Software giant Microsoft is shutting down one of its most important groups dedicated to developing and promoting the Industrial Metaverse. According to reports, the company has terminated its entire Industrial Metaverse Core group, which consisted of 100 employees, as part of the 10,000 layoffs announced in January.
Microsoft reportedly terminates Industrial Metaverse group
Microsoft, the Washington-based software giant, appears to be abandoning the metaverse in favor of other initiatives. According to The Information, the company has announced internally that it is disbanding the Industrial Metaverse Core group, a division of the company responsible for introducing the metaverse into industrial environments.
The group, which was formed just four months ago, served as a gateway for implementing metaverse interfaces to control power plants, industrial robotics and transportation networks. The division has been involved in efforts to introduce metavers into industrial environments by linking software to this initiative.
All 100 employees who were part of the group were laid off. However, Microsoft said that products built by the group will continue to be supported in the future. The company said:
We are focused on the areas of the industrial metaverse that matter most to our customers and they will see no change in the way they are supported. We look forward to sharing additional information in the future.
Microsoft previously announced a round of 10,000 layoffs as part of a restructuring process in January.
The Metaverse is going, the AI is coming!
The recent turn of events suggests that Microsoft is pulling some of its resources away from the metaverse initiatives and investing them in other areas like artificial intelligence (AI). Earlier reports indicate that other metaverse projects have been affected by Microsoft’s cuts, with employees of metaverse platform Altspacevr – which announced its closure in March – and the Mixed Reality Tool Kit also laid off.
Microsoft has been investing money in AI-based startups since January. On January 23, the company revealed a “multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment” in Openai, the company behind the development of GPT-3 and its Chatgpt interface. In addition, as part of this partnership, Microsoft recently announced the inclusion of Chatgpt in Bing, its search engine, and also in Edge, its web browser.
To go along with this move, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said:
AI will fundamentally change all categories of software, starting with the most important one: search.