At Microsoft’s Build developer conference the company announced it was bringing Windows Volumetric apps to Quest, which Microsoft calls a way to “extend Windows apps into 3D space.”

Pavan Davuluri, head of Windows and Devices at Microsoft, announced on stage at Build the company was “deepening [its] partnership with Meta to make Windows a first class experience on Quest devices.”

Microsoft says it’s aiming to transform workflows by bringing Windows 365 and local PC connectivity to Quest, which the company says will allow developers to easily bring their Windows apps into XR.

Image courtesy Microsoft

“We call these Volumetric apps,” Davuluri says in a blog  post. “Developers will have access to a volumetric API. This is just one of many ways to broaden your reach through the Windows ecosystem.”

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has extended its reach into XR software. Introduced in 2017, the company’s Windows Mixed Reality platform included baked-in support for its line of VR headsets. In late 2023 however, Microsoft deprecated support for WMR.

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Information is still thin on the ground, so there’s no telling how this partnership will develop beyond allowing access to developers. As it is, the XR landscape is shifting fairly rapidly with the announcement last month that Meta was releasing its XR operating system to third-party OEMs for the first time, including ASUS, Lenovo, and Xbox.

Meanwhile, Google and Samsung are releasing an XR headset at some point, which not only promises to return Samsung to the XR headset space, but also allow Google its first opportunity since Daydream to release its own first-party Android-based XR operating system.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • eadVrim

    Good, but I still don’t understand why the Quest 3 asking for the fkg** boundary when I’am going to open a mixed reality experience.
    And I think the boundary in VR should be updated automatically in real time since the device has sensors and cameras without need to do it manually.

    • Excellent point.
      The entire fracking UI needs a massive overhaul.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Perhaps a privacy issue?

      • eadVrim

        Perhaps. VR should be like plug and play, for me the boundary is most annoying thing in Quest 3. It limits VR and MR.

  • ZarathustraDK

    Satan called, he’s wondering if he can get in on this gig too.

    • Tell ‘im I said: “Hey”.

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    Apple got a lot of flak from the VR community for painstakingly avoiding the term virtual reality and instead calling it spatial computing. “Spatial (computing)” was nonetheless quickly adapted to mostly describe apps located somewhere in virtual space, but not necessarily VR apps themselves, and even Meta has now announced a Spatial App SDK to help with bringing existing Android apps to XR.

    Microsoft now calling them volumetric makes even less sense. Spatial means “relating to dimensions in space”, and in the past has been used a lot in the context of XR with e.g. tracking, audio and more. Volume on the other hand refers to the content of a space, not to some sort of positioning, and has been used in games/XR to describe e.g. volumetric clouds with 3D bodies instead of just using flat images. I get that they don’t want to give Apple a PR win by also calling them spatial apps, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless.

  • Can “Windows Spatial” be far behind …??
    Let’s hope so.
    []^ )

    • Foreign Devil

      Spatial and Volumentric are both attempts to trademark the language around 3D. Just call it 3D!

      • But “3D” has such a not-current vibe to it.
        Just call it: “spatial”.
        Plus, it sounds cooler. lol
        []^ )

    • sam ben

      Not realy sure

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Non Apple fans would say that Apple went its own way by calling it by another name and then of course claiming it invented it all along… some Apple fans will truly believe that!

  • Ondrej

    Apple and Meta should be ashamed that they put powerful laptops (that are faster than supercomputers 20 years ago) on peoples’ heads and still force them to stream office apps from frikkin laptops and not let them run them natively, because they are that obsessed in controlling the tollbooth and TAX, so they have to ruin the software market and freedoms on their dystopian “future of computing” devices. XR is so far an anti-consumer and anti-developer joke.

    • Ondrej

      Oh, and I’m also very disappointed by the tech media, especial VR/AR journalists who almost never point out this problem and give these corporations a free reign without proper criticism.

      You don’t need to be anti-tech or anti-progress to criticize limiting freedoms of new computer paltforms. You guys use laptops, not just smartphones or ipads. You should know what to expect form GENERAL purpose computers.

      Stop letting them go away with it.

  • Ardra Diva

    MS did this a long time ago with Hololens. Vision Pro touts the same features, i.e., desktop apps in a mixed reality presentation.