Microsoft is giving up on Mixed Reality, which never really made it with consumers.
Windows 10 has been involved in pushing Microsoft’s mixed reality vision for consumers. This began when Microsoft announced HoloLens and a special version of Windows 10 called Windows Holographic. Then, a couple of years later, Microsoft added the Windows Mixed Reality shell into the OS.
Some time before that, Microsoft introduced Paint 3D to Windows 10. The company also hinted that Paint 3D was going to replace Paint.
Microsoft misjudged the popularity of its Mixed Reality offering
It was during this time of 3D introductions that Microsoft added a folder called 3D Objects o the Windows OS. This was apparently because the brain trust in Redmond really believed that consumers would be interested in 3D.
This was not the case. Microsoft’s mixed reality plans never really materialized as they had planned – at least not in the consumer market. In the enterprise sector, some customers have found uses for it, however. Products like HoloLens 2 and the newer Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which target businesses, have succeeded.
But there was no real demand for things like Paint 3D and using the Windows Mixed Reality shell in Windows 10.
And now, that folder is going away, signaling an end to the giant mixed reality push. The change showed up in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build, i.e., build 21322.
The message in the release notes was short and direct: “The 3D Objects folder will no longer be shown as a special folder in File Explorer after updating to this build. If you need to access this folder, you can do so via typing %userprofile% in File Explorer or through the navigation pane option ‘Show all folders’.”