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- Windows Mixed Reality will be removed in the future releases of Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Early this year, Microsoft laid off the entire teams behind Windows Mixed Reality, AltspaceVR and MRTK. During that time, Microsoft officially announced that AltspaceVR will be killed and MRTK development will be stopped. However, Microsoft did not provide any information on the future of Windows Mixed Reality.
Today, Microsoft revealed that Windows Mixed Reality is dead and it will be removed from future releases of Windows. As part of this deprecation, the Mixed Reality Portal app, and Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR and Steam VR Beta will be deprecated. Windows Mixed Reality is now part of both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and you can expect it to be removed in the coming months.
Microsoft had a vision of creating a new computing paradigm with Windows Mixed Reality, a platform that would combine virtual and augmented reality into a seamless experience. The company launched a range of headsets and controllers in 2017, hoping to attract developers and consumers with its affordable and accessible approach. However, six years later, Microsoft has announced that it is discontinuing Windows Mixed Reality and will no longer support the platform. The decision comes after years of lackluster sales, limited content, and poor reviews. Microsoft failed to generate enough interest and excitement in the market, despite its early entry and ambitious plans.
Apple is expected to release its own headset, Vision Pro, and operating system, VisionOS, in February 2024. The products are expected to offer a sleek design, a powerful processor, a high-resolution display, and a rich ecosystem of apps and services. Apple’s entry into the mixed reality market is reminiscent of its introduction of the iPhone and iOS in 2007, which revolutionized the mobile industry and left Microsoft behind. Microsoft had its own mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, which was launched in 2000 and had a significant market share. However, Windows Mobile failed to keep up with the innovation and user experience that Apple offered, and eventually lost its relevance and popularity. Microsoft’s mixed reality story is a cautionary tale of how a visionary idea can turn into a nightmare if it is not executed well and if it faces a formidable rival. Microsoft had a chance to lead the mixed reality revolution, but it squandered it with a mediocre product and a lack of marketing. Apple, on the other hand, is ready to take the world by storm with its Vision Pro and VisionOS, which could redefine the future of computing.