Microsoft drew the curtains on its industrial metaverse division as part of the recent layoffs it announced to strategise spendings during the ongoing global recession climate. The hundred staff members who were part of this team have reportedly been fired, putting future plans for this unit on an indefinite hold. This special division was brought together merely four months ago to explore how the metaverse tech could fit into industrial operations. In totality, Microsoft fired 10,000 employees amid the ongoing industrial slump, the announcement about which was made in January this year.
Microsoft, for now, has decided to favour short-term projects that could generate more revenue quicker over projects. This would take a long time before maturing into fruition.
Products that were already completed by Microsoft’s ‘Industrial Metaverse Core’ group during the months this group was active will regardless be supported by the software giant despite the recent turn of events.
“We are applying our focus to the areas of the industrial metaverse that matter most to our customers and they will see no change in how they are supported. Microsoft remains committed to the industrial metaverse,” Coindesk quoted Microsoft as saying in an email interaction.
A distinguished element of the Web3 ecosystem, the metaverse refers to a fully functional virtual environment that enables people from anywhere in the world, to socialise and work together as digital avatars — without physically leaving the comfort of their homes.
Social media, gaming, as well as the automobile industry are expected to be major beneficiaries of the boom in industrial metaverse adoption.
Bloomberg Intelligence reportedly expects the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion (roughly Rs. 59,58,720 crore) by 2024.
Nishant Batra, the Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Nokia, recently wrote in a post that the metaverse tech is expected to see a widescale industrial adoption before individual consumers begin to come onboard the virtual universe ecosystem. The post was published on the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Despite all the buzz surrounding the potential of the metaverse, Microsoft has not spared related teams from these recent layoffs.
In January, Microsoft shut down two up-and-coming units dedicated to Virtual Reality (VR) and the metaverse – Altspacevr and the Mixed Reality Tool Kit.