• Microsoft has discontinued its Industrial Metaverse Core team, a four-month-old project aimed to encourage the use of the metaverse in industrial environments.
• The company wants to prioritize shorter-term projects over those needing longer to generate meaningful revenue.
• Microsoft already had some major customers in the Industrial Metaverse space including Mercedes Benz and Coca-Cola.
Microsoft Pulls Plug on Industrial Metaverse Team
Microsoft has ended its four-month old project, Industrial Metaverse Core team that was encouraging the use of the metaverse in industrial environments. This decision was taken by the tech giant due to their need to prioritize shorter term projects that can generate more revenue in comparison with longer term ones.
About 100 employees working on this project were laid off as part of a plan to cut 10,000 workers announced by CEO Satya Nadella earlier this month. This is due to macroeconomic uncertainty and slowdown in growth amidst global stock market routs and fears of hard economic landing.
Industrial Metaverse Team
The Industrial Metaverse team focused on how artificial intelligence and digital technologies can be used to enable people interact with physical goods, assets, places, processes and equipment efficiently. They worked with clients from healthcare, retail financial services and energy industries for building components that industrial customers can use.
Major Tech Companies Interested
Major tech companies such as Microsoft and Meta Platforms (META) have shown interest in developing the metaverse which is an immersive 3D online space where users can interact with each other or computer generated objects or avatars. Last week Robin Seiler who is responsible for Microsoft’s mixed reality operations gave assurances that they are still committed towards building products like Microsoft Mesh and HoloLens 2 headset despite ending AltspaceVR meeting solution for avatars along with eliminating their entire Mixed Reality Toolkit team which is now an open source project separately managed by them.
It remains unclear whether this decision will help Microsoft focus on short term projects better or not though it is certain that they will continue supporting their customers even after discontinuing this particular project while continuing development work on related products like Hololens 2 headset etcetera