Microsoft is shutting down its social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR, which used to offer immersive social spaces for people to interact with colleagues and friends as 3D avatars. The news of the shutdown comes right after Microsoft laid off 12,000 employees.
In 2017, Microsoft had stepped in to acquire the platform after AltspaceVR decided to shut itself down. Now, the company says it will shut down the same service on March 10, 2023.
The tech giant will shift its attention to support immersive experiences that are powered by Microsoft Mesh, which is a platform that enables presence and shared experiences from anywhere, on any device, through mixed reality applications.
“With Mesh, we aspire to create a platform that offers the widest opportunity to all those involved, including partners, creators, and customers,” Microsoft said.
Moreover, in the coming term, the company will focus its VR efforts on workplace experiences, learning alongside and from its early partners and customers, and ensuring that it delivers a foundation that enables security, trust, and compliance.