Microsoft to acquire virtual reality social network AltspaceVR – CNET

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The Samsung Gear VR is one of several headsets that support AltspaceVR.

Nate Ralph/CNET

It’s been a crazy summer for fans of AltspaceVR, the social network that lets you hang out and watch events in virtual reality.

The company behind the service first announced its closure in July, its revival in August and, now, a new owner in Microsoft in a deal announced Tuesday.

The service has previously hosted events including presidential debates and concerts, and works across most major virtual reality headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Google’s Daydream. 

AltspaceVR said that the company connected with Microsoft’s Alex Kipman, the inventor of the HoloLens, and found “a natural overlap” that led to the acquisition. There are no immediate plans, however, for the AltspaceVR team to work on the company’s mixed-reality headset.

Even though Microsoft is announcing a variety of headsets that will work with Windows, AltspaceVR said its new owner is keeping the service’s cross-platform support intact.

“Microsoft is most interested in preserving the current community that uses AltspaceVR to connect and interact with new and old friends,” the company said in its announcement of the acquisition.

Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment.

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