Microsoft’s Metaverse, VR initiatives may slow amid ongoing layoffs

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Microsoft, which announced the layoffs of five percent of its total team earlier this year, hasn’t spared even its emerging units dedicated to Virtual Reality (VR) and the metaverse. The software giant has reportedly decided to shut down two related projects: Altspacevr and the Mixed Reality Tool Kit. In the coming days, the metaverse and VR projects that were in Microsoft’s pipeline may experience delays in development and testing. A total of 10,000 employees will be laid off as the company prioritizes cost cutting amid the ongoing market turbulence.

With Altspacevr, Microsoft created virtual environments to serve as digital event venues for international artists. It was an independent platform, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. The job losses within the tech giant have consequences for this team.

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Meanwhile, the unit behind the Mixed Reality Tool Kit was focused on creating user interfaces for metaverse projects. The roadmap to the future of this division remains undecided, Bitcoin.news reported.

The Redmond, Washington, USA-based company has accelerated its efforts to tap into the metaverse market. Microsoft has hired former employees of Apple and Meta and interacted with AR and VR developers in general.

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The company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has also previously spoken out in favor of the metaverse concept, calling it a game-changer.

Previously, Microsoft had pledged $69 billion (approximately Rs. 5,62,574 crore) in down payment for the metaverse sector.

The decision to reduce headcount on this front could also contribute to the ongoing slump in the Web3 industry.

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Before Microsoft, Meta also announced it would lay off 11,000 employees, including staffers from its own metaverse-related teams. A significant portion of the developers from the metaverse sector have remained in Lerch.

For advertisers and brands, who expect to use the metaverse technology to connect with their native Web3 customers, these layoffs could boost execution of their plans.

Bloomberg Intelligence reportedly expects the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion (approximately Rs. 59,58,719 crore) by 2024.


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