Microsoft ‘Extends’ Windows Apps in 3D on Meta’s Quest Headset

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Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft confirms further collaboration with Meta to make apps 3D.
  • Windows and Devices boss Davuluri eyes expansion via Meta’s Quest headset.
  • Microsoft is fielding signups for the Windows Volumetric Apps developer preview now.

Windows apps are set to enter 3D space as Microsoft deepens its partnership with Meta.

At Build on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporation’s Corporate VP of Windows and Devices Pavan Davuluri outlined how Windows volumetric apps will be made available on Meta’s Quest headset devices. 

On bringing the apps to the virtual reality (VR) realm, he outlined how “Windows can take advantage of Quest’s unique capabilities to extend Windows apps into 3D space.”

The initial presentation was not heavy on detail, but on display was an enlarged 3D view of an Xbox controller as seen through a Meta Quest 3 headset. 

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Microsoft is now accepting sign-ups for the developer preview, which will provide access to an unnamed “volumetric API.” However, the form indicates the process is still at an early stage with the following description:

Microsoft is looking for developers that produce or provide plug-ins for 3D Windows desktop applications or customers that work with 3D applications on Windows desktop applications who are interested in extending those applications into 3D content with mixed reality.

Microsoft has already been working with Meta to develop a limited edition Meta Quest VR headset, said to be inspired by the Xbox. The partnership had previously enabled the release of Microsoft 365 apps (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) on the Quest device in December 2023.

The company dropped its own Windows Mixed Reality initiative a few months ago, which required many Windows PC partners to build wired headsets that users would plug into a PC.