Tech Giant Microsoft Out with The Metaverse, In With AI

Tech giant Microsoft out with the Metaverse focused group, in with artificial intelligence

Microsoft out with The Metaverse to close one of its groups dedicated to the development and promotion of the Industrial Metaverse. Tech giant Microsoft reportedly laid off its entire industrial metaverse core group of 100 employees as part of the 10,000-person layoff rounds announced in January 2023.

The software company based in the United States intends to abandon the metaverse in favour of other endeavours. According to The Information, the company announced the internal disbandment of the Industrial Metaverse core group, a division of the company aimed at bringing the metaverse to industrial environments.

The group, founded in October 2022, served as a link for the implementation of metaverse interfaces to control electrical power plants, industrial robotics, and transportation networks. By bridging software to this initiative, the division was part of the efforts to bring the metaverse to industrial environments.

The group’s 100 employees were all laid off. However, Microsoft stated that the group’s products will continue to be supported in the future. The company is concentrating its efforts on the areas of the industrial metaverse that are most important to its customers, and they will experience no change in how they are supported.

Out With the Metaverse, In With AI

The recent events in turn suggest that Microsoft is redirecting some of its resources from the metaverse initiatives to the areas such as artificial intelligence (AI). Other developments indicate that Microsoft’s cuts have impacted other metaverse projects, with employees from metaverse platform Altspacevr — which announced its closure in March 2023 — and the Mixed Reality Tool Kit also being laid off.

Since January 2023, Microsoft has been investing in AI-based startups. That same month, the company announced a multi-year, multibillion-dollar investment’ in OpenAI, the company behind GPT-3 and its ChatGPT interface. In addition, as part of this collaboration, Microsoft recently announced the inclusion of ChaGPT in Bing, its search engine, as well as Edge, its web browser.

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