In 2017, the company launched the feature in a Windows 10 update to take on virtual reality rivals like HTC and Oculus (now owned by Meta). The mixed reality portal app allowed users to access the technology on their personal computers with the use of compatible VR headsets.
Microsoft said: “Windows mixed reality is deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.”
Windows Mixed Reality: Key highlights
Windows Mixed Reality acted as a portal to games, apps and other experiences inside the VR space. Apart from the Microsoft HoloLens, other companies, including Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, and Samsung, made mixed reality headsets compatible with Microsoft’s platform.
However, the enterprise-focused HoloLens 2 is expected to be available. Earlier this year, Microsoft rolled out a free Windows 11 upgrade and multiple other improvements for the $3,500 headset, reports The Verge.
Microsoft’s mixed reality
Microsoft uses mixed reality to describe software that combines both augmented and virtual reality. Augmented reality overlays text, sounds, graphics and video on real-world images that users see in front of them. Meanwhile, virtual reality immerses users in an artificial world by creating computer-generated experiences.
Microsoft has been gradually downsizing its VR division. According to a Business Insider report of 2022 the company scrapped plans for HoloLens 3. This move may have been the stepping stones towards ending the company’s augmented reality headset line.
In 2022, HoloLens boss Alex Kipman also quit over allegations of sexual misconduct (reports The Verge). Later, the company announced 10,000 job cuts and most of the affected workers worked for Microsoft’s mixed reality projects. It also includes the company’s now-discontinued AltspaceVR app.