Microsoft is sunsetting social VR pioneer AltspaceVR

Throughout the years, AltspaceVR has teetered on the edge of closure, yet it’s now apparent that this pioneering enterprise behind virtual social spaces, not even known as a “metaverse” until recently by most people, is closing its doors forever.

In 2017, it was announced that AltspaceVR’s virtual reality platform would be shutting down until Microsoft intervened. This revolutionary web of immersive social spaces allowed people to connect with friends and colleagues as 3D avatars. However, now Microsoft has made the decision to sunset this innovative technology.

On March 10, AltspaceVR will sadly be no more. Microsoft has decided to use their resources towards developing a new and improved mixed reality platform called Microsoft Mesh. Their official statement suggests-

“We look forward to what is to come, including our launch of Microsoft Mesh, a new platform for connection and collaboration, starting by enabling workplaces around the world. In the near-term, we are focusing our VR efforts on workplace experiences, learning from and alongside our early customers and partners, and ensuring we deliver a foundation that enables security, trust and compliance.”

After having designed its products with an enterprise-focus, Microsoft is now extending its venture into the world of VR and mixed reality. With consumer use in mind, it has stated that once these plans are successfully established for businesses, they will then be extended to customers everywhere.

Although building a large user base proved to be an effortless feat for AltspaceVR due to the specialized hardware needed in VR, they were pioneers of utilizing virtual reality for social applications.

Microsoft’s own project holds the potential for much greater success. It is with a heavy heart that AltspaceVR, a once revolutionary social virtual reality platform, is no more. We may never know just how far it could have pushed us into the future of collaboration and communication but we can always be thankful for its impact on society.

For all those who have used and enjoyed the social VR platform, it might be time to say your goodbyes. We look forward to seeing what Microsoft Mesh has in store for us, but we won’t forget the pioneering technology of AltspaceVR that helped lay the foundations for this new venture. The end is near for AltspaceVR, but the future looks bright.

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