Meta aims to become the Microsoft of headsets

Calvin D

Meta licenses Horizon OS to Lenovo, Asus for VR headsets, aims to rival Microsoft's PC legacy by fostering an open ecosystem.

Under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, Meta is taking a bold step towards shaping the future of virtual reality by licensing its Horizon OS to other hardware makers, starting with Lenovo and Asus. This is part of an effort to make Meta for VR headsets what Microsoft was for PCs in the early days of the personal computer revolution. By also partnering with Xbox to release a gaming-focused version of the Quest headset, Meta is signaling its commitment to creating a broad, open ecosystem that supports a variety of uses, from gaming to productivity and entertainment. The introduction of Horizon OS to a wider array of devices is intended not only to expand the reach of Meta's virtual reality platform but also to foster innovation through the collaboration with other tech giants like Google, by inviting them to bring the Play Store onto the Horizon OS platform.

This strategy mirrors the early days of the PC market, where Microsoft's licensing of Windows to a variety of hardware manufacturers led to a dominant, widely accessible computing platform. By adopting a similar approach with Horizon OS, Meta is aiming to create an open ecosystem for virtual and augmented reality that encourages a rich variety of applications and devices. The inclusion of the Horizon social network within this ecosystem indicates Meta's plan to monetize this venture through ads and commerce, potentially transforming how users interact with social media in a 3D virtual environment.

Meta's initiative to license Horizon OS and collaborate with other companies marks a pivotal moment in the tech industry's pursuit of a unified, open ecosystem for virtual reality. By fostering partnerships and encouraging the development of alternative app stores, Meta is positioning itself at the forefront of the next computing revolution. This approach not only challenges the current leaders in the space, like Apple's Vision Pro, but also hearkens back to the successful strategies of tech giants like Microsoft, aiming to replicate their success within the realm of virtual and augmented reality.