Years after acquiring it, Microsoft is finally shutting down AltspaceVR – a social virtual reality platform similar to Meta’s Metaverse.
Instead, the company said it’ll focus on Mesh – a Microsoft-developed mixed reality platform for online communications. This will soon be integrated into Microsoft Teams for interactive meetings in digital avatars, says Microsoft.
The Death of AltspaceVR
Long before Meta announced its plans for making a virtual reality space for interactive communication, Microsoft had plans for building one. In this pursuit, the company purchased a budding project called AltspaceVR in 2017 – which calls itself a social virtual reality platform.
Well, to make way for its in-house developed metaverse project, Microsoft is killing AltspaceVR on March 10th, 2023. Announcing this decision, Redmond said
“We look forward to what is to come, including our launch of Microsoft Mesh, a new platform for connection and collaboration, starting by enabling workplaces around the world.”
Microsoft has plans for creating and interacting with its Mesh into Teams platform, where it’s extensively focusing now. Aligning to these efforts, Microsoft said, “We are focusing our VR efforts on workplace experiences, learning from and alongside our early customers and partners, and ensuring we deliver a foundation that enables security, trust, and compliance.”
The shutdown of AltspaceVR and the rise of Mesh comes at a time when Microsoft is melting its workforce – just like any other company. It already confirmed laying off over 10,000 employees by the end of March this year – citing an ongoing economic downturn.
And as reports noted (1, 2), the entire teams of AltspaceVR and even HoloLens were scalped recently. reorganization efforts. Other tech giants like Google, Uber, Twitter, etc., are laying off employees, citing similar reasons and shifting their focus and resources to something they really see scope in the near future.