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Microsoft is discontinuing Windows Mixed Reality

Microsoft is discontinuing Windows Mixed Reality

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Microsoft added the mixed reality platform to a list of deprecated Windows features.

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A photo showing a Windows Mixed Reality headset
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

It’s over for Windows Mixed Reality. In an update to a list of deprecated Windows features, Microsoft added Windows Mixed Reality, along with the accompanying Mixed Reality Portal app and Windows Mixed Reality for Steam VR.

The company says Windows Mixed Reality is “deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.” Microsoft first introduced Windows Mixed Reality in 2017 as part of its bid to compete with virtual reality rivals like HTC and Oculus (now owned by Meta).

Windows Mixed Reality served as a portal to games, apps, and other experiences within the VR space. In addition to the Microsoft HoloLens, other companies, including Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, and Samsung, made mixed reality headsets compatible with Microsoft’s platform. It doesn’t look like the enterprise-focused HoloLens 2 is going anywhere for now, though, as Microsoft added a free Windows 11 upgrade and several other improvements for the $3,500 headset earlier this year.

Microsoft has been gradually downsizing its VR division. HoloLens boss Alex Kipman left last year over allegations of sexual misconduct, and the company later cut 10,000 jobs, many of which affected the workers behind Microsoft’s mixed reality projects, including the now-discontinued AltspaceVR app.

Despite this, Microsoft continues to focus on other applications of VR, such as its Microsoft Mesh app that will soon let co-workers meet in a virtual space without a headset. It also started letting Quest users access Office apps and its Xbox Cloud Gaming platform through a partnership with Meta.

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