Microsoft is building something its competitors won't have for years: a platform.
Upon its release later this month, Microsoft will have six headsets that will support the Windows Mixed Reality platform, with a new headset from Samsung joining the mix one month later. The Samsung Odyssey is the most impressive of the headsets. With a high-quality display, wider FOV, integrated headphones and an internal mic, the Odyssey is comparable to HTC Vive or Oculus RIft rather than the mid-level headsets that support Windows Mixed Reality.
Microsoft gave a full tour of the platform at its October 3 event. The home space, much like a desktop screen, has access to applications. Users can suspend application windows in their virtual space, not unlike hanging a painting.
Oculus Home, SteamVR and VivePort are optimized for launching applications, but Microsoft’s home is much more. Users can work from the space to add meetings to their schedule, send email, and work on a project with Office applications.
Although the Samsung Odyssey is the only headset that can rival the specs of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Microsoft is building the first full VR platform and will be a compelling sell to consumers and business alike. The Mixed Reality platform is beyond any headset or AR device; it is something that can be built upon and supported by headset manufacturers.
UPDATE 10/12: Since this article has been published, Oculus has announced Dash, bringing PC desktop capabilities to the Touch. View your web browser, or stay in touch with friends in Messenger. Screens in Dash are more than just a mirror of a physical monitor. Your virtual displays can be placed anywhere, and you can have as many as you like.
Oculus is also releasing an update to Home so users can customize the space with minigames, props, and furniture. Friends of users can also now visit.