Microsoft scales back work on military hololens


Image: Courtney Bacon/US Army

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In the wake of the economic and technological crisis, Microsoft plans to cut 10,000 jobs. The Hololens team is also affected.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft wants to scale down work on the Hololens variant for the US military (IVAS). We don’t know to what extent. Bloomberg refers to sources familiar with the project.

More recently, the US Congress canceled a $400 million contract for the combat helmet due to technical and ergonomic issues.

The total military Hololens order would be as much as $22 billion over ten years. But Microsoft’s technology has so far failed to meet the needs of soldiers. They complained, among other things, of eye pain and headaches.

The collaboration between Microsoft and the army began in 2018 with a first Hololens order and has since experienced many setbacks. According to a Bloomberg source, Microsoft may not be able to fully fulfill the contract.

Microsoft cuts costs – also for XR

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in a memo to the team on Wednesday that 10,000 Microsoft employees would be laid off by the end of March. Severance costs are expected to be $1.2 billion. Nadella mentioned “changes in the hardware portfolio” in relation to the job cuts.

Much like the military Hololens, the commercial variant appears to be in limbo. Hololens co-inventor Alex Kipman left Microsoft in 2022 after more than 21 years with the company.

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The many leaks surrounding the departure did not shed much light on the internal state of the Hololens team. High-ranking employees moved to Meta and Google.

More recently, there were rumors that Microsoft didn’t have a roadmap to speak of for Hololens. A possible cooperation with Samsung would be irrelevant.

Official statements on Microsoft’s XR plans come from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who spoke about a software-led Metaverse strategy last year. Microsoft releases Office software for Meta’s XR headsets and offers Mesh, an infrastructure platform for networking various VR and AR devices with regular computers.

Microsoft’s new XR chief Scott Evans considered a Hololens hardware “update” in December 2022. He didn’t mention Hololens 3.


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