Windows 10 Will Let You Run Desktop Apps on VR Headsets

By | February 2, 2019

Man using Mixed Reality headset and controllers

Microsoft is still polishing up Windows 10’s April 2019 Update, also known as 19H1. In the latest development build, you can now launch desktop (Win32) applications in a Mixed Reality headset’s virtual environment.

This feature is part of Insider preview build 18329, which Microsoft announced on February 1, 2019. If you have a Windows Mixed Reality headset, you can now launch a classic Windows desktop applications in the Mixed Reality environment. They’ll float in the 3D view as window panes, just as Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps from the Store already do today.

Here’s how Microsoft says it works:

To use this feature, bring up Pins Panel [in Mixed Reality], then go to all apps, where you will find a folder named “Classic Apps (Beta)”. In this folder, you will be able to select and launch any Desktop (Win32) applications.

Desktop app running in Windows Mixed Reality
Microsoft

While this is pretty cool, it certainly isn’t super practical. Today’s virtual reality headsets have fairly low-resolution panels, and you can see the pixels when your eyes are up close—that’s the “screen door effect.” But a future super high-resolution headset could potentially provide a great workspace. Windows Mixed Reality is now ready for that future.

RELATED: What Is Mixed Reality on Windows 10, and Should You Buy a Headset?

This latest build also includes “top apps” in the new search interface. When you open the search view, Windows will suggest the apps you’ve used most, right at the top of the search view.

Top apps in Windows 10's new search dialog
Microsoft

Windows 10’s touch keyboard now includes support for the ADLaM script used by the Fulani people of West Africa and Osage script used by the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, too.

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