Microsoft buys AltspaceVR, the leading VR social platform

At an event in San Francisco, Microsoft announced it purchased AltspaceVR and the team that built it. AltspaceVR will join Windows Mixed Reality's growing lineup, along with first-party games such as Halo: Recruit, and the vast library from Valve's SteamVR platform.

In a blog post on Microsoft's website, HoloLens inventor and Operating Systems Group Technical Fellow Alex Kipman outlined the acquisition of AltspaceVR, noting its capabilities for hosting virtual events on the internet:

We also welcomed the talented team at AltspaceVR to Microsoft. AltspaceVR is one of the pioneers in immersive communications bringing people together in virtual reality from over 160 countries to attend meetups, comedy shows, yoga classes, dance parties, and large-scale events hosted by NBC, Reggie Watts, Justin Roiland, Drew Carey and more.With the AltspaceVR team onboard we look forward to building the world's preeminent mixed reality community.

AltspaceVR users can create VR events that take place in a virtual setting.

AltspaceVR users can create VR events that take place in a virtual setting.

This is great news for AltSpace fans, who have seen the future of this social space as somewhat unstable recently. The AltSpace service recently shut down completely due to funding issues, only to re-open a few days later to a great deal of celebration. With Microsoft at the helm, AltSpacers can take a deep breath and enjoy the stability afforded by the new stewards of the platform.

Microsoft is clearly all-in on Mixed Reality, and picking up AltspaceVR is an interesting move, particularly when you consider Microsoft's work with Xbox's updated Avatar system (which looks far better than AltspaceVR's avatars ... and is also based on Unity3D.) Will Xbox avatar game 1 vs. 100) return on Windows Mixed Reality? It will be interesting to watch how these systems converge in the future.

See below for more of today's related announcements.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!