Windows 10 Will Let You Run Desktop Apps on VR Headsets

Man using headphones and controllers in mixed realityMicrosoft

Microsoft is still finishing Updated April 2019 Windows 10, also known as 19H1. In the latest development version, you can now launch desktop applications (Win32) into the virtual environment of a mixed reality helmet.

This feature is part of the insider overview build 18329, announced by Microsoft on February 1, 2019. If you have a Windows mixed reality headset, you can now launch classic Windows desktop applications in the mixed reality environment. They will float in the 3D view as windows, just as the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) applications of the store already do.

Here's how Microsoft says it works:

To use this feature, open the Pins panel [in Mixed Reality], then go to all applications, where you will find a folder called "Classic Apps (Beta)". In this folder, you will be able to select and launch any desktop application (Win32).

Desktop application running Windows Mixed RealityMicrosoft

Although it's pretty cool, it's certainly not very practical. Today's virtual reality headsets have low-resolution panels, and you can see the pixels as your eyes get closer, that's the "screen door effect." a future super high-resolution headset could potentially provide a large workspace. Windows Mixed Reality is now ready for this future.

RELATED: What is mixed reality under Windows 10 and should you buy a headset?

This latest version also includes the "best applications" in the new search interface. When you open the search view, Windows suggests the applications you have used the most, at the top of the search view.

Key Applications in the New Windows 10 Search DialogMicrosoft

The Windows 10 Touchpad now supports the ADLaM script used by West African Fulani and the Osage script used by the Osage Nation in Oklahoma.

RELATED: Brand new in the April 2019 update of Windows 10


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