Microsoft may be shutting down its HoloLens team

by Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
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Don has been writing professionally for over 10 years now, but his passion for the written word started back in his elementary school days. His work has been... read more
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  • It seems that Microsoft is shuttering its entire HoloLens team, because the company isn’t sure of the platform’s future.
  • Microsoft's mixed reality headset HoloLens will "not see another version," according to a report released. 
  • Canceling of HoloLens 3 is due to uncertainty about the augmented reality platform’s future. 
Major Windows 10 updates blocked for original HoloLens devices

Microsoft reportedly killed its HoloLens 3 in recent months, and Business Insider reports that this decision “has inflamed divisions within the team.”

In December, Microsoft revealed that it had shelved plans to release its third-generation HoloLens.

It turns out that the report is based on comments from 20 anonymous sources who claimed Microsoft had canned the headset in recent months. 

Shutting down the teams

Microsoft is shutting down its augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) HoloLens team. HoloLens, and will be winding down soon the team that works on it.

Microsoft has struggled to find its place in the world of AR/MR. While some see it as an opportunity for the company to expand into new markets, others feel that the technology has yet to prove itself as reliable or commercially viable. 

The decision, which was confirmed by several people familiar with the plans, came after years of product development, prototypes and hype.

HoloLens might still have some future, but only as part of mixed reality (MR) systems (which include both AR and VR). In addition, these sources claim that HoloLens has been plagued by technical difficulties, which may explain why Microsoft has been so reluctant to sell it commercially.

Miicrosoft has not confirmed or denied laying off employees from its HoloLens group, but it did respond to a request for comment regarding the report by saying:”Microsoft has nothing new to share.”

A statement from Microsoft indicates something different as it claims “Microsoft HoloLens remains a critical part of our plans for emerging categories like mixed reality and the metaverse,” a Microsoft statement retorts. “We remain committed to HoloLens and future HoloLens development.”

Consumer focused Meterverse

So here’s a newsflash: Microsoft isn’t giving up on the HoloLens or Windows Mixed Reality in general. Rather, it’s seemingly throwing its support behind what HoloLens does best: enterprise applications.

Microsoft is also working on developing a new augmented reality headset. It’s unclear what role this device will play in the company’s overall push into mixed reality, but it’s believed that it is designed to be significantly less expensive than its HoloLens counterpart.

One of the most interesting aspects of this move is the fact that it seemingly contradicts a Microsoft blog post from earlier this year, which claimed that “mixed reality” was now part of the company’s core strategy. 

Microsoft has yet to make an official statement regarding its plans for Windows-based mixed reality going forward, so until we hear more, you can read all about how Microsoft plans to “make mixed reality mainstream” yourself.

Uncertain layoffs

One thing that’s not clear at this stage is whether Microsoft is shutting down its HoloLens team entirely.

It may be that the company is simply shifting resources towards making its mixed reality platform more competitive. 

However, it wouldn’t be surprising if there were some layoffs at this point. After all, most of the work to get HoloLens ready for prime time has been done by now.

What do you think the future holds for Hololens in Microsoft? Let us know in the comments below.