Microsoft exposes another “scandal”: watching VR porn in the office, “the father of HoloLens” is about to leave!

Organize | Jung Ryeo Won

Produced | CSDN (ID: CSDNnews)

At the end of last month, many Microsoft employees came forward to accuse current HoloLens head Alex Kipman, Azure global vice president Tom Keane and former Windows and devices head Terry Myerson of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and casual abuse of employees, in an incident that caused a huge stir in the industry at the time. dispute.

And so far, this week’s “Business Insider” revealed the latest development of the event: Alex Kipman, the team leader of the HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headset who has worked at Microsoft for 21 years, is leaving, and the entire mixed reality department he leads will also be Split and reorganize.

“Father of HoloLens” with 21 years at Microsoft

If you just look at Alex Kipman’s career and achievements, he is undoubtedly a heavyweight for Microsoft, known as the “geek genius”.

After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001, Alex Kipman has been with Microsoft for 21 years. He worked as an engineer in Visual Studio and Windows department successively. He joined the Xbox department in 2008 and was promoted to a high-end technical engineer. He led the team to launch the Xbox Kinect, a popular somatosensory peripheral product, and is known as the “Father of Kinect”.

At that time, Alex Kipman received a lot of praise from Microsoft and the media for the successful development of the Xbox Kinect:

  • Microsoft honored Alex Kipman with the Distinguished Technology Award and the Distinguished Technology Leadership Award;

  • Fast Company magazine honors Alex Kipman with the 2011 Most Creative Individual in Business;

  • Time magazine’s “Top 25 Nerds of the Year” that year also belonged to Alex Kipman.

Following the Xbox Kinect, Alex Kipman launched an augmented reality (AR) headset HoloLens at the Microsoft Build conference on April 29, 2015. The device was not only a major weapon for Microsoft to enter the Metaverse, but also favored by Satya Nadella, who had just taken over as Microsoft’s CEO at the time. Like Alex Kipman, he is a firm believer in HoloLens as the next-generation computing platform.

Since then, Alex Kipman has been in charge of leading the research and development team of HoloLens, and has become the “father of HoloLens” with long hair and some alternative but admired in the eyes of the outside world – until a series of “scandals” broke out at the end of last month, Alex Kipman Kipman’s “personality” begins to crumble.

Watching ‘ VR pornin the office , sexually harassing female employees

According to “Business Insider” reports, a total of more than 25 Microsoft employees have accused Alex Kipman of repeatedly engaging in inappropriate physical contact with female employees, and even watching obscene VR videos in front of employees in the office :

Six employees on Microsoft’s “mixed reality” team were working overtime tinkering with a prototype VR headset around 8 p.m. when Alex Kipman showed up. I saw him wearing VR glasses and walked into a windowless office and pressed the play button. At the same time, the monitors in the office where the six employees were located also broadcasted everything presented in the VR glasses synchronously. The video across the screen shows scantily clad young women frolicking on the bed before an overly sexy pillow fight ensues.

An employee who was there at the time later described the scene as a “VR pornography” in an interview: “It was in the office, in front of a woman, and it was very uncomfortable.”

Not only that, a former colleague of Alex Kipman also added his misconduct, such as rubbing her shoulders despite the disgust of female employees; three Microsoft employees also said they had been warned not to leave women alone around Kipman, and Kipman The meeting was followed closely by “escort” personnel from the human resources department; a former Microsoft executive even sighed: “Sadly, I actually think it’s good that the epidemic has prevented us from having to interact with him in person.”

In response to all the above rumors, Alex Kipman did not respond, and Microsoft only denied one point: Alex Kipman was not accompanied (supervised) (visually) by human resources personnel during the meeting – as if the other rumors were confirmed by the side. .

In this case, more and more media have risen from Alex Kipman’s behavior to Microsoft, and began to review the various “scandals” that Microsoft has been exposed to over the years:

  • When Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were at the helm of Microsoft, disrespect and abuse of employees were common, but they as CEOs turned a blind eye to it;

  • When Satya Nadella took office in 2014, she promised to no longer tolerate “genius bastards” and to completely change the company’s “toxic culture” to create a respectful, diverse and inclusive work environment. But many employees inside Microsoft say the company still has a near-bottom tolerance for bad behavior from high-level figures and developers.

It is understood that Microsoft once wrote in a statement: We have investigated every accusation report we have received, and once we find a substantiated accusation, we have taken clear sanctions. The types of sanctions include dismissal, demotion employment, deductions from wages or bonuses, formal reprimands, mandatory training, or a combination of the above. But Business Insider pointed out that last year, a group of Microsoft employees organized a report detailing dozens of allegations against Alex Kipman, and nothing happened.

Where does the “Dream of the Metaverse” go?

With the ever-expanding influence of the controversy, Alex Kipman’s choice to leave is not surprising. After all, Bill Gates also withdrew from the Microsoft board of directors in the second year after the “scandal” was exposed.

An internal email obtained by foreign media GeekWire from Scott Guthrie, the head of Microsoft’s cloud and AI division, shows that Alex Kipman is indeed leaving, but the email makes no mention of the recent allegations and says that Alex Kipman will stay on for another two months. To help with the transition:

“Alex Kipman and I have been talking about the team’s path forward for the past few months, and we’ve agreed that now is the perfect time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. I’m grateful for the tremendous vision Alex has provided for Microsoft over the years, And what he has done to advance our Metaverse product. Alex is committed to helping the team through the transition process over the next two months and ensuring success before pursuing his next steps.”

In addition, Microsoft also announced that it will merge the mixed reality (MR) hardware division into the Windows+Devices division led by Panos Panay, while the mixed reality (MR) presence and collaboration team will join the Experiences+ led by Jeff Teper. The Teams organization of the Devices division.

From this point of view, the departure of Alex Kipman is bound to have a certain impact on Microsoft’s “metaverse dream”, and the future of the already rough HoloLens seems to be more and more difficult:

  • At the beginning of the year, the media broke the news that Microsoft’s HoloLens project had become “a mess”, and the development plan of HoloLens 3 was in danger of being cancelled. At that time, Alex Kipman retorted: “Don’t believe what you see on the Internet. “

  • The Wall Street Journal also reported that more than 70 employees of the HoloLens team have left the company in 2021, with more than 40 of them joining Meta.

That doesn’t mean the HoloLens is doomed, though. It is understood that Microsoft is waiting to sign a $21.9 billion contract with the U.S. Army – once the deal is reached, Microsoft will provide it with a 10-year, expected 121,500 customized version of HoloLens, and HoloLens can also have Large enough scale and value for sustainable development.

Compared with the industry’s concerns about Microsoft’s future development in the metaverse, some Microsoft employees are also not optimistic about Alex Kipman’s departure: “From past experience, Microsoft’s ‘toxic culture’ will not follow a toxic culture. People disappear and disappear. It’s like cancer, and even if you cut it off, it doesn’t mean it won’t grow back.”

The text and pictures in this article are from CSDN

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