.
As for major companies that we have not heard from yet, my money is on Samsung. As a major smartphone manufacturer, they have all the components easily ready to build a competing headset. They control the latency of the displays being used, and they already integrate inertial, camera, and displays in small form factors with plenty of developers to integrate it all.
I am calling it here first, Microsoft announces a partnership with Samsung to make PC/Xbox VR headsets at CES 2015.