October 17 marked the launch of both the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Windows Mixed Reality. For the former, what that means is that the OS is now ready for the WMR platform and the headsets that will run on it.
Below is everything you need to know about Microsoft’s ambitious new platform. And make no mistake--it is indeed ambitious. Microsoft sees XR as not just some neat thing for niche enthusiasts to geek out over, but the beginning of a massive evolution of personal computing. The company has built support for it into its operating system, developed the remarkable HoloLens on its own, pushed for a horde of content from SteamVR to be ported over, created a way for UWP apps to work on these HMDs, and cajoled multiple hardware OEMs into building first-gen headsets.
And yes, it's a Rift and Vive competitor in that you'll be able to play high-end games on these devices, but we believe Microsoft has grander designs for productivity and casual content consumption. Expect fairly rapid hardware development towards that end.
Even so, there’s no guarantee of success; look no further than Windows Mobile for a cautionary tale. However, Microsoft’s huge investment into XR may portend a more mainstream future wherein most people engage with the technology in some shape or form instead of just a select few.
To begin, get yourself the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Then check out the many links below to learn more about the platform, the headsets, and everything we know about them so far (including the somewhat problematic “mixed reality” nomenclature).