Microsoft removes Windows Mixed Reality from its affiliate program

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Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality headsets combine VR and AR for gaming and 360-degree video. There are currently more than 2,500 mixed reality games on the MS Store.

The software giant is expected to unveil the HoloLens 2 at February’s Mobile World Congress. However, Microsoft has just informed affiliate partners that it will remove WMR from its affiliate program.

Is the big M now abandoning WMR?

The Microsoft affiliate program offers its partners a sales commission for their Windows Mixed Reality website ads. The partners receive a commission for every Microsoft and Amazon WMR ad click that leads to a sale. The company offers a 10% commission for those on its affiliate program.

Now the big M has informed affiliate partners that it is reclassifying its commission categories from March 15, 2019. Microsoft sent a detailed list of products that it is removing from its affiliate program.

The list states that Windows mixed and virtual reality is no longer a commissionable product. Consequently, Microsoft is no longer pushing WMR via affiliate ads.

The announcement comes as a slight surprise given that Microsoft seemingly remained firmly committed to WMR. It is widely anticipated that the software giant will showcase the new HoloLens 2 WMR headset at Mobile World Congress 2019.

Microsoft also reputedly stated:

Mixed reality is the future of computing, and Microsoft HoloLens is the future and present of mixed reality. Our commitment requires no roadmap.

However, Windows Mixed Reality has had little impact in the VR market. Steam hardware survey figures showed that the WMR headset market share amounted to about 5.04 percent in May 2018. Thus, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive remain very much the headsets of choice.

Therefore, Microsoft’s removal of Windows Mixed Reality from its affiliate programs will no doubt convince some that WMR is going the same way as the Windows Phone.

That’s especially the case given the fact that phone is another category Microsoft has confirmed it is dropping from the affiliate program in March 2019. With developers increasingly ignoring WMR, Microsoft might now be shelving Windows Mixed Reality.

Now it remains to be seen what the HoloLens 2 really amounts to. Hopefully, Microsoft will answer that question at the Mobile World Congress. It might be the case, however, that the software giant sees the HoloLens 2 as something more for business users, such as the U.S. Army.