Microsoft has not shipped its first HoloLens holographic display device, but is rapidly moving to the next generation of development, however. TechCrunch has confirmed that Microsoft has laid off 60 people in Israel who are working on HoloLens – 30 full-time employees and 30 contractors. Plan to curtail work on his VR headset and platforms in the country and shift the development of different technologies in the US

The news was originally reported in the Israeli publication Ynet (Hebrew), and we also confirmed the details directly from Microsoft:

“We are constantly evaluating our business needs and recent decisions affect several positions in one of our groups in Israel,” the spokesman said in a statement submitted to the TechCrunch in response to questions about the layoffs. “If necessary, we are increasing investment in some areas and de-invest in other, resulting in the movement of jobs across the organization, and at times, the elimination of work. Our priority is to work with and the employees affected by this decision support.”

HoloLens development in Israel until now has been based around a team of engineers and others who joined Microsoft after it acquired Israeli startup called 3DV system in 2009. At the time, the move was seen as a way to improve the company’s still unreleased Kinect motion-sensing devices for gaming and computing.

However, Microsoft disputes this interpretation, and indeed eventually develop HoloLens stressed that it was more in store for talent and technology that reportedly took over $ 35 million ..

But it seems that the days went on. It is not clear why Microsoft moves to a different technology or any technology that can be.

If Microsoft uses any technology of a third party – just as he worked with PrimeSense to Kinect, before it was acquired by Apple – one assumption can be Magic Jump, run in Florida, which attracts a lot of attention after raising almost $ 600 million for the development of their own (in progress) technology.

MagicLeap supported by Microsoft rival Google and its founder actually publicly dissed HoloLens in the past – two points that will count towards the work with Microsoft. However, a recent report on even more magic jump to raise funds in the amount of $ 1 billion, said that the start of the work hints at the “forced version of” Google Glass or HoloLens, so something else can weld between the companies.

On the other hand, Microsoft has also been hard at work to develop HoloLens in the United States, and perhaps to compensate for any drop news from Israel, the company yesterday just happened to publish some of the latest achievements of the group in Redmond.


With Microsoft no still build a successful business smartphone, the company continues to look for the next big thing that could define the next generation of computers. And in this context, whether the development of in-house or with a third party, it feels like Microsoft has a lot riding on HoloLens being a big hit, and works fine.

Microsoft first announced HoloLens in January this year to much fanfare, and has since been careful renovation charting your progress.

These included taking a small group of journalists (including our own Frederic Lardinois) on a demo, which included the construction of an application for the device; Chronology and the price ($ 3,000) for the first development kits; sending short HoloLens space for NASA; and work with Volvo on the road to buy apps. There’s also talk that Microsoft will work with Asus’ low-cost version of augmented reality glasses.

We turned to Microsoft for more details, and we will update as we learn more.