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Microsoft’s metaverse doesn’t have legs — literally

Wait, what?

Microsoft’s metaverse doesn’t have legs — literally
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

It’s raining metaverses all around the world. Days after Facebook said that it’s renaming the company to Meta to indicate its future direction, Microsoft kicked-off its own metaverse master plan.

Last night, CEO and chairman Satya Nadella made the announcement on Twitter with a video. He described it as something that spans “from the factory floor to the meeting room.”

The firm said the first part of metaverse will be Mesh for Teams, which will be available sometime next year. Microsoft unveiled Mesh, its mixed-reality platform, earlier this year. The new experience is part of that megaproject.

The company’s idea is to have meetings with your remote colleagues in a virtual space while you can feel their ‘presence’ through virtual avatars. It’s great for someone who sits in their t-shirt and shorts at home, but can present their avatars in more suitable apparel. That’s a win-win.

But floating torsos without legs shown in Microsoft’s demo videos made me think of ghosts roaming around Hogwarts. Sure, a nice suit would be great on my avatar, but I’d like some pants, and maybe some legs with that.

But all hope is not lost. When senior journalist Walt Mossberg pointed this out, the company’s lead for communications, Frank Shaw, replied that these are just 2D avatars, and they’re only the first step of the journey. So Microsoft’s final metaverse version might actually have legs. Phew!

Microsoft said that initially, you’ll be able to hang out with your colleagues in virtual spaces such as meeting rooms, coffee areas, or water coolers. But eventually, you’ll be able to design your own spaces. Maybe themed meeting spaces is the future.

You can read more about Microsoft Mesh here.

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