Meta Opens Its Mixed Reality OS to Third-Party Manufacturers

Meta has taken a significant step in its metaverse efforts, opening up the OS that drives Meta Quest devices to third-party hardware manufacturers....
Meta Opens Its Mixed Reality OS to Third-Party Manufacturers
Written by Matt Milano
  • Meta has taken a significant step in its metaverse efforts, opening up the OS that drives Meta Quest devices to third-party hardware manufacturers.

    In a blog post, Meta revealed the name it has given the OS, now that it is not longer exclusively tied to the Quest headsets: Meta Horizon OS.

    Today we’re taking the next step toward our vision for a more open computing platform for the metaverse. We’re opening up the operating system powering our Meta Quest devices to third-party hardware makers, giving more choice to consumers and a larger ecosystem for developers to build for. We’re working with leading global technology companies to bring this new ecosystem to life and making it even easier for developers to build apps and reach their audiences on the platform.

    This new hardware ecosystem will run on Meta Horizon OS, the mixed reality operating system that powers our Meta Quest headsets. We chose this name to reflect our vision of a computing platform built around people and connection—and the shared social fabric that makes this possible. Meta Horizon OS combines the core technologies powering today’s mixed reality experiences with a suite of features that put social presence at the center of the platform.

    Meta is calling this latest move “the result of a decade of work by Meta to build a next-generation computing platform.” The company already has ASUS, Lenovo, and Xbox as partners.

    The company says this latest move will improve the experience for developers and users alike.

    As we begin opening Meta Horizon OS to more device makers, we’re also expanding the ways app developers can reach their audiences. We’re beginning the process of removing the barriers between the Meta Horizon Store and App Lab, which lets any developer who meets basic technical and content requirements ship software on the platform. App Lab titles will soon be featured in a dedicated section of the Store on all our devices, making them more discoverable to larger audiences. Some of the most popular apps on the Store today, like Gorilla Tag and Gym Class, began on App Lab. We’re excited to make it even easier for developers to quickly ship their titles on our platform.

    Along with a more open app store, Meta Horizon OS will continue to give people more choice in how to access apps. Because we don’t restrict users to titles from our own app store, there are multiple ways to access great content on Meta Horizon OS, including popular gaming services like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, or through Steam Link or our Air Link system for wirelessly streaming PC software to headsets. And we encourage the Google Play 2D app store to come to Meta Horizon OS, where it can operate with the same economic model it does on other platforms.

    Meta is clearly taking aim at Apple and its Vision Pro, especially with the comment about not limiting users’ access to apps. Apple is well-known for its vertical integration, tightly controlling software and hardware. Meta appears to be taking a page out of Microsoft’s Windows playbook, allowing other manufacturers to use its software.

    Only time will tell if it’s a winning strategy.

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