Microsoft surprises no one by laying off its HoloLens, mixed reality, and VR technology staff

VR Technology - Layoffs

The tech giant has dumped all the employees in each of those departments following a hiring wave.

Microsoft has joined a number of other large tech companies that are laying off mixed reality and VR technology staff following a hiring boom that occurred throughout the pandemic.

The employees of those companies are now paying the price of their employer’s rapidly made choices.

Several tech giants were too quick in hiring new staff and expanding their offerings during the pandemic. Now, as the economy contracts, those giants are laying off those same workers. Microsoft has now joined their numbers, letting go of all its VR technology, mixed reality and HoloLens department workers.

VR technology - Person wearing VR headset looking surprised

A new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently showed that Microsoft’s intention is to let go of about 10,000 of its employees as it changes directions for its near future strategies.

“On Jan. 18, 2023, Microsoft Corporation announced to its employees a series of actions it is taking in response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities,” read the filing. “These actions include workforce reductions of approximately 10,000 employees by the end of the third fiscal quarter of 2023, changes to our hardware portfolio, and lease consolidation to create higher density across our workspaces.”

The layoffs in mixed reality, VR technology and HoloLens started being implemented on Friday.

The first announcement of the layoffs was made by AltspaceVR, a VR technology company acquired in 2017, tweeted that it had been hit by the layoffs and would be closing its doors on March 10.

The entire team at AltspaceVR has been laid off. Microsoft also let go of its entire “Mixed Reality Tool Kit” (MRTK) team. The MRTK group was behind Microsoft’s mixed reality Unity framework to be release and was preparing to release a new Unity framework version next month. However, it is shutting down instead.

The choice to eliminate its VR technology and MRTK teams shows that Microsoft is no longer confident in the future of the “metaverse”. This has come as a surprise to essentially no one, as the hype for that tech has been rapidly fizzling as consumers have shown that they’re not really all that interested in the metaverse experience.

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