The death of HoloLens may have been greatly exaggerated, Microsoft says

Microsoft HoloLens
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's HoloLens, the futuristic AR headset aimed at workplaces, has been in a bit of a lull recently, with one recent report claiming it had been cancelled. 

Insider spoke to 20 current and former Microsoft employees, some of whom claimed that Microsoft had ended worked on HoloLens 3, the next generation of the headset. A recent Wall Street Journal report showed that 70 mixed-reality employees have left Microsoft for Meta or Apple

All of this is made slightly more strange by the huge US Army contract that Microsoft secured, worth over $21.88 billion over 10 years, for HoloLens headsets in the theatre of war. An internal Pentagon document recent said the program is behind schedule and not yet combat ready.

Everything is "great"  

At the time of Insider's report,, Microsoft's Frank Shaw declared that the headset "remains a critical part of our plans for emerging categories like mixed reality and the metaverse." He didn't elaborate much further besides saying that the company remains "committed to HoloLens and future HoloLens development." 

The state is light on specifics and leaves the door open for things not being so great in the HoloLens offices in Redmond. 

However, a tweet from Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman posted since the reports claims that apparently HoloLens is "doing great". 

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Interestingly, Insider has since doubled down in a new report. A source says that Kipman's characterisation is "complete bullshit." HoloLens 3, codenamed Calypso, has been cancelled, says the source, and "[all] of the people who were working on it have been distributed to other programs or have left the company." 

Microsoft might be planning an updated version, but the source says that it won't be Calypso. 

All of this is very intriguing and the facts of the matter are tricky to establish as everything is happening internally at Microsoft. Having said that, the bulk of the evidence suggests that things are not that great at HoloLens, especially if the Pentagon itself is nothing that things are running behind. 

Only time will tell, however, and we'll have to wait and see what Microsoft does. In the meantime, Meta and Apple are working on the next generation of AR, so Microsoft better act quickly. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.