Has Microsoft given up on Windows Mixed Reality?

Image credit: Microsoft

Windows Mixed Reality had huge potential when Microsoft added support for the virtual reality platform to Windows 10, but that big potential hasn’t translated into big sales, and it now seems that even Microsoft is begging to lose faith.

A report by WindowsUnited.de suggests that Microsoft will no longer pay commission on Windows Mixed Reality headsets sold on the Microsoft Store. Listed as ‘No longer commissionable product’, it looks like Microsoft is ending the incentive to sell more of those devices.

What’s particularly worrying is that this means the Windows Mixed Reality devices now join Windows Phone devices and the Microsoft Band – all long-dead products – which does not bode well for Windows Mixed Reality.

As MSPowerUser reports, Microsoft has sent an email saying that “With this reclassification, we will focus our investment activities on Surface and Xbox products rather than on the following product categories.”

It certainly sounds like Microsoft is moving away from pushing Windows Mixed Reality.

Mixed results

If this is the case, then that is disappointing, as Windows Mixed Reality was a way of offering consumers a wider choice of virtual reality headsets made by a range of different manufacturers, including Samsung, Dell and Acer.

These headsets were usually more affordable than the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and are easier to set up (thanks to support being baked into Windows 10).

Crucially, many of the headsets offered comparable specs and experiences to the two more expensive VR devices, and with support for Steam VR, it means Windows Mixed Reality was a great way to get into virtual reality gaming on PC.

We’d been hoping that we’d see a new generation of more powerful Windows Mixed Reality devices soon, but with middling sales and Microsoft going rather quiet for a while now, it seems that Windows Mixed Reality’s days could be numbered.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.