Microsoft has fired the Mixed Reality Toolkit team. That team was working on a cross-platform framework for controls in VR. On March 10, 2023, the company will also pull the plug on the AltspaceVR platform, a virtual living room for mixed reality experiences.
One of the developers of the Mixed Reality Toolkit shared the news on Twitter. His tweet reveals that the entire team has been laid off and will not be absorbed into any other division of the company. It is not clear how to proceed with the development of the toolkit. Microsoft Mixed Reality Toolkit was with MRTC 3 on its third major release. It was an open source framework for Unity that developed virtual controls in VR such as virtual buttons, context menus and control panels. It was cross-platform and supported on the HoloLens 2, Meta Quest, SteamVR, Oculus Rift, and Lenovo ThinkReality A3 headsets.
The company is also discontinuing AltspaceVR. This is a kind of virtual living room for users of VR glasses that made mixed reality experiences and events possible. The development team of AltspaceVR stilt that from 10 March the focus will be shifted to Microsoft Mesh. Mesh mainly wants to focus on applications where several people work together simultaneously in a digital environment. Microsoft acquired AltspaceVR in 2017 after the company was forced to discontinue its services that same year due to a lack of funding.
Microsoft was in the news earlier this week because the company was going to make a large round of layoffs. The company reportedly plans to cut 10,000 jobs before the end of its third quarter in fiscal year 2023. That quarter ends March 31. Microsoft is not the only tech giant to announce a major round of layoffs due to a declining economy. Meta also laid off 11,000 employees at the end of last year, and Amazon also announced at the beginning of this year that it would cut 18,000 jobs.
Mixed Reality Tool Kit 3