Alright, folks, here’s the deal. Insider just broke the news that Project Airsim, Microsoft’s AI-based drone simulation software, got the plug pulled on it. This bad boy was a key component of Microsoft’s grand vision for what they call an “industrial metaverse”. But guess what? It’s game over for Airsim, my friends.
According to a reliable source, the team behind Project Airsim got hit with a calendar invite for a so-called “team update” meeting. And you know what went down in that meeting? The entire team got the pink slip, folks. Yeah, they’re all out of a job and the project is going bye-bye. The official shut down is set for December 15th, just in time for the holidays.
Microsoft had this to say in a statement: “We are proud of the impact this incubation created for our customers and we will continue to invest in both Azure as the computing platform that powers the industrial metaverse, and a wide range of AI projects within the company. We are working closely with our customers on this transition.” So, there you have it, folks. They’re trying to soften the blow with some PR talk.
But wait, there’s more! This isn’t the first time Microsoft has axed one of its AI projects. Remember Project Bonsai? Yeah, that got the boot too. They stopped supporting it back in October. Bonsai was supposed to be their answer to Google’s Deepmind acquisition, a fancy AI development platform for building autonomous systems for industrial use. Both Airsim and Bonsai were part of this mystical “industrial metaverse” thing Microsoft was trying to create.
Things took a turn in 2018 when Microsoft acquired Bonsai, thinking it would be the next big thing. It was supposed to lure in those industrial app developers and give Amazon Web Services a run for its money. But get this, insiders say that as Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI heated up, Kevin Scott, the Chief Technology Officer, started to lose interest in these projects. Ouch!
Back in 2023, Microsoft was all hyped up about this industrial metaverse vision when they announced their extended partnership with OpenAI. They were flexing, talking about the future of AI at employee town halls and public interviews, just like they do now with OpenAI. But guess what happened next? Yep, the buzz died down real quick. By spring, Microsoft pulled the plug on the project and laid off the whole 100-person team behind it. That’s some cold-blooded business right there, my friends.
But hold on, here’s the twist. Apparently, Microsoft held onto Project Airsim because they believed there were some big-time customers out there just waiting to snatch it up. Yet, even with that hope, Gurdeep Pall, the big shot who ran Project Bonsai and then Project Airsim, called it quits after 33 long years with the company. That’s right, folks, he called it a day and walked away.
All in all, this is just another example of how Microsoft is shifting its resources to focus on their OpenAI strategy. They’re all-in on that. Last month, they even killed off some experimental products, like the Surface headphones, to pour more money into their AI endeavors. It’s a tough decision, no doubt, but they seem to be betting big on this AI game.
Now, if you happen to be a Microsoft employee with some insider info to spill, well, you better reach out to reporter Ashley Stewart. You can hit her up on the encrypted messaging app Signal at +1-425-344-8242 or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, you know the drill, spill the beans and let the truth be known.