Video: Microsoft also has a “metaverse” for pros (get that Facebook)

Source: Microsoft.

Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) isn’t the only company trying to carve out a place for itself in the metaverse. Microsoft has also set itself on the topic, but from a more business-centered perspective. At the Microsoft Ignite IT pro conference held this week, the Redmond company provided more details about its plans to integrate Mesh into the Teams collaboration platform.

At the Build developer conference in May, Microsoft showcased the Azure-powered Mesh mixed-reality collaboration platform. At the time, Microsoft announced that Mesh would be integrated with Teams. Today, the company says Mesh for Teams will begin launching the preview in 2022, with a set of pre-built immersive spaces. Over time, Microsoft will add tools to allow customers to create their own personalized spaces.

Microsoft describes Mesh for Teams as part of its collaboration platform that “integrates the blended reality capabilities of Microsoft Mesh, allowing people in different physical locations to participate in collaboration and shared holographic experiences, with Teams productivity tools, where people can. participate in virtual meetings, send chats, collaborate on shared documents and more ”.

Custom avatars

According to Microsoft, employees will feel more engaged and engaged in an immersive experience when they can share a virtual space where they exist as avatars (and one day, as holograms). People can access Mesh for Teams not only from mixed reality headsets like HoloLens, but also through standard smartphones and laptops.

If you’re wondering if this vision will appeal to business users, the answer from Microsoft and partner Accenture is yes. Microsoft has been working with Accenture for several years to build a virtual campus for Accenture on AltspaceVR, called the Nth Floor, where employees can meet for coffee, give presentations, host parties and more. more similar events. The “ultimate use case” Accenture has found is to welcome new employees to One Accenture Park, with virtual conference rooms, boardrooms and more.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has tried to bring mixed reality and its Office products. In 2018, the company is previewing “SharePoint Spaces,” a feature that allows SharePoint users to create and use 3D “spaces” in mixed reality, where they can view and interact with product data and models. . Microsoft is “exploring opportunities to integrate Mesh functionality for Teams into SharePoint Spaces,” a spokesperson added.

Companies will create their own immersive spaces

The more “enterprise” angle Microsoft has taken in its metaverse project means that workers and objects can be represented by their digital twins. In this virtual world, people can “come together to communicate, collaborate, and share a personal presence on any device,” in the words of Microsoft. Companies will be able to create their own immersive spaces within Teams.

According to Microsoft, this will be an additional way for workers to collaborate – in addition to chats, emails, video calls and face -to -face meetings.

Microsoft is building a strategy where everything from Azure Maps to the Power Platform to Azure Synapse Analytics can play a role in helping customers use and create their own commercial metaverses. Azure Synapse Analytics can track the history of digital twins and seek insights to make predictions. Azure AI and ML could allow users to create autonomous systems and the Power Platform could allow employees to develop data in digital twins, according to Microsoft’s worldview.


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