What you need to know
- In February 2022, reports surfaced indicating Microsoft had nixed its HoloLens 3 plans.
- Now, there's a report stating that Meta has dissolved the team tasked with creating an operating system that could handle augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
- The OS-focused team is said to have been over 300 people strong before its manpower was rerouted toward other projects.
Microsoft isn't the only one facing reports of internal shakeups surrounding metaverse-related development initiatives. Meta, the company responsible for kicking off Big Tech's metaverse mania in October 2021, is also the subject of stories citing project cancellations.
The Information has released a report indicating that Meta's planned hybrid OS, which would serve as the joint heart of the company's future AR and VR ambitions, isn't happening anymore. At least, not for the time being. The operating system (codename: XROS) was set to be at the core of both Meta's headsets as well as its AR glasses, which are on the way. It's said that XROS had a team of over 300 people dedicated to it and other OS projects. Some of said employees are being redirected to other projects. The Information's writeup cites "three people with knowledge of the situation" as its source.
This news comes not long after similar reports arose regarding Microsoft canceling HoloLens 3, another metaverse-linked project that isn't currently set to see the light of day if the claims surrounding it are accurate. Also relevant to the discussion at hand is the fact that a substantial number of Microsoft's augmented reality experts have hopped ship to Meta in recent memory.
According to a Meta spokesperson's statement shared with The Verge, the company is focused on "embedding more OS engineers directly into [its] AR and VR teams." While this would tangentially address the XROS report, it does not directly elaborate on the state of the project or its team.