Microsoft Corp. has reduced its workforce in the divisions responsible for creating its Surface devices, Xbox gaming console, and metaverse products, according to reports.
Sources familiar with the matter reported to Bloomberg today that Microsoft made job cuts on Thursday.
Like other major tech companies, Microsoft is reducing its staff to decrease its operational expenses. Last month, the company announced a restructuring plan to lay off 10,000 workers, which is about 5% of its workforce. The reported layoffs today were a part of this initiative.
Microsoft has disbanded its newly created Industrial Metaverse Core group, resulting in the termination of around 100 employees, as reported by the Information. The group’s primary objective was to explore the application of metaverse technologies in industrial settings like factories. The metaverse is an advanced version of the internet that involves virtual and augmented reality, among other technologies. Microsoft is a contender in the augmented reality market with its HoloLens 2 headset.
The Industrial Metaverse Core group, which has now been disbanded, aimed to create new software interfaces that provide an immersive experience while operating industrial control systems. The group focused on developing such interfaces for the control systems that manage factory robots, electrical power plants, and transportation networks.
In addition, the Industrial Metaverse Core group had plans to market technology that Microsoft had acquired through its purchase of Bonsai AI Inc. in 2018. Bonsai AI’s software platform allowed users to develop artificial intelligence models, including a model for calibrating computer numerical control systems, a machine used to automate manufacturing tasks.
The layoffs at Microsoft have also affected other areas of its metaverse business. Bloomberg reports that most employees involved in developing HoloLens hardware were let go, and it remains uncertain how this will affect the future release of new headset versions.
According to a statement from Microsoft, the company affirms its dedication to the industrial metaverse and will now concentrate on the most significant areas that matter to its customers. Microsoft customers should expect no disruption in their support, and the company plans to reveal more information.
Additionally, the layoffs at Microsoft impacted the Surface unit and the department responsible for the Xbox video game console. Most layoffs in the Gaming Ecosystem Group and the marketing department of the latter division were reportedly affected.