After the father left HoloLens, Microsoft redoubled its efforts in the metaverse

Photo: Microsoft.

Microsoft technical team member and father of HoloLens Alex Kipman left the company after 21 years in business. Alex Kipman’s departure is part of – or more likely, the cause – of a further reorganization of Microsoft’s cloud and artificial intelligence unit.

This departure comes before Microsoft’s staggered 2023 fiscal year begins, at 1er July, and allowed Microsoft to provide a new explanation of what it plans to do in the metaverse space. In fact, we’ll probably hear more about it at the company’s next annual Inspire Partner Conference in mid -July.

Alex Kipman’s departure was reported this week by Business Insider and GeekWire. GeekWire released a memo from Scott Guthrie, VP of Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, outlining plans to split the HoloLens group in two, with the hardware team joining the Windows and Devices group under the leadership of Panos. Panay and the software division teamed up with Experiences and Devices to advance the company’s work on Mesh and Mesh for Teams. According to Scott Guthrie’s memo, Alex Kipman will help with the transfer over the next two months before leaving Microsoft. Business Insider recently published an article reporting Alex Kipman’s alleged “toxic behavior” toward women.

HoloLens has been innovating itself over the years

HoloLens, announced by Alex Kipman in 2015, has seen many position changes over the years. Initially, Alex Kipman (and likely other Microsoft executives) saw the device as important to Microsoft’s consumer vision. But over time, Microsoft officials quickly realized that the device’s financial prospects were firmly rooted in the company.

However, Alex Kipman continued the idea that HoloLens has a bright future for consumers in his interviews and presentations.

Microsoft’s largest HoloLens -related contract to date – for the U.S. military’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, a 10 -year, $ 22 billion deal – has hit various obstacles along the way, causing some to think otherwise it will be canceled. In Scott Guthrie’s reorganization memo from Alex Kipman, he noted that the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), a U.S. Army program to provide virtual reality (VR) headsets to soldiers, has been officially approved by the military to enter. in the operational testing phase, which he called “an important milestone for the team”.

To a corporate metaverse?

Last year, Alex Kipman made headlines when Microsoft announced Mesh, the Azure-powered mixed reality platform. A few months later, Microsoft introduced the Mesh for Teams initiative, where users can integrate virtual spaces organized using Mesh and Teams. This explains why the services and collaboration part of the HoloLens team falls under the responsibility of corporate vice president Jeff Teper, who manages the Teams.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes there are many metaverses in different fields, from gaming to commerce. The company has refined its business metaverse strategy over the past two years, where it has tried to position a variety of products and services, including HoloLens, Mesh, IoT (internet of things) services, and digital twins, as factors. component of its corporation. metaverse stack. At Build last month, Microsoft unveiled Azure Digital Twins 3D Scenes Studio, designed to help businesses create immersive 3D visualizations.

What Microsoft didn’t announce on Build (perhaps because of the negative publicity surrounding Alex Kipman in May?) Is the long-awaited preview of Mesh for Teams set for 2022. The premiere will bring Teams a pre-built set immersive spaces. for things like meetings. In his revamp memo, Scott Guthrie says Microsoft and Accenture have revealed an immersive experience built with the Mesh software development kit for leaders to collaborate on global issues.

Interestingly, the latest innovation involving the HoloLens has no consumer or gaming component. There are rumors that Microsoft and Samsung may be collaborating on mixed reality hardware that is more consumer -focused than just HoloLens. But for now, Microsoft’s metaverse strategy is deeply rooted in the company, and Alex Kipman’s departure seems to strengthen that strategy.


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