Microsoft nixed Mixed Reality: This Windows VR didn’t even make it to the ER

Microsoft nixed Mixed Reality: This Windows VR didn’t even make it to the ER
By Tech
Dec 29

Microsoft nixed Mixed Reality: This Windows VR didn’t even make it to the ER

Microsoft’s foray into the world of virtual reality (VR) has been a mixed bag. While they have had some success with their HoloLens augmented reality (AR) set, their venture into VR with Windows Mixed Reality has not fared as well. In fact, Microsoft recently announced that they are discontinuing support for Windows Mixed Reality sets, which is a blow to both developers and users who were hoping for a competitive VR platform.

Windows Mixed Reality was initially launched in 2017 as a way to provide an affordable VR experience for PC users. However, it failed to gain significant traction in the market, largely due to the lack of content and limited hardware options compared to competitors like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

The Problems with Windows Mixed Reality

One of the main issues with Windows Mixed Reality was the lack of compelling content. While the platform did have some popular VR games and experiences, it couldn’t compete with the extensive libraries offered by other VR platforms. Developers were hesitant to invest time and resources into creating content for a platform with a small user base, further exacerbating the problem.

In addition, the hardware options for Windows Mixed Reality were limited. Microsoft partnered with several hardware manufacturers to produce VR sets, but none of them gained widespread popularity. The sets were often criticized for their comfort, tracking issues, and display quality, which made them less appealing to consumers.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s decision to focus on AR with the HoloLens meant that resources and attention were diverted away from Windows Mixed Reality. This led to a lack of updates and improvements to the platform, making it even harder for it to compete with more established VR platforms.

The Future of VR for Microsoft

With the discontinuation of support for Windows Mixed Reality, it is clear that Microsoft is shifting its focus away from VR and towards AR. The success of the HoloLens and the recent announcement of the HoloLens 2 indicate that Microsoft sees AR as the future of immersive computing.

However, this doesn’t mean that Microsoft is completely abandoning VR. They recently partnered with Oculus to allow users to play VR games on their Xbox consoles, indicating that they still see value in the VR market. It is possible that Microsoft may revisit VR in the future with a new approach or technology.

Microsoft’s decision to discontinue support for Windows Mixed Reality is a disappointing outcome for VR enthusiasts. While the platform had potential, it ultimately couldn’t compete with more established VR platforms due to a lack of content, limited hardware options, and a shift in focus towards AR.

However, this doesn’t spell the end of Microsoft’s involvement in VR. The partnership with Oculus and their continued investment in AR technology indicate that they still see value in immersive computing. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft has in store for the future of VR and how they will continue to innovate in this space.

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