办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

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微软VR设备的负责人亲自在办公室里看VR“小电影”,间接说明了设备体验很不错?!就在本周二,性骚扰丑闻缠身的HoloLens联合创始人Alex Kipman给微软递交了辞呈,不干了。据知情人士爆料,收到Kipman辞呈的微软云与AI部门的负责人Scott Guthrie表示,将会对项目进行重新安排。

意思就是说,Kipman暂时还不会走,直到团队转型、工作交接完成。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

给全员直播自己看“福利”

不得不说,Kipman在办公室用VR看“毛片”的事,属实闹的沸沸扬扬。

最关键的是,整个过程都“直播”给了在场的团队成员,也包括女性员工……

现在,让我们回到那天晚上,看看Kipman是怎么社死+人设崩塌的。

那是一天晚上的8点,6名MR团队的成员正在加班给VR眼镜的原型debug。(看到“8点”和“加班”两个词凑在一起,编辑总觉得有点小不适应。)

当时,项目的负责人Kipman也在办公室等着验收成果。

说到Kipman这个人,就不得不提到那十分个性的穿着打扮。

比如那标志性的齐肩长发,以及起伏不定的胡茬,看起来既像摇滚乐队的主唱,又像技术主管。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

言归正传,在工程师们终于搞定之后,Kipman把VR眼镜带进了工作室自己那间没有窗户的小屋里。

不过他这时可能忘记了,VR眼镜中的内容是会镜像到办公室的大屏幕上的。

意思就是,小屋外的每个人都将会看到,Kipman为他的虚拟现实体验选择了什么。

而在他点击播放按钮之后,整个工作室都充满了“生机”。

只见那画面中,几位身着超短裙的年轻女性正在床上嬉戏,紧接着便是一场活色生香的枕头大战。

这个展开着实出乎了在场所有人的意料……

事后,一位当时在场的员工在接受采访时表示,“这不就是VR黄片么。”

当然,Kipman黄片事件只是千千万万领导层不当行为中的一例。

其它的像Kipman的性骚扰、言语暴力什么的,在微软从来没根除过。

微软拒绝就Kipman一事表态。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

发言人表示,“所有上报的情况我们都会逐一调查。所有证实过的情况我们都会采取相应的办法解决。”

“我们的惩罚包括,解雇、降职、扣工资或奖金、官方批评、强制参加培训等等,或者以上几种惩罚相结合。”

听起来就很官……

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

另一位Kipman的前同事也表示,他们都看到过Kipman对女员工行为不端。

“有一次,Kipman揉另一个女同事的肩膀。她一直在耸肩,想让他停,能明显看出来她很不自在。可是Kipman就是不停,一直在揉。”

有员工透露,微软的管理层还警告女性员工不要和Kipman独处。甚至在最近的几个月,有两名似乎来自人力资源部门的“陪护”会跟着Kipman参加会议。

关于这些事,微软只否认了HR部门有人“陪护”Kipman,其他的都是“不予置评”。

这比直接承认还要黑啊。

MR团队要“解散”了?

不过,就技术而言,Kipman还是很有天赋和热情的。

在七八岁时,Kipman就学会了如何为Atari 2600编程。而梦想着去美国上学的他,几乎把名字后面带有“IT”的大学都申请了一个遍。

后来,Kipman去了罗切斯特理工学院(RIT),并在2001年毕业时获得了软件工程学位,同年加入微软。

在整个职业生涯中,他为Hololens和Xbox Kinect等技术申请了上百个专利。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

年轻时的风格完全不一样啊……

而十分有趣的是,Kipman最初的工作竟然是研发Windows Vista——一个最终完全不受欢迎的操作系统。

从“玄学”的角度讲,没准Hololens的不温不火和Kipman的运气也有点关系。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

就在BusinessInsider爆出了Kipman辞职的消息之后,Guthrie就发了一封邮件,解释这到底是怎么回事。

Guthrie在邮件中表示,“过去几个月,Kipman和我聊了很多有关团队未来的问题...我们都觉得,如果Kipman要离开公司去追寻别的机会的话,现在就是最好的时机了。”

“我很感谢Kipman这几年来给微软带来的愿景,以及他为微软布局元宇宙所做的一切。”

“Kipman会在接下来的两个月里配合团队把转型顺利走完,然后离开。”

用当下流行的曲调唱,这其实就是“听我说~谢谢你~你早该离去~”

Guthrie所指的团队变动其实就是,目前负责混合现实的硬件团队将会加入Panos Panay领导的Windows+Devices部门。

而负责Microsoft Mesh混合现实平台等产品的软件小组将会加入Jeff Teper手下的Experiences+Devices部门。

Kipman本人并没有对此发表置评。

但是,结合前一阵子发生的事来看,团队组织变动究竟是不是Kipman离开的真实原因,我们要打一个大大的问号。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

当然,不管Scott Guthrie邮件中提到的,是因为团队调整Kipman才离开了微软的因果关系是不是真的,HoloLens团队大调整是没跑了。

微软的MR(混合现实)团队主要提供各类AR和VR的产品和解决方案,旗下的品牌包括HoloLens、IVAS等等,以及微软的Mesh服务。

这些都是微软布局元宇宙的关键组成部分。

Guthrie表示,微软的MR工作取得巨大进展,并在5月份达到了两个至关重要的里程碑。

一个是美国陆军“综合视觉增强系统”(IVAS)的订单。微软表示,此交易预计在10年内营收220亿美元。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

这份备受瞩目的五角大楼合同曾为HoloLens的形象增光添彩,但进度却远远落后于预期,并且还受到质量和性能问题的困扰。

五角大楼测试办公室的报告也显示出,微软的系统目前“还没有表现出作为作战用MR目镜的能力”。

2021年秋IVAS雏形机实地测试照片

2021年秋IVAS雏形机实地测试照片

另一个是和埃森哲的合作,应用微软全新的SDK构建沉浸式的开会体验。

而现在,微软MR团队也到了进行组织调整的阶段。

目的只有一个,那就是让微软在下一财年中,元宇宙能继续加速发展。

调整的主要方向分为硬件和软件两个:

首先是Grace Hwang、Ruben Caballero、Scott Evans、Ashraf Michail、David Marra和他们领导的混合现实硬件团队将加入Windows+设备组织。

这包括此前由Kipman领导的HoloLens,以及IVAS项目。

然后是由Carlos Aguilar、Miguel Susffalich、Nikhil Subramanian领导的团队。他们将并入Jeff Teper领导的Experiences+Devices部门。

他们主要负责的是软件,以及服务方面的内容。

命途多舛的HoloLens

就在今年的2月3日,Insider上曾有一篇长文表示,微软已经把MR项目下属的HoloLens 3毙掉了。

而且不乏多个知情人士透露,这预示着微软混合现实(MR)头显项目的终结。

然而,微软发言人弗兰克·肖随即否认HoloLens项目已死。

当时,HoloLens的项目负责人Kipman还在Twitter上说“不要轻信网上看到的消息,之前还有人说Hololens 2也被取消了。”

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

在新冠爆发前的一次全体员工会议上,微软首席营销官克里斯·卡波塞拉曾表示,HoloLens是一个用于宣传视频的不错的小工具,但它对微软的业务来说却没有那么重要。

而在几年后,科技行业看到了使用户沉浸在数字增强现实和虚拟世界中的巨大商机。

但是,虽说微软的HoloLens业务起步较早,看起来却并不像一个开始就能有回报的投资,而更像是在个正在探索方向的、工程师与愿景的烂摊子。

2月份据Insider称,有三位内部人士表示,微软在最近几个月取消了HoloLens 3的计划。

一位人士预计这是项目的尽头,至少对人所共知的HoloLens系列产品来说是这样。

此外,微软还同意与三星合作开发一个新的混合现实设备,这同样激起了团队内部的分歧。

办公室看VR黄片,微软“HoloLens之父”辞职 云总裁:元宇宙不能黄

微软的HoloLens设备在2015年公开亮相时,受到了人们的追捧和敬畏。

佩戴者可以通过眼镜看到数字信息叠加在他们对物理世界的视野中,例如,显示一份技术员在修理电器时可以瞥见的说明书。

与Google在推向消费者市场的尝试惨败之后再转入工业界不同,打一开始,微软就将HoloLens定位为企业产品。

然而,就一位前员工估计,自2016年推出以来,HoloLens总共售出了4万至6万台设备。即使按照HoloLens现在高达3500多美元的价格,这也让该业务在微软1680亿美元的年收入中渺不足道。

HoloLens,乃至微软整个MR团队何去何从,还真不好说。

Scott Guthrie, head of Microsoft Cloud and AI, who received Kipman's resignation, said he would reschedule the project, according to people familiar with the matter.

It means that Kipman will not leave for the time being until the team changes and the job transition is completed.

Show yourself "Welfare" live to everyone.

I have to say, the fact that Kipman uses VR to watch "porn" in the office is a real uproar.

The most important thing is that the whole process was "live" to the team members present, including female employees.

Now, let's go back to that night and see how Kipman collapsed.

It was 8 o'clock one night, and six members of the MR team were working overtime for the prototype debug of VR glasses. The editor always feels a little uncomfortable when he sees the words "8 o'clock" and "overtime" come together. )

At that time, the head of the project, Kipman, was in the office waiting for the results to be accepted.

When it comes to Kipman, we have to mention the dress with great personality.

For example, the iconic shoulder-length hair and undulating stubble look like both the lead singer of a rock band and the technical director.

Back to the point, after the engineers finally took care of it, Kipman brought the VR glasses into the studio's own windowless cabin.

But he may have forgotten that the contents of the VR glasses are mirrored on the big screen in the office.

It means that everyone outside the cabin will see what Kipman has chosen for his virtual reality experience.

After he clicked the play button, the whole studio was full of "vitality".

In that picture, several young women in miniskirts were playing on the bed, followed by a lively pillow fight.

This unfolding really took everyone present by surprise.

Afterwards, an employee present at the time said in an interview, "this is VR porn."

Of course, the Kipman porn incident is just one example of tens of thousands of leadership misconduct.

Other things like Kipman's sexual harassment and verbal violence have never been eradicated at Microsoft.

Microsoft declined to comment on Kipman.

"We will investigate all reports one by one," the spokesman said. We will take corresponding measures to solve all the confirmed situations. "

"our penalties include dismissal, demotion, deduction of wages or bonuses, official criticism, compulsory training, etc., or a combination of the above."

It sounds like an official...

Another former colleague of Kipman also said that they had all seen Kipman misbehave to female employees.

"once, Kipman rubbed the shoulder of another female colleague. She kept shrugging her shoulders, trying to get him to stop, and it was obvious that she was uncomfortable. But Kipman just keeps rubbing. "

Microsoft management has also warned female employees not to be alone with Kipman, according to employees. Even in recent months, two "escorts" who seem to be from the human resources department will attend meetings with Kipman.

With regard to these things, Microsoft only denied that anyone in the HR department was "accompanying" Kipman, and the others were "not commenting."

这比直接承认还要黑啊。

Is the MR team going to be disbanded?

However, as far as technology is concerned, Kipman is very talented and enthusiastic.

At the age of seven or eight, Kipman learned how to program for Atari 2600. And he, who dreams of going to study in the United States, has almost applied to universities with the word "IT" after his name.

Later, Kipman went to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where he graduated with a degree in software engineering in 2001 and joined Microsoft in the same year.

Throughout his career, he has applied for hundreds of patents for technologies such as Hololens and Xbox Kinect.

The style of youth is completely different.

Interestingly, Kipman's original work was to develop Windows Vista--, an operating system that turned out to be completely unpopular.

From the perspective of metaphysics, maybe Hololens's lukewarm and Kipman's luck have something to do with it.

Just after BusinessInsider broke the news of Kipman's resignation, Guthrie sent an email explaining what was going on.

"over the past few months, Kipman and I have talked a lot about the future of the team," Guthrie said in an email. We all feel that now is the best time if Kipman is going to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. "

"I am very grateful to Kipman for the vision he has brought to Microsoft over the years, and for all he has done to lay out meta-universe for Microsoft."

"Kipman will work with the team to complete the transition in the next two months, and then leave."

Singing in the current popular tunes, this is actually "listen to me ~ Thank you ~ you should have left ~"

The team change that Guthrie refers to is that the hardware team currently in charge of mixed reality will join the Windows+Devices department led by Panos Panay.

The software team responsible for products such as Microsoft Mesh's mixed reality platform will join Jeff Teper's Experiences+Devices division.

Kipman himself did not comment.

However, combined with what happened a while ago, we have to put a big question mark on whether the change in team organization is the real reason for Kipman's departure.

Of course, regardless of whether it is true that the team left Microsoft because of the Kipman adjustment mentioned in the Scott Guthrie email, the HoloLens team overhaul did not run away.

Microsoft's MR (mixed reality) team mainly provides all kinds of AR and VR products and solutions, including HoloLens, IVAS and so on, as well as Microsoft Mesh services.

These are the key components of Microsoft's layout of meta-universe.

Guthrie said Microsoft has made great progress in MR and reached two critical milestones in May.

One is an order for the U.S. Army's Integrated Visual Enhancement system (IVAS). Microsoft said the deal is expected to generate $22 billion in revenue within 10 years.

The high-profile Pentagon contract, which added luster to HoloLens's image, lagged far behind expectations and was plagued by quality and performance problems.

The Pentagon Test Office report also shows that Microsoft's system "has not yet demonstrated its ability to act as a combat MR eyepiece."

Field test photos of IVAS prototype machine in autumn 2021

The other is a partnership with Accenture to build an immersive meeting experience using Microsoft's new SDK.

Now, the Microsoft MR team has also reached the stage of organizational restructuring.

There is only one goal, and that is to enable Microsoft to continue to accelerate the development of meta-universe in the next fiscal year.

The main direction of adjustment is divided into hardware and software:

First, Grace Hwang, Ruben Caballero, Scott Evans, Ashraf Michail, David Marra and their mixed reality hardware team will join the Windows+ device organization.

This includes HoloLens, previously led by Kipman, as well as the IVAS project.

Then came the team led by Carlos Aguilar, Miguel Susffalich, and Nikhil Subramanian. They will be incorporated into the Experiences+Devices department led by Jeff Teper.

They are mainly responsible for software, as well as service content.

The ill-fated HoloLens

On February 3rd of this year, a long article on Insider said that Microsoft had killed HoloLens 3, a subsidiary of the MR project.

And there is no shortage of people familiar with the matter, which heralds the end of Microsoft's mixed reality (MR) Touxian project.

However, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw immediately denied that the HoloLens project was dead.

At the time, Kipman, HoloLens's project leader, said on Twitter, "Don't trust the news you read on the Internet. Someone else said that Hololens 2 had also been cancelled."

At a staff meeting before COVID-19 broke out, Chris Cabosella, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, said that HoloLens is a good gadget for promoting videos, but it is not that important to Microsoft's business.

A few years later, the technology industry saw huge business opportunities for users to immerse themselves in digital augmented reality and virtual worlds.

But although Microsoft's HoloLens business started early, it doesn't look like an investment that pays off from the start, but more like a mess of engineers and visions that are exploring directions.

In February, according to Insider, three insiders said Microsoft had cancelled plans for HoloLens 3 in recent months.

One person expects this to be the end of the project, at least for the well-known HoloLens series.

In addition, Microsoft agreed to work with Samsung to develop a new hybrid reality device, which also sparked divisions within the team.

When Microsoft's HoloLens device was publicly unveiled in 2015, it was sought after and feared by people.

Through the glasses, the wearer can see digital information superimposed on their view of the physical world, for example, showing a manual that a technician can glimpse while repairing electrical appliances.

Unlike Google, which moved into industry after a fiasco in its attempt to reach the consumer market, Microsoft positioned HoloLens as an enterprise product from the start.

However, one former employee estimates that HoloLens has sold between 40, 000 and 60, 000 devices since its launch in 2016. Even at HoloLens's current price of more than $3500, that makes the business negligible among Microsoft's $168 billion in annual revenue.

It's hard to say where HoloLens, or even Microsoft's entire MR team, will go.

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