Contrary to public perception, Microsoft COO and CVP of Windows and Devices Robin Seiler reached out to the HoloLens community via the company’s Mixed Reality blog to explain the project isn’t dead.
According to Seiler, Microsoft remains committed to supporting HoloLens 2 and its Mixed Reality program as it currently stands.
Selier details monthly software updates will continue to roll out to enterprise customers via Dynamics 365 Guides and Remote Assist, as well as maintaining Microsoft’s Reality Toolkit through open-source contributions.
We continue to produce and support HoloLens 2, inclusive of monthly software updates to ensure our enterprise customers can leverage HoloLens 2 and the supporting platform to complete critical work. We also continue to update Dynamics 365 Guides and Remote Assist to address the needs of those customers. HoloLens and Dynamics 365 are key components of Industrial Metaverse deployments, connecting the benefits of digital transformation to frontline workers in field service, factory operations, and many other use cases. For more information, see our recent blog post highlighting some of the progress on the HoloLens platform and how customers are seeing real-world benefits.
Selier also offers a bit of insight into what’s become of the company’s investment in AltspaceVR, which has been cannibalized by Microsoft Mesh.
There is also some information in Selier’s post about the future of Microsoft’s partnership with the U.S. Army and the collaborative IVAS platform which has taken several public hits during its rocky inception. As presumed, Microsoft continues to take feedback from the Army soldiers as to better outfit its HoloLens reference headset for in the field use than its previous attempt which cost it an additional $400 million dollar investment round from Congress in 2023.
Interestingly enough, Selier does not mention layoffs, or the skeleton crew Microsoft’s HoloLens team will be using to maintain all the support apparatuses listed above.
The entire post addresses the recent job cuts within the HoloLens business without explicitly saying so.
In short, Microsoft will maintain support for HoloLens 2 and its current customer base of enterprise users, adopt more open-source development of its Mixed Reality platform, and is working intently with the Army to retrofit its five-year-old headset for combat use.