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Microsoft Joins Forces with Meta to Bring Virtual Reality to The Workplace

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Microsoft announced that it would be making its services and products available though Meta Platforms’ Quest headsets.
  • Starting with Teams and Office, Microsoft said its Windows operating system would also be available through the headsets in the future.
  • Earlier this year, Microsoft had ceded 100 employees to Meta.
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Microsoft has partnered with Meta Platforms to bring the legacy tech firm’s services to its contemporary rival’s virtual reality platforms.

In an announcement on its website, Microsoft said some of its most prominent products and services, including its Teams business communication platform, its Office suite of business applications, its iconic Windows operating system, as well as Cloud Gaming for its Xbox gaming consoles, will now be available through Meta Quest devices, Meta’s signature headsets.

Microsoft’s President for Collaborative Apps and Platforms, Jeff Teper, said that Mesh for Microsoft Teams would be the first of its services available on Meta Quest devices.

He highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had fundamentally altered the idea of the workplace, and that Mesh would help facilitate alternative means of collaboration that had emerged as a consequence.

Streaming through Office Windows

Next, Teper said that the company’s Office suite of applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, could also be utilized through the Quest headsets.

Despite the proliferation of competing productivity applications from the likes of Google and Apple, the programs remain some of the most used across the planet.

And while the rival big tech firms have also produced operating systems that appeal more to different demographics, Microsoft’s Windows remains the preference of the business world.

Teper said that Meta Quest users would be able to use Windows on their devices in the near future, which would also include the ability to stream their PC over the Windows Cloud. 

Teper concluded by acknowledging the company’s efforts to integrate Xbox Cloud Gaming with Meta’s Quest Store. Through the Meta Quest platform, Xbox gamers will now be able to stream their playing to phones, tablets, PCs, and select smart TVs.

Microsoft/Meta collaboration took many by surprise

The news of the partnership between two of the largest technology companies in the world likely came as a surprise to many. In fact, Microsoft reportedly lost roughly 100 employees who defected to Meta earlier this year. 

The fact that most of these losses were from the company’s augmented reality division perhaps contributed to the decision to collaborate in this sector rather than continue to compete directly. Earlier this year, Microsoft made an additional push into the metaverse by purchasing gaming company Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.