Microsoft acquires social VR startup AltSpaceVR

Katharine Byrne
Microsoft acquires social VR startup AltSpaceVR

Microsoft kicked off its Windows Mixed Reality event with a bang last night, announcing it had acquired social VR app startup Altspace VR. The firm had been struggling earlier in the year, and had even announced it was shutting down in July after a new funding round fell through. Only weeks later did it reveal it had been saved by a third party.

The terms of the deal are currently unknown, as Microsoft didn't go into them during its onstage reveal, but the team at AltSpaceVR have assured its customers that business will continue as usual now it's part of the Microsoft family.

"Our new teammates at Microsoft are just as nerdtastic about our community as we are," the company wrote on its website. "AltspaceVR will stay AltspaceVR. Microsoft is most interested in preserving the current community that uses AltspaceVR to connect and interact with new and old friends. These first few months will focus on fostering our community and making sure AltspaceVR remains a friendly, welcoming and vibrant place to hang out in virtual reality."

Going forward, AltspaceVR will continue to support PC and Mac in 2D mode, as well as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Daydream by Google, and Samsung Gear VR. It added there aren't any plans to bring the app to Microsoft's Hololens headset just yet, but said, "the team is excited to see how AltspaceVR can be a part of Microsoft's MR ecosystem."

 

Microsoft's Alex Kipman added in aWindows blog post: "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."

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