Microsoft has dropped Windows Mixed Reality devices from its affiliate program—are they dead already?

Jonny Caldwell

Microsoft is removing Windows Mixed Reality devices from its affiliate program, which allows third parties to sell Microsoft products, and pays them a commission (via PCGamesN). By removing the devices from the program, the company will no longer be encouraging further sales of the product though affiliates, potentially hinting that it intends to shift its focus elsewhere.

If the company intends to step back from its focus on Windows Mixed Reality, the move wouldn’t be too surprising at this point. A game developer recently suggested that the lack of news surrounding virtual reality development for the next generation Xbox might mean that perhaps Microsoft lacks interest in VR development.

However that’s not to say that Windows Mixed Reality is being shelved just yet. The company still plans to release its second generation HoloLens this Sunday (February 24) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And if that wasn’t all, Google is working to add Windows Mixed Reality support to its Chrome web browser thanks to the recent addition of win32 support in Mixed Reality in Windows 10’s 19H1 development branch.

Even then, organizations such as the US Army have taken a liking of the headset, with the military branch purchasing as many as a hundred thousand units to be used for training and on the battlefield. So it’s clear that the device is plenty capable especially if its being used by government organizations.

However it still begs the question as to why Microsoft has decided to no longer incentivize further sales of its mixed reality devices. It’s possible the company wishes to shift its focus as to how and to whom it sells them, as opposed to discontinuing them altogether.

Whatever the case may be, its HoloLens event on Sunday might give us more insight as to the company’s future plans for mixed reality. One of our staff writers will be attending the keynote, so be sure to check back as we bring you the latest on Microsoft’s plans (hence our name) for the future of its headset and its platform.