Key points:

  • Microsoft is cancelling its industrial metaverse project in just four months after forming a team. 
  • According to a source familiar with the matter, Microsoft is reportedly planning to scale back its industrial metaverse plans and lay off approximately 100 employees. 
  • Microsoft is expected to lay off roughly 4.5% of its total employee base, or approximately 10,000 workers as part of its larger workforce restructuring plan. 

Microsoft’s industrial metaverse initiative has been terminated after about four months since its formation, leading to the layoff of around 100 employees, as confirmed by an internal source. The team was impacted by Microsoft’s larger workforce restructuring plan, which aims to lay off roughly 4.5% of its total employee base, or 10,000 workers.

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Why is Microsoft giving up on its industrial metaverse ambitions?

In the past few years, the idea of the metaverse has gained a lot of attention, with companies like Meta showing a keen interest in this new concept. However, while many tech giants are actively pursuing metaverse development, Microsoft has recently taken a step back from this field. This shift in focus may be due to the company’s increased investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and related startups. 

Microsoft has been pouring funds into AI-based companies since January, including a recent multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI, the firm behind the innovative AI chatbot, ChatGPT 3. In fact, Microsoft plans to incorporate ChatGPT into its search engine, Bing, which is also integrated with its web browser, Edge.

Is the metaverse too ahead of its time?

While the metaverse craze took off quickly, it appears that the hype around this technology has cooled off. Even Google Trends, which tracks search activity, shows that interest in the metaverse hit a peak when Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would focus on building a 3D world but has since declined. However, this does not necessarily mean that the metaverse will fail in the future.

One possible reason for the waning interest in the metaverse is the increasing focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and related initiatives. In the past year, significant progress has been made in AI, and its potential impact on various industries has become a hot topic. This shift in focus may have contributed to the decline in interest in the metaverse.

Historically, technology has trended towards more immersive and interactive forms of computing. It’s natural that we are now moving towards technologies that are more integrated with the physical world. However, it’s too early to determine whether the vision of the metaverse, as envisioned by people like Mark Zuckerberg, will ultimately be the direction in which we move in. It’s possible that a future technology that resembles the metaverse could come from an established tech giant or from an as-yet-unknown startup. Only time will tell whether or not this technology will be referred to as the metaverse.

While we wait to see what happens, let us know what you think about AI and the metaverse. 

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Feature Image Source: Photo by Matthew Manuel on Unsplash