Microsoft’s ambitions in the HoloLens and mixed-reality departments have been a bit murky for quite some time now. Last year, the executive leading the initiative, Alex Capman, resigned after allegations of workplace misconduct. We also know that the company is facing challenges with its US Army contract and that its Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) team has been hit hard by a recent round of layoffs. Now, perhaps to allay concerns in this area, Microsoft has released a statement confirming its commitment to HoloLens 2 and mixed reality.
The statement comes in the form of a. Short tech community blog by Robin Seilerwho is corporate vice president and chief operating officer of the Windows + Devices organization at Microsoft.
Seiler began by saying that Microsoft is fully committed to HoloLens 2, as evidenced by regular software updates and the publication of documentation that is helpful to users. He also highlighted the HoloLens as one of the key components seen behind the “industrial metaverse”.
Although the executive did not confirm that the entire MRTK team has been laid off. As some former employees have reported on social media. -, she hints that the project will continue through open source contributions. Microsoft will remain “committed” to ensuring compatibility between MRTK and HoloLens 2.
Seiler also confirmed that AltspaceVR, which it acquired in 2017, is being discontinued with a focus on Microsoft Mesh instead. It validates Microsoft’s strategy to bring VR into enterprise environments, which it’s already testing with some customers.
Finally, the Microsoft executive cited the company’s ongoing partnership with the U.S. military, though we’ve heard multiple reports that it’s not going well.
While recent events — mentioned at the outset — seem to suggest otherwise, Microsoft is insisting that all is well in the HoloLens and mixed reality space. Only time will tell how committed the company actually is to bringing these technologies to the mainstream.