back to article Microsoft’s mixed reality dream meets harsh reality of job cuts

Microsoft in March will shut down its AltspaceVR outfit as it shifts its virtual reality efforts from catering to ordinary folks to businesses. The move comes in the wake of Microsoft last week axing as many as 10,000 employees – a five percent reduction in its global workforce – as the industry snaps back from the high …

  1. Denarius Silver badge

    To my surprise

    M$ decision seems rational. I can see enhanced Reality being useful in a few work environments. ie there is a problem to be solved. As for consumers, one can get motion sick and queasy watching amy recent ads or arty movies

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Profits For M$ and Meta and Cisco....but for anyone else?

    Microsoft: "...immersive experiences in the metaverse..."

    Yup....both Meta and M$ think that the future of corporate meeting rooms will look like this:

    - Nice mahogany table

    - Seating umpty-ump corporate types

    - ....and all of these people will be wearing VR head sets

    - ....and of course they will be discussing a "reality" somewhere in the metaverse

    - ....since the real world has become far too boring and 20th century

    Really?

    Cui bono?

    ....well, Meta and M$ think this scenario will bring Meta and M$ and Cisco and others....lots of dollars....

    ....and Meta and M$ don't really care if the technology brings benefits to the corporate types...

    P.S. Link: https://www.theregister.com/2023/01/12/congress_hololens_microsoft/

  3. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Holmes

    It's entertainment, stupid

    The only - and I do mean only - significant market for VR and XR is entertainment.

    Any non-entertainment markets are either going to use off the shelf entertainment-oriented kit for some other use, or buy entirely bespoke because they've got a ludicrous amount of money.

    Microsoft don't do bespoke, so they need to either get into entertainment platforms (whether consumer or commercial) or leave the market entirely.

    A few years ago a Star Wars themed VR experience toured where they'd built a physical set as a backdrop to backpack VR. It worked wonderfully well.

    That kind of thing can also be used for other purposes - eg build a virtual operating theatre with sufficient physical backdrop to train surgeons - but all the actual money is in entertainment.

  4. redpawn

    Corporate paid for the headsets

    so you can experience meeting room nausea 24/7. It will only take six months to a year to move on to the next fad so take heart.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Low-tech for consumers, hi-tech for industry and medicine; porn to lead as usual

    Whoever comes up with a real Orgamastron™ can expect to make a lot of money. Otherwise markets are limited: consumers want to be able to plan their fashion, interior design, etc. and can already do this with existing software. Industry can use AR for remote work in dangerous or difficult to access places: inside power stations; remote installations. Proper remote consultations (phone ones are a joke) and even operations will become possible as sensors improve. But none of this is ever going to be big enough for the kind of network effects and monopolies that big tech love. Instead, the opportunities are there for those with the specialised knowledge of the various sectors and Google may have an advantage here because this is how it's built its AI business: call centers, drug research, etc. But, as this is also what IBM was hoping to do with Watson, it's possible that Google too will run out of road.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    The problem is Microsoft is obsessed with making business versions of things. And yes, I know, there hasn't been a "Minecraft for Businesses" or "XBox for Enterprise", but don't let that fool you - business is really where they think the money is.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      And then discontinuing the product - not seen a follow up to the Microsoft Surface Tabletop/pixel sense, Kinect (potential for spatial input such as sign language)…

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      > The problem is Microsoft is obsessed with making business versions of things.

      With Windows Vista, 8, 10 & 11 being the exceptions - these are all trying to be more consumer-oriented and hence have fashionable/fad’ish UI’s etc.

      > business is really where they think the money is.

      Wouldn’t mind this if they actually delivered products fit for business.

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