Microsoft is closing its Remix3D.com site early next year

Microsoft's retreat from the consumer-centric side of Windows mixed reality continues.

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Credit: Microsoft

The rumors were true. Microsoft is going to close its Remix3D.com site in January 2020, signaling yet again that its augmented-reality future is, at least in the nearer term, an enterprise play.

In a frequently asked questions page on the Windows support site, Microsoft noted it is "retiring" the Remix3D.com site on January 10, 2020. Those who may have uploaded content to the website should download their existing models to other file storage platforms as soon as possible, Microsoft advises.

The decision to phase out Remix3D doesn't mean that users will no longer be able to insert 3D models into Microsoft apps like Paint3D, 3DViewer and Builder, Photos, PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook, the FAQ notes.

Starting August 7, uploads of new 3D models to the Remix3D.com site will be disabled. And Microsoft will begin preventing Remix3D.com users from being able to log in to their Remix3D.com accounts from Microsoft apps. On January 10, 2020, Microsoft will close the Remix3D.com site and content and all links to it will stop working.

Microsoft initially launched the Remix3D.com site as an online community space for 3D content at the same time as it launched the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. At that time, Microsoft was pushing the idea that users would want to use their 3D models in not just 2D apps, but also in Windows Mixed Reality devices, including the HoloLens. Since that time, Microsoft has backed away from marketing HoloLens as a consumer device.

Microsoft still offers Paint3D, but also has relented in recent months in phasing out the existing Microsoft Paint product. Microsoft officials aren't saying anything new about plans for Paint3D.

It's surprising Remix3D has stuck around as long as it has. In May 2018, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Kudo Tsunoda left his job, where his focus was on mixed reality, "3D for Everyone," Story Remix, Photos, HoloLens and "other secret unannounced things." Since then, Microsoft's 3D emphasis has been on business uses, not consumer ones.