Microsoft announced on January 19th that it will lay off 10,000 employees in the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2023. The latest news is that Microsoft has fired the entire development team for AltSpaceVR and Mixed Reality Tool Kit (MRTK).
AltSpaceVR was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. formerly known as Qualia3D, AltspaceVR was founded in 2013, initially to help developers transform ordinary web applications into a 3D form suitable for virtual reality scenarios.
The company had several transformations and even a name change to find its market entry point, eventually using VR social and gaming as a breakthrough —- to build a social platform that allows users of Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and Google Cardboard to chat, meet, work out, play cards, play games, and more in virtual reality scenarios.
AltSpaceVR is a strategic acquisition by Microsoft of Metaverse and its integration into the Microsoft Mesh service. It just seems that Microsoft is not particularly interested in the advancement of the metaverse at the moment, so that part is the focus of this layoff.
Alongside AltSpaceVR, Microsoft has axed the entire MRTK development team, which was built specifically for Unity VR integration and works with Meta’s headsets, although development is focused on HoloLens.
HoloLens has been scaled back following the departure of its chief architect Alex Kipman. Microsoft has been pursuing a HoloLens contract with the US military, but the contract was recently scaled back by the US Congress due to a number of issues.