February 3, 2023

AltspaceVR is shutting down in March as Microsoft decimated its groups working in VR & AR this week as a part of a significant workforce discount throughout your complete firm.

Altspace was one of many early VR-based social networking providers alongside others like Rec Room and VRChat. As an impartial startup Altspace ran out of cash, however in 2017 Microsoft acquired it and continued the trouble. Microsoft says it’s shifting “our focus to help immersive experiences powered by Microsoft Mesh.” We tried out Mesh on HoloLens 2 again in 2021 and have been fairly impressed by its performance, with the corporate saying it’ll be formally launching the service as “a brand new platform for connection and collaboration, beginning by enabling workplaces world wide.”

Right here’s an excerpt from Microsoft’s “sunset” replace on altvr.com:

The choice has not been a simple one as it is a platform many have come to like, offering a spot for folks to discover their identities, categorical themselves, and discover group. It has been a privilege to assist unlock passions amongst customers, from instructional alternatives for private progress to the event of distinctive and great occasions, groundbreaking artwork, and immersive experiences — enabling this group to attain extra. With Mesh, we aspire to construct a platform that provides the widest alternative to all concerned, together with creators, companions and prospects.

Late final yr the HP Reverb G2 headset noticed steep reductions and, given it’s the final headset on the market utilizing the Home windows Blended Actuality platform, pointed to the probability that Microsoft is shifting on from the platform. Microsoft laid off 10,000 folks this week, roughly 5 % of its workforce, becoming a member of the likes of Meta, Snap and lots of others in decreasing a big share of its workforce.

Microsoft posted directions for creators on how you can download content earlier than the March 10, 2023 shutdown date, whereas noting “AltspaceVR Worlds should not capable of be downloaded in full or ported straight to a different platform as a result of AltspaceVR is a mixture of Worlds made up of a set of property owned by quite a lot of totally different entities.”

“When you can’t obtain them in full, you’ll be able to obtain objects out of your Worlds knowledge, which we name meta-data,” Microsoft explains, offering folks recordsdata with references famous as comma-separated values.