Windows Mixed Reality is History

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 21, 2023
Windows 10, Windows 11 News

After having added three features to its deprecation list in December 2023 already, Microsoft has added Windows Mixed Reality as another one that is getting axed.

Microsoft introduced Mixed Reality as a feature of its Windows 10 operating system back in 2015. It did so at a time when the augmented reality (AR) hype was at a peak. Mixed Reality promised to push AR to the next level.

To better understand Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, and Virtual Reality, it is important to understand the differences between these technologies and Virtual Reality.

Put simple, AR is designed to add "something" to the real physical world. Think of visual or auditive layers that these solutions add. This can be something simple, like the ability to browse websites or something more complex, like instructions on fixing equipment while fixing it.

Microsoft launched its HoloLens Mixed Reality headset and the underlying technology was called Windows Holographic until 2017 when its name changed to Windows Mixed Reality. Neither the industry nor the military seems to have shared Microsoft's enthusiasm for the technology. While there have been experiments, these don't seem to have had the desired results.

It did not help that the entire technology was best experienced  with a hands on approach.

The deprecation ends Windows Mixed Reality's journey. Microsoft 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 other words, Microsoft is ending support for Windows Mixed Reality and the related technologies Mixed Reality Portal app and Windows Mixed Reality for Steam.

Deprecation means that the technology is no longer supported. It will be removed from Windows operating systems eventually. Microsoft does not reveal when exactly, but it is common that this type of change is introduced with feature updates or new Windows releases. The next potential target for such a removal is 2024 therefore.

Microsoft will release a new feature update for Windows 11 in 2024 and there is also the rumored release of Windows 12, or the next version of Windows, that is likely also happening in 2024.

Now You: did you use Mixed Reality in one form or another? (via Born / Neowin)

Windows Mixed Reality is History
Article Name
Windows Mixed Reality is History
Microsoft announced the deprecation of Windows Mixed Reality in December 2023 on all supported Windows platforms.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Peter said on December 22, 2023 at 7:24 am

    I really don’t understand what’s Microsoft’s problem is. They keep going against it’s users wishes and keep adding new, dumb features no one wants and disregard fixing all the bugs, improving the kernel and the overall user experience. Microsoft is becoming the Mozilla of operating systems.

  2. EVSaleslump said on December 22, 2023 at 12:37 am

    Less garbage to keep removing every Windows install and one more fad checked off, similar to EVs, Digital assistance, 3D TVs, and AI. Nobody that I know uses virtual reality anymore. As soon as they experienced motion sickness, everyone who owned VR stopped using it.

    1. Anonymous said on December 22, 2023 at 6:07 pm

      You need to understand the differences. You are talking about VR (which is imho indeed something that will not be of any use for anybody for a very, very long time, if ever), That’s in contrast to AR which would imho provide an incredible amount of benefit for everyone, unfortunately has this not been realized today by any device suitable for providing it. The devices are either unaffordable, bulky and unpractical or ugly or all of them. A working AR would provide a significantly higher benefit than all narrow AI combined.
      Problem is, that most companies don’t want to bet on a single horse and want to play safe. As any VR set can also do AR, they just support both, making the device more expensive heavier, bulkier, uglier and a lot more expensive (see Apples Vision Pro). So the idea of Microsoft to go just for one of the 2 is ok, unfortunately they selected the wrong one (the one that won’t provide a lot of benefit, is technically far more difficult to achieve and thus devices will be far costlier and bulkier and uglier and unpleasant to wear). But I guess, that’s what was to be expected from Microsoft.
      Google got it nearly right with their Glasses, but instead of focusing on the true benefits that AR could provide, they focused on social media shit and making videos of everything, something nobody really needed. The nearly did the right thing, but didn’t understand where the true benefit was and thus blew it.
      The 1st company that gets AR really, really right, will make the iPhone look like near commercial failure in comparison.

    2. JV said on December 22, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      That’s bullshit. It isn’t because you don’t know anybody that uses VR that it isn’t used anymore.
      And you can overcome that motion sickness by using it a bit more on a regular basis.
      Besides, WMR is only needed for a few older headsets, all the others and newer headsets use OpenXR these days.

  3. bruh said on December 21, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Microsoft has been shooting itself in the foot for so long, tons of deprecated/failed projects, just goes to show how bad their polling of the general population is, they are out of touch with what people want and/or care about.

    I never liked it in the slightest, but I think one of the failed projects they should have stuck with was the Windows phone, it could have saved the perpetual dumbing down of the desktop OS – because now that is their only thing…

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.