We got official confirmation regarding Microsoft’s plans for 10,000 layoffs just ahead of the weekend. The job cuts were significant, even for an employer the size of Microsoft, with the numbers representing nearly 5% of its entire workforce, or one job in twenty. As we still reel from the news, social media posts (opens in new tab) by ex-employees have started to paint a clear picture of the business areas where Microsoft felt it could shed entire teams of workers. Some will be surprised to learn that teams behind projects like HoloLens, AltSpaceVR, and MRTK (Mixed Reality Tool Kit) have been culled in their entirety.
We don’t need to ponder more over the scale of the layoffs at Microsoft, as it joined the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and others in taking this route for shareholder appeasement in the current downturn. Instead, it is interesting to focus on Microsoft’s staff-cutting incisions.
In our headline we use XR as a catch-all for virtual, augmented, mixed, and extended reality. Even in his most recent keynotes and appearances, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been keen to emphasize the importance of the ‘metaverse’ to the IT industry, as well as consumer and work lives in the coming era. So, we wonder why this part of Microsoft’s business has been so drastically pruned.