Meta Stages and Microsoft have partnered to provide a virtual reality experience for a few Microsoft Office 365 items on the Meta stage. It is anticipated that this progression will increase businesses' interest in testing and working with virtual environments.
During Meta’s Connect 2022 keynote on Oct. 11, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said its Teams video calling app would integrate with Meta’s “Quest” and newly unveiled “Quest Pro” VR headset allowing people to gather in a virtual space akin to a boardroom.
Familiar Microsoft productivity applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and SharePoint will also be made available within Meta’s VR. Future functionality will include the ability to stream a Windows Cloud computer to Meta's headsets, according to Nadella.
In order to manage and secure VR headsets in corporate networks, Microsoft's enterprise-level mobile device and identity management applications will support Meta's Quest and Quest Pro headsets, Nadella said.
Furthermore, the Quest Pro has been introduced with "more intuitive" hand controllers, allowing the user to interact naturally with their virtual avatar by mimicking their real-life counterpart's facial expressions, such as smiles and winks.
During his keynote, Nadella noted that the COVID-19 restrictions have created a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity in previously office-based work environments, referring to ongoing remote work policies.
“We’re bringing the Microsoft Teams’ immersive meeting experience to Meta Quest in order to give people new ways to connect with each other,” Nadella said, adding: “Now, you can connect, share and collaborate as though you are together in person.”
“As in-person work ramps up, we want everyone to have the ability to feel like they’re present”, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg added.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams will be compatible with Meta's VR workspaces for business meetings known as Horizon Workrooms. Zuckerberg said this cross-device experience will be “the foundation of the virtual office of the future.”
Zuckerberg has already shared his belief that VR is bound to take over computers and make them obsolete–and he believes the new Quest Pro VR headset will make that possible. While only time can tell whether the new headset will be the next big thing, Microsoft’s move into the metaverse shows tech companies are treating Web3 seriously.