In January, Microsoft announced its plans to cut 10,000 employees over the next coming months. The company’s CEO further highlighted that initial plans made during the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t quite turn out as expected, and that they were facing a different economic reality.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft’s plan to cut some employees from its workforce continued to take shape yesterday. The affected parties are reportedly spread across the Surface devices, HoloLens mixed reality hardware, and Xbox divisions. 343 Industries was also affected last month though Microsoft promised to continue supporting Halo Infinite.
Earlier this month, Microsoft’s COO and CVP of Windows and Devices, Robin Seiler highlighted that Microsoft is still committed to supporting HoloLens 2 and its Mixed Reality program despite concerns by the public. With the news of the layoffs hitting the Hololens hardware team hard, it is difficult to establish Microsoft’s commitment to it. What’s more, it is unclear whether the production of a third iteration of the goggles is still in play.
The Information also reported that Microsoft’s Industrial Metaverse team has also been scrapped completely. The company put this team in place four months ago to help drive the sales of Microsoft’s mixed reality headset as well as make HoloLens the new screen for frontline workers.
Microsoft hasn’t commented on the layoffs but has affirmed its commitment to the mixed reality space and the current HoloLens 2 version. It hasn’t yet been established how hard both the Xbox and Surface divisions have been hit. Though Xbox boss, Phil Spener did send out an email stating, “I encourage everyone to take the time and space necessary to process these changes and support your colleagues.”
According to a WARN notice filed in Seattle, 617 employees have been affected. This adds to the massive layoffs trend that has been going on across major tech firms. Just yesterday, Microsoft’s GitHub, GitLab, and Yahoo announced that they’ll be cutting their workforce.