Windows Mixed Reality set to get a range of improvements

Samsung Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality

Yesterday, we witnessed a new Windows 10 preview delivered to the fast ring which came with some interesting changes on the privacy front, but build 17115 (Redstone 4) also contains some major work on Windows Mixed Reality which Microsoft just highlighted.

Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider program, outlined the goodies introduced for those testing Windows 10 with Mixed Reality headsets in a blog post. All these features will go live with the next (imminent) big update of Windows 10 (which is thought to be called the Spring Creators Update).

Windows Mixed Reality Skyloft

Heading up the list of improvements is a brand-new environment for users to virtually wander around. As well as the existing Cliff House, folks can now enjoy the Skyloft with its impressive city view (as opposed to the former’s ocean outlook). Think modern super-posh penthouse apartment, basically, and check out the image above for a glimpse at this new addition.

Other important changes have been implemented on the SteamVR front, including the introduction of haptic feedback for the motion controllers in SteamVR games. Also, general performance levels have been improved in these games, with Microsoft managing to tune things to use a ‘significantly lower’ amount of video RAM.

Microsoft notes that live video preview in the Mixed Reality Portal has also been fine-tuned to run more smoothly. Furthermore, the company has updated the automatic performance settings to provide a better optimized experience for Mixed Reality addicts.

Snap happy

So what else is new? You can now take Mixed Reality photos by using a controller: simply hold down the Windows button and press the trigger. Users can snap anything across all environments, with the caveat being that you can’t take a photo of any content which is protected with DRM.

Aside from all that, Microsoft has made various tweaks to the overall Windows Mixed Reality experience, and improved the setup procedure, with the latter now giving more in-depth information about potential compatibility issues with graphics cards and USB 3.0 controllers.

Note that this fresh build is for Redstone 4, i.e. the preview builds honing the next major Windows 10 update which as we mentioned should arrive next month.

Don’t get this confused with Redstone 5, which is for those who have opted into the ‘skip ahead’ program and are testing the feature update which will arrive much later this year.

A new Redstone 5 build has actually just been released, but if you’re a Windows Mixed Reality fan in this much smaller group of testers, it’d be wise not to install it. Mainly because there are a couple of major problems that have caused Mixed Reality frame rates to drop through the floor (down to 8-10 fps), not to mention issues with crashing.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).