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Microsoft is killing Windows Mixed Reality, a major Windows 10 headlining feature

Windows Mixed Reality promo image

Back in January 2015, when Microsoft first unveiled Windows 10 at its "Windows 10: The Next Chapter" event, the company also revealed its Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality (AR) / mixed reality (MR) headset.

Despite having no idea about its specs, Neowin was quite impressed by what we saw after having a hands-on experience with the headset.

Microsoft had big ambitions with MR, and in a way, it is sort of similar to how the company is now pumped for Copilot on the next-gen Windows, so much so that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella feels like it's just as immense and significant as the Start button itself. At the time, the HoloLens and its accompanying platform framework was called the "Windows Holographic," though in 2017, this was renamed to "Windows Mixed Reality."

Although it may be a bit difficult to relate to it now, Microsoft was not too wrong in its outlook as VR and AR seemed like the next big thing at that time. It was only natural for the tech giant to get on the train as it did not want to be left behind since almost everyone else was doing it too. It is fair to say though that the industry as a whole, including Microsoft, probably overestimated the potential of MR and as such, the company was not able to grow the business beyond a few niche markets here and there.

Perhaps it could be a reason why Microsoft has now announced that it is deprecating the Windows Mixed Reality platform. On a webpage outlining the deprecated Windows client features, Microsoft has added a section for Windows Mixed Reality, where it notes that it's killing off Windows Mixed Reality alongside the Mixed Reality Portal app as well as Windows MR for SteamVR and Steam VR beta.

It writes:

Windows Mixed Reality is deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. This deprecation includes the Mixed Reality Portal app, and Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR and Steam VR Beta.

In case you want a quick recap about the Windows Mixed Reality platform, you can read this article Neowin's John Callaham recently did in their "Look back" column.

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