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Microsoft's Mixed Reality division hit by layoffs; will keep selling HoloLens 2 headset

A man with HoloLens 2 on his head

Microsoft is cutting jobs in its Mixed Reality division, according to an email statement sent to CNBC by a company spokesperson. The statement did not specify the number of Microsoft team members that are being laid off.

In the statement, the spokesperson said:

Earlier today we announced a restructuring of the Microsoft’s Mixed Reality organization. We remain fully committed to the Department of Defense’s IVAS program and will continue to deliver cutting edge technology to support our soldiers. In addition, we will continue to invest in W365 to reach the broader Mixed Reality hardware ecosystem. We will continue to sell HoloLens 2 while supporting existing HoloLens 2 customers and partners

The restructuring of the Mixed Reality division is not exactly a surprise. Microsoft has slowly been distancing itself from its MR effort for a couple of years now. In August 2023, the company spun off it development of its Mixed Reality Toolkit software to its own GitHub organization.

In December 2023, Microsoft announced the deprecation of the Windows Mixed Reality feature that launched with Windows 10. It will officially end support for consumer Windows editions on November 1, 2026, and on November 1, 2027, for commercial Windows editions. All Windows Mixed Reality headsets that are still active cannot be used with the current Windows 11 version 24H2.

Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to support its HoloLens 2 headset. Indeed, the company just released Windows Holographic version 24H1 a few weeks ago. As Microsoft said in today's statement, the company is also still working on its version of HoloLens 2 that is being tested by the US Department of Defense for use by soldiers on the battlefield.

While Microsoft may be making cuts in its Mixed Reality division, it is supporting other MR devices, including Xbox Cloud Gaming and Office apps for the Meta Quest headsets. Its Office apps are also available for owners of Apple's Vision Pro headset.

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