Microsoft will shut down the AltspaceVR metaverse on March 10. Microsoft is narrowing down its metaverse ambitions. In an official blog post, the company announced it will shut down AltspaceVR, the social virtual reality platform that the company acquired in 2017, on March 10, 2023.
Microsoft attributed the decision to a desire to focus on Mesh, the mixed reality platform the company announced in 2021 and later reported would be coming to Teams.
We can’t wait to see what’s to come, including our launch of Microsoft Mesh, a new platform for connection and collaboration that will enable workplaces around the world
In the near term, we’re focusing our VR efforts on workplace-related experiences, learning from and alongside our early customers and partners, and ensuring we provide a foundation that enables security, trust, and compliance. Over time, we hope to extend it to the consumer experience
News of AltspaceVR’s closure comes after Microsoft confirmed it would layoff 10,000 employees by the end of March. According to Windows Central, Microsoft plans to cut the entire AltspaceVR team as part of the reorganization.
According to Bloomberg, the company has also reduced the headcount of its HoloLens team. Over the past year, the division has seen the departure of former chief Alex Kipman, who left Microsoft in June amid allegations of sexual misconduct, and the suspension of the deal with the US military.
In 2022, Microsoft also reportedly abandoned plans for a new HoloLens device.