Posit: WMR integration into Windows will kill all proprietary APIs - Discuss :)

Morning All,

I had a brain fart off of the back of Ashnak's post yesterday about using a Reverb alongside Oculus. It got me thinking that we've got these different manufacturer interfaces/launchers etc. Steam, Pimax, WMR, Others(?) none of which strike me as particularly slick or seamless and that includes WMR.

However, I can't help but think that in typical Microsoft fashion ( if we look back over the last 30 years or so ), they're late to the party with a weak offering and then they're just going to suddenly grow-up and take over. Previous examples:

3Dfx, PhysX, Blackberry, GEM, Wordperfect, Borland IDE, OS/2 - all victims where Microsoft looked at leading technology and decided, "Let's have some of that". In fact the only companies that seem to be really holding their ground are Apple ( with significant help from Microsoft, using Intel hardware designed to support Windows and giving up on their own OS to use 'nix ...and lost their copyright lawsuit against MS ), Google ( who only exist because Excite shot themselves in the head IMO ) and AWS ( How the book shipping company pulled this off is still a mystery to me. Bezos should be compulsory reading in economics or business studies ).

Microsoft, generally, demonstrates exceptional commercial saavy ( smartphones - whoops! How they missed the shot, from the goal line, should also be compulsory reading. BG admits he had his head in the sand on mobile ).

So, I would postulate, based purely on their consistent track record, Microsoft, either via WMR or it's successor, will supplant SteamVR or whatever Oculus and the others are doing. Simply because none of them will be able to compete with a rapidly developing API built into the OS and integrated with DirectX.

Personally, I don't think WMR is great but then neither was Windows 3.1. Today I'll take W10 over anything ( personally it suits me ). What I will say for WMR is that plugging a headset in is like plugging in a basic keyboard. It's instantly good to go ( assuming no bugs - but the same could be said of any API ).

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Windows integration works pretty good in my opinion. You can just enter their 'cliffhouse', watch webs, play apps, even run desktop.

Personally i like it. Its 'just working'.
Windows integration works pretty good in my opinion. You can just enter their 'cliffhouse', watch webs, play apps, even run desktop.

Personally i like it. Its 'just working'.
Very true. Only caveat is how to stop the darn thing starting automatically all the time. Didn't someone show stats of it chomping GPU memory in the background?
its the 'driver'. It will run always when you're using the gogle. Not good, not terrible.

It is not consuming GPU power when you're using the other VR app.
Valve has the vision here. An open source interface - OpenVR - which they implemented in their SteamVR driver.

One interface (OpenVR), many implementations(Pimax, SteamVR, WMR, Oculus, XTAL, StarVR) would be the golden roadmap but that is a long way off...

WMR actually depends on the SteamVR for WMR interoperability layer which maps WMR calls to the OpenVR interface standard because a lot of games/experiences only have support for OpenVR (and Oculus) at this point in time.

Pimax built an OpenVR implementation driver that also hijacks the SteamVR runtime for its spatial context.

Oculus has its own black boxed driver in the OculusVR service and will almost certainly remain that way ad infinitum.

Its fairly typical of nascent technology to see divergence in standards and it is only when it is mature that we see converging conformance.

I hope that eventually Microsoft ditch WMR and start extending and implementing the OpenVR interface.
OpenVR looks very good. My only fear being that MS exploit their own dominance, a'la DX vs OpenGL, to push OpenVR to an 'also ran'. The only reason, as has happened so often in the past unfortunately, that SteamVR has prominence currently is that they're driving the market and MS, as usual, is late to the party. Once MS have finished ripping off their tech, again, as usual, I suspect SteamVR will wane same as PhysX, Mantle, Glide, BES, ( insert deprecated API ). OpenGL and Vulkan are holding their own somewhat so maybe SteamVR will persist. All capabilities being equal, in future; vendors choosing Steam over Microsoft - nyet. They'd be mad not to follow the larger partner base.
Just had a look at WMR 1903 vs the old 1809 build. I wouldn't call it good, however it's a shed load better than 1809 to look at. If it's indicative of their rate of progress then MS are starting to wake up.
1909 got update of WMR Portal but i cant notice a difference.

MS is still sleeping - they even have no info about Reverb on their mainpage (a flagship headset) and they wil loose the "VR" war as they lost smartphone war and tablet war. Its the numbest company i know, their marketing should be replaced.
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