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Microsoft: Despite what rumors may suggest, we are committed to HoloLens 2 and MR

Microsoft's ambitions in the HoloLens and mixed reality departments have been a bit iffy for quite some time. Last year, the executive leading this initiative, Alex Kipman, resigned following allegations of workplace misconduct. We also know that the company has been facing challenges with its U.S. Army contract and that its Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) team was heavily impacted by the recent round of layoffs. Now, perhaps to assuage concerns in this area, Microsoft has published a statement reaffirming its commitment to HoloLens 2 and mixed reality.

A man with HoloLens 2 on his head

The statement comes in the form of a short Tech Community blog by Robin Seiler, who is the Corporate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Windows + Devices organization at Microsoft.

Seiler started off by saying that Microsoft is fully committed to HoloLens 2 with the evidence being regular software updates and publication of documentation that is helpful for customers. She also highlighted HoloLens as one of the key components in the vision behind an "Industrial Metaverse".

Although the executive didn't confirm that the entire MRTK team has been laid off - as has been reported by some former employees on social media -, she does hint at this by saying that the project will live on through open-source contributions. Microsoft will remain "committed" to ensuring compatibility between MRTK and HoloLens 2.

Seiler also confirmed that AltspaceVR, which it acquired in 2017, is being shuttered with focus shifting to Microsoft Mesh instead. This reaffirms Microsoft's strategy to bring VR to enterprise environments, something that it is already previewing with some customers.

Lastly, the Microsoft executive referenced the company's ongoing partnership with the U.S. Army, even though we have heard multiple reports that it's not going well.

Although recent events — mentioned at the start — seem to suggest otherwise, Microsoft is emphasizing that all is well in the HoloLens and mixed reality space. Only time will tell how determined the company actually is to make these technologies mainstream.

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