Microsoft is aiming to benefit from the rapid spread of hybrid work, looking to extend its presence within the social connection-focused virtual world to companies whose employees are working remotely. The company also seems determined to use its forthcoming acquisition of game developer Activision Blizzard to boost its metaverse assets.
The software giant’s senior representatives discussed Microsoft’s metaverse-related plans in a recent second-quarter earnings conference call on the occasion of the release of the company’s latest financial results.
“As the digital and physical worlds come together, we are seeing real enterprise metaverse usage,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of the Redmond-based giant. “From smart factories, to smart buildings, to smart cities, we are helping organizations use the combination of Azure IoT, Digital Twins, and Mesh, to help digitize people, places, and things, in order to visualize, simulate, and analyze any business process.”
With hybrid work becoming the norm, and the number of active Teams Rooms devices more than doubling year-on-year, Microsoft wants its Mesh for Teams — which allows users to participate in 2D and 3D virtual space meetings through virtual reality-based collaboration — to bring “the metaverse to Teams, helping employees at organizations like Accenture access a shared immersive experience where they can have watercooler-type conversations, and even whiteboarding sessions,” according to the executive.
Microsoft continued to increase its share in public switched telephone network (PSTN) and voice over internet protocol (VOIP) as firms such as “Bank of Montreal, Chevron, General Motors, LVMH, and NetApp turn to Teams to meet their internal and external collaboration needs,” Nadella said.
In addition to this, with Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company is investing its assets in order to make it easier for users to play games “wherever, whenever, and however they want,” as well as to “shape what comes next for gaming as platforms like the metaverse develop,” he said.