Microsoft to Shut Down Windows Mixed Reality Platform
In a recent announcement, Microsoft revealed their decision to shut down the Windows Mixed Reality platform. This move comes as part of the company’s efforts to streamline its product offerings and focus on other initiatives. The decision was confirmed in an official list of deprecated Windows features, which stated that the platform, along with its software and apps, will be “removed in a future release of Windows.”
Introduced in 2017, Windows Mixed Reality aimed to compete with established VR platforms such as HTC and Oculus (now owned by Meta). The platform supported various VR headsets, including the popular HP Reverb G2 and those manufactured by Acer, Asus, and Samsung. It included the Windows Mixed Reality software, Mixed Reality Portal app, and the affiliated Steam VR app, providing users with access to a range of games, experiences, and productivity apps.
Despite initial hopes, the adoption rate of Windows Mixed Reality has been disappointingly low, leading to its eventual shutdown. Microsoft’s decision reflects the shifting landscape of the VR market and the company’s focus on more promising ventures.
It’s worth noting, however, that Microsoft’s other mixed-reality ecosystem, the HoloLens 2, remains unaffected by this decision. The company continues to invest in the development and improvement of the HoloLens 2, which recently received a Windows 11 upgrade and was even shipped to the Army for combat tests.
There have been rumors that Microsoft has halted development on the HoloLens 3, but the company has reaffirmed its commitment to the HoloLens platform and future advancements in mixed reality technology.
In addition to the Windows Mixed Reality platform shutdown, Microsoft has made cuts in its VR division, resulting in layoffs and discontinuation of the AltspaceVR app. However, the company remains focused on the development of its proprietary Mesh app. Mesh enables virtual meetings without the need for a headset, showcasing Microsoft’s dedication to expanding the possibilities of remote collaboration.
While the closure of the Windows Mixed Reality platform may disappoint some users and enthusiasts, Microsoft’s decision reflects their ongoing commitment to refining their product portfolio and bringing innovative experiences to the market. As the company continues to push boundaries with advancements in mixed reality technology, users can expect more exciting developments in the near future.
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