Microsoft confirms combined actuality layoffs, will maintain promoting HoloLens 2

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at a media briefing on the firm’s campus in Redmond, Washington, on Could 20, 2024.

Chona Kasinger | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Microsoft will lay off some staff who work on combined actuality, a spokesperson instructed CNBC on Monday. Though the cuts will have an effect on the division that contributes to the HoloLens 2 augmented actuality headset, Microsoft plans to proceed promoting the system.

The discount comes a 12 months after the software program maker mentioned it will make adjustments to its {hardware} lineup as a part of a spherical of layoffs that hit 10,000 staff, together with some in combined actuality. Within the following months, Microsoft discontinued a number of keyboard fashions, inflicting frustration for some devoted clients.

“Earlier as we speak we introduced a restructuring of the Microsoft’s Combined Actuality group,” the spokesperson mentioned in an e mail. “We stay absolutely dedicated to the Division of Protection’s IVAS program and can proceed to ship leading edge expertise to help our troopers. As well as, we’ll proceed to spend money on W365 to succeed in the broader Combined Actuality {hardware} ecosystem. We’ll proceed to promote HoloLens 2 whereas supporting current HoloLens 2 clients and companions.”

Microsoft has not discovered nice success with the HoloLens since its introduction in 2015. However the U.S. Protection Division gave a contract to the corporate for a modified HoloLens named the Built-in Visible Augmentation System. Troopers who used the units, nonetheless, reported coping with nausea and different circumstances, Bloomberg reported. Exams advised that an up to date mannequin seemed promising.

Since then, Microsoft and its extremely valued expertise friends have poured billions into commercializing synthetic intelligence. Microsoft has raced to deploy Nvidia graphics processing models so individuals can use a Copilot chatbot and Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s fashionable ChatGPT. Premium AI options in Microsoft 365 productiveness functions can write memos, draft displays and summarize conferences.

In December, Microsoft additional lowered funding in augmented actuality and digital actuality, which blocks out the encircling world, when it deprecated Home windows Combined Actuality, which included instruments for operating functions in head-mounted shows.

The spokesperson mentioned Microsoft will maintain promoting the HoloLens 2 headset that was launched in 2019 however didn’t point out {that a} new mannequin can be coming. Insider reported in 2022 that the corporate had canceled a 3rd model.

Apple introduced out its personal augmented actuality headset, the Imaginative and prescient Professional, in January.

Microsoft continues to help a characteristic referred to as Mesh that lets individuals in headsets take part in three-dimensional Groups video calls with colleagues. On the Microsoft Ignite convention in Seattle in November, CEO Satya Nadella mentioned the corporate was “reimagining the way in which staff come collectively and join utilizing any system, whether or not it is their PC, HoloLens, or Meta Quest.”

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