As part of the layoffs that were announced early this week, Microsoft is shutting down AltspaceVR. AltspaceVR allowed users to host events, build virtual worlds, and interact with remote users and communities all over the world. Microsoft will sunset the AltpaceVR service and platform on March 10, 2023. Microsoft will now focus on supporting immersive experiences powered by Microsoft Mesh.
The decision has not been an easy one as this is a platform many have come to love, providing a place for people to explore their identities, express themselves, and find community.
In the near-term, Microsoft is focusing its VR efforts on workplace experiences, learning from and alongside its early customers and partners including Accenture. Over time, Microsoft may extend it to consumer experiences as well.
On a related note, Microsoft has fired the entire Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) team. MRTK is an open-source project to accelerate cross-platform mixed reality development in Unity. This is built on top of Unity’s XR Management system and XR Interaction Toolkit.