Windows Mixed Reality

One of the headline features of the Fall Creators Update is Windows Mixed Reality, which is the umbrella term Microsoft uses to describe any of their Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) features. Windows has a strong case for VR/AR, since the best experiences are going to require the brute compute power of a PC, and Microsoft was one of the pioneers of AR with HoloLens, but it has to be said, this market is completely in flux right now. VR hasn’t taken off as quickly as many would have hoped, although AR has made some inroads in the smartphone market.

As Microsoft often does, they’ve turned Mixed Reality into a platform, and that has had some immediate benefits. There’s now several VR headsets available from the major PC OEMs, hitting a couple of price points. Most of the headsets have resolutions of 2880x1440, with 90 Hz LCD panels, with the exception of the Samsung HMD Odyssey which is a 2880x1600 AMOLED headset. The headsets all include motion controllers as well.

With the power of a PC behind it, a Windows Mixed Reality headset should be able to offer some great experiences, but the biggest issue is the lack of use cases. Gaming is the obvious one, but VR gaming hasn’t really taken off yet despite the launch of the HTC and Oculus VR headsets.

AR does have some interesting use cases, and unlike VR doesn’t necessarily require a headset. Using the webcam on a device will allow the system to project images on the screen which appear to be in the real world, and this ties into the work done in Windows to support 3D animations and creations over the last couple of updates.

Overall, Windows Mixed Reality still needs to prove itself. The tech is still new, and we’ve yet to see any amazing experiences which necessitate the purchase and use of a head-mounted display. VR is amazing to use, but limited in usefulness, and AR is somewhat in its infancy. The idea of standardizing all of this is a good one, and having a consistent platform should help drive adoption, but the tech is simply too immature in the market to predict if this will be the next big thing in Windows, or just another small feature.

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  • prophet001 - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    Oh that's rich. Google trying to shut off another manufacturer's spyware.

  • pjcamp - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    How the hell do you spy on a machine with the power off? Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - link

    I think that was referring to a system with power connected, but in the "power off" state. The Intel Management Engine would still draw some power, so it wouldn't really be considered fully powered off. It just hasn't initialized the boot code from UEFI / BIOS / Etc. If I recall correctly, the Intel Management Engine doesn't require boot code to bring it up, but it can be reconfigured by the boot code. This is where coreboot could become useful if you want to disable the engine. Reply
  • Shiitaki - Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - link

    It's not that hard to bypass the ME engine, just add an external network card. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    "Microsoft should block ALL applications by default "
    People love to make sweeping comments like that without thinking through the consequences. Block ALL? Sure. So what does your average home user do then? With everything blocked you have to give them some mechanism to unblock the things they need or want. Unfortunately 99.99% will have no idea....and will click "yes" or "OK" or whatever. OR they won't have any clue what to do and will only know they wanted something and it doesn't work. Then the people who can't figure out how to get to their google docs etc will be on here flaming about the Microsoft Conspiracy to prevent them from using third party products.
  • Hurr Durr - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    This psycho was running around comments not long ago screaming how he "hack-proofed" WinXP and "challenged hackers and various intelligence services around the world" to crack it. Make your conclusions. Reply
  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Saturday, December 23, 2017 - link

    Which Psycho is that Hurr Durr?

    I recall running around claiming that they couldn't "wreck" my box but I never said they couldn't "hack" my box

    I would NEVER use XP for banking or passwords because even a read only system can be "hacked" but not permanently wrecked

    This box is for testing the best of the best malware on the planet and it has often been "hacked"
    However, a simple reboot restores it to pristine and fully functional condition by wiping away any malware, so stop trolling with your fake news
  • Samus - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    I trust Microsoft diagnostic submissions a hell of a lot more than amazon, Facebook, or google. As a whole I trust Microsoft and Apple over just about any other tech company because they are the only two that have business models not revolving around ad revenue. That’s partially why Bing didn’t invade your privacy enough. Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    LOL and WOW, how dumb are you. Their business model revolves around milking people in every possible way they can as hard as they can. What an idiocy it is to assume they go though the effort to create an OS that is spyware at its core and they will not monetize on the acquired information just because they have other sources of revenue. Reply
  • prophet001 - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    They did this in the wake of the sheeple devouring Google's and Apple's creations and paradigms.

    If you can't beat em, join me.

    Microsoft was one of the last bastions of personal privacy in an OS but ya'll told them, through your adoption practices, "hey it's cool. take my stuff" and so they did.

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