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Microsoft Officially Deprecates Windows Mixed Reality, Signaling Shift in VR Strategy and Focus on Enterprise Applications

In a significant move, Microsoft has officially deprecated Windows Mixed Reality, signaling the end of its support in future Windows releases. The deprecation extends to the Mixed Reality Portal app and Windows Mixed Reality for Steam VR. Introduced in 2017, Windows Mixed Reality aimed to position Microsoft in the competitive virtual reality (VR) landscape alongside contenders like HTC and Oculus (now Meta).

Windows Mixed Reality provided a gateway to various VR experiences, games, and applications, supporting mixed reality headsets from companies such as Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, and Samsung. While the platform garnered attention, Microsoft has been gradually scaling down its VR efforts. Notably, Alex Kipman, the head of HoloLens, left the company in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, and a subsequent round of layoffs impacted the team working on mixed reality projects, including the discontinuation of the AltspaceVR app.

The deprecation of Windows Mixed Reality does not affect the enterprise-focused HoloLens 2, which received a free Windows 11 upgrade and other enhancements earlier this year. Microsoft seems to be shifting its focus from consumer-oriented mixed reality experiences to other applications of VR, such as the Microsoft Mesh app for virtual meetings without a headset. Additionally, Microsoft has collaborated with Meta to enable Quest users to access Office apps and the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform. As the VR landscape continues to evolve, Microsoft appears to be strategically navigating its presence in this space.


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