Microsoft’s view: Bringing people together and fostering collaboration
Microsoft defined the metaverse as a persistent digital world inhabited by a digital representative of people, places, and things. The metaverse can be thought of as a new version of the internet where people can interact as they do in the physical world, and gather to communicate, collaborate and share with personal virtual presence on any device.
The company views the metaverse as no longer a vision, citing already existing-use cases such as the ability to go to a concert and shows with other real people inside a video game, the ability to walk a factory floor from home or to join a meeting remotely but be in the room remotely to collaborate with other workers.
The company believes the metaverse has the ability to stretch us beyond the barriers and limitations of the physical world, which proved to be a larger barrier when COVID-19 prevented work from the office or travelling to visit clients, friends, and family.
Microsoft is working on tools to help individuals represent our physical selves better in the digital space and bring that humanity with the person into the virtual world. Some of the capabilities it is enabling is about teammates joining meetings from everywhere and real-time translation allowing people from different cultures to collaborate in real time.
Microsoft is driving big investment into virtual connectivity in gaming. It discussed its view that in gaming, the metaverse would be a collection of communities with individual identities anchored in strong content franchises accessible on every device.
The company also views its Azure offerings for business as well suited for the metaverse as noted from Satya Nadella at the May 2021 Build Developer Conference:
- With Azure Digital Twins, users can model any asset or place
- With Azure IoT, the digital twin can be kept live and up-to-date
- Synapse tracks the history of digital twins and finds insights to predict future states
- Azure allows its customers to build autonomous systems that continually learn and improve
- Power Platform enables domain experts to expand on and interact with digital twin data using low-code/no-code solutions
- Mesh and Hololens bring real-time collaboration.