Interesting Meta is now “Open” Company, Opening up its Horizon OS to 3-Party AR/VR Headset

Meta turned its virtual reality strategy on its head. The social media giant announced that its mixed reality operating system, newly renamed Horizon OS, will be opened up to work on third-party AR and VR headsets beyond Meta’s own Quest line.

Y’see, up until now, Meta’s VR OS has only run on its own Quest headsets. Meta revealed partnership deals that’ll bring its Horizon OS to future headsets from Asus, Lenovo, and surprisingly, Microsoft. Yeah, there’s gonna be an Xbox-branded Meta Quest headset.

The real kicker here is that Meta is opening up what’s essentially been its walled garden. By allowing other hardware makers to integrate Horizon OS, the company is pivoting its mixed reality platform to be more open and encouraging third-party hardware innovation. It’s a bold strategy shift that, in many ways, resembles Google Android. You know, as opposed to Apple’s historically closed model of integrating its software and hardware so tightly together.

Not ones to be outdone, Meta reps dropped a few other open mixed reality moves in their blog post. The App Lab section of the Quest store, which has been a nice outlet for indies and experimental VR software, will soon gain “increased visibility.” What’s more, Meta is promising an “open mixed reality framework” to help developers across all Horizon OS headsets build richer augmented reality experiences.

Does this mean Meta’s big “metaverse” push is truly becoming an open platform play? It sure seems like it — and it also feels like Mark Zuckerberg Meta. are trying to get ahead of whatever closed, hardware-integrated Vision OS system Apple has brewing behind its walled garden. This is Meta signaling it wants to be the “open” alternative in this emerging product category. A fascinating strategic shift, if you ask me!

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