It is highly unlikely that Mixed Reality will replace standard desktop apps anytime soon. If fact, they might never surpass the utility we have got used to and come to expect from our standard Microsoft setup. However, WMR users will appreciate the option that new Microsoft update has in line for them. Windows 10 Mixed Reality update will enable classic desktop apps to run in MR.
These are your traditional Win32 applications. There will likely be a whole host of them eventually, but for now Microsoft mentions the likes of Spotify, Paint.NET, and Visual Studio Code. It is all part of the Windows 10 update scheduled for April this year dubbed 19H1, but for those less patient to see what it all looks like in MR there is an early Insider Preview Build numbered 18329. Be warned though, previews such as these contain lots of bugs. This would not be too much of a big deal if it were not uncomfortable at the least, or painful at the very end of annoyance spectrum.
OK, what awaits us in the April Windows 10 Mixed Reality update? A very early look into what might or might not become the standard decades from now. It is the ability to use our WMR headsets for light, everyday tasks like light web browsing or small-scale content creation. Launching the utility is pretty basic; you head over to Pins Panel where app list is, and make way to ‘Classic Apps (Beta)’ folder where all launchable Win32 application are. This is all early stuff and might not work at 100% even in April. Microsoft even mentions the fact that the feature is still in development phase, and urges the always eager community to send feedback of any problems they encounter using it.
There is an obvious objection to be raised here. It is that Windows 10 Mixed Reality update does not bring anything really convenient to many people. It is cool, for sure, but the WMR headsets of today are still plagued by resolutions too low for enjoying to work on standard desktop apps. But there is the other side of the coin. Traditionally, there has not been much talk about VR and regular PC usage. Virtual Reality, or Mixed broadly speaking, is still thought of as this cool, superstructure feature. In its current state, nobody really considers it essential. Windows Mixed Reality is still reserved for the likes of playing games, enjoying video content, or for light educational purposes. At one point though, the switch is inevitable. Updates such as these have that purpose to make way for more bold enrichment of Mixed Reality app constellation.
Either way, it is nice to have the stuff that Widows 10 Mixed reality update brings on board. For instance, the ability to launch apps from Pins Panel alone should bring incremental improvement as WMR users will tell you. Being able to open, say, Steam directly from Pins is one such. Again, although very limited in terms of usage base or even sheer utility, desktop apps for WMR are necessary now to get us to the projected future.