Devil’s in the details, they say. Things are not looking good for Windows Mixed Reality at the moment hardware-wise, but that is likely to change if we are to believe Chromium ‘commits’ (file changes). Namely, changes in the Chromium code suggest that Windows Mixed Reality Chrome support is not too far off.
It takes an eye keen on detail to notice subtle changes in an open source project code. Despite being out there for all to see, one would need to know where to look. In this case, the dates are 22 and 29 January – that is when the Chromium code has been updated. The updates are telling; the first one adds ‘a flag for Windows Mixed Reality’, while the other is supposed to ‘add ‘MixedRealityDevice to support Windows Mixed Reality’.
The news needs may need some information backing. WMR has had a rough time out there in the market. The hopes for WMR were high after a slew of high-caliber companies released their respective products at reasonable prices (Acer, Asus, Samsung, etc.) But now the official number is seven; that is seven headsets officially listed for support on Microsoft Store, three of which even out of stock. For reasons not entirely unfamiliar, Chrome did not consider it a priority to whitelist Microsoft VR platform. Times they do a-change and Windows Mixed Reality Chrome support looks to be a done deal. Whether it is too little too late we shall we, but definitely good news for Microsoft and co.
Particularly now that HoloLens 2 talks are hotter than ever, or at least for the next Microsoft solution whatever its name. With rumors circling around that 24 February is the day of announcement and that HoloLens 2.0 will be available to laymen as well as industrial experts – Windows Mixed Reality Chrome support comes in opportune moment. There has to be some truth in it given that HoloLens development edition is currently listed as out of stock. Looks like someone is making room for something.
Although it is flattering to see stuff being done in the name of WMR, the truth is that it all may be just a browsers game. Widows Mixed Reality Chrome support may well be a simple prerequisite to a reported Microsoft-Chromium hookup. Edge may well replace its HTML platform for Chrome’s superior solution. Where would that leave WMR is still dubious. Still, no bad can come from Chrome support, given that we are talking about the most popular web browser in recent history. For WMR headsets of today, it will mean Chrome native support, better stability, and overall VR and MR experience enhancements.
A word or two on Microsoft own treatment of its Mixed Reality platform. Judging by the Windows blogs entries dealing with MR, Microsoft has been care-less about it. Or otherwise complacent, since months can pass between two mentions. Not the best way to treat your darling, is it?