Microsoft Cuts Mixed Reality Tools Team, Plans To Quit AltspaceVR – Redmondmag.com

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Microsoft is cutting its Mixed Reality Tools team and plans to end AltspaceVR

Some Microsoft developer teams involved in the company’s mixed reality and augmented reality work have been wiped out.

For example, the entire Microsoft team working on the Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) has been “wiped out”, according to Microsoft developer Finn Sinclair, on January 19 on Twitter. Microsoft will also “shut down” AltspaceVR on “March 10, 2023,” according to This is an “overview” document from Microsoft and the AltspaceVR website. Additionally, this month saw a drop in congressional funding for the US military’s HoloLens, according to (a) Report of 12 January bloomberg.

These changes come with Microsoft planned to cut 10,000 jobsmarks a reversal from the company’s highly publicized efforts centered on Microsoft Mesh, a mixed reality platform for creating avatars to represent people in virtual spaces.

Microsoft, however, recently offered mesh As part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Exclude the Mixed Reality Tools team
The cutting of the MRTK team at Microsoft is somewhat surprising since MRTK is one of the components used with Microsoft Mesh.

was mrtk It was recently announced in its third generation. It is an “open source project managed by Microsoft to accelerate cross-platform mixed reality development in Unity”, a game engine platform offered by Unity Technologies for 2D and 3D game development.

AltspaceVR ends in March
AltspaceVR, Microsoft’s platform for “live mixed reality experiences,” which is used for meetings with avatars, will also end. Microsoft will “shut down” AltspaceVR on March 10, 2023.

The Microsoft AltspaceVR “Overview” document included a note that AltspaceVR would transform into a kind of “community space”, with age-appropriate controls. However, her fate is not really described.

AltspaceVR was conceptually part of the Microsoft Mesh platform for developing mixed reality applications for headsets. AltspaceVR has been described as enabling “new enterprise capabilities” for Microsoft Mesh, per Microsoft Tech Community post in March 2021Which displayed the following graph:

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. Microsoft Mesh platform for developers, which included AltspaceVR apps (Source: March 2, 2021 Microsoft Tech Community post).

Microsoft Mesh is Microsoft’s mixed reality platform, based on Azure services. It aims to create spaces for large virtual meetings. It works with HoloLens, Microsoft’s mixed reality or augmented reality headset, via the Mesh app.

HoloLens setback
HoloLens, Microsoft’s headset for mixed reality experiences, suffered an apparent setback when Congress cut funding for the US military for it. HoloLens are being tested for use in combat operations as part of the Army’s integrated visual augmentation system.

Congress just authorized $40 million to correct HoloLens defects from the Army’s $400 million request for the fiscal year, according to (a) Report of 12 January bloomberg. Microsoft’s headphones were said to cause “headaches, eyestrain, and nausea” during and after the 72-hour test scenarios, according to the report.

So was the contract for the Army’s HoloLens, which Microsoft values ​​at $21.88 billion They are suspended in 2021 After undergoing field tests, but resumed in 2022.

About the author

Curt Mackie is Senior News Producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 Group.

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