Meta Partners With Microsoft

By: Seat Earnings

In an effort to persuade businesses to operate in virtual settings, Meta Platforms has teamed with tech giant Microsoft to integrate a number of Microsoft Office 365 products into Meta’s virtual reality (VR) platform, as reported by Cointelegraph. 

Facebook parent Meta on Tuesday announced its partnership with tech giant Microsoft to integrate Office 365 suite with its Quest VR headset. The collaboration aims to strengthen the former's metaverse initiatives. It would enable Meta Quest users to conduct immersive team meetings where they can interact with content from Microsoft apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and SharePoint within virtual reality.

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.

Microsoft’s enterprise-level mobile device and identity management applications will be compatible with Meta’s Quest and Quest Pro headsets, Nadella said, allowing companies to manage and secure VR headsets in their corporate networks just as they would computers or phones. 

Meta is betting its Quest Pro headset, packed with new features, will tempt users into a virtual workday. The company claims the new equipment is more comfortable, has better performance and improved clarity with higher resolution over its existing headset. 

The Quest Pro is also said to have “more intuitive” feedback on its hand controllers and what’s called “real-time expression tracking,” in which the user’s virtual avatar mimics the facial expressions, such as smiles and winks, of its real-life counterpart. 

In the keynote, Nadella said the pandemic has brought about a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance in formerly office-based work environments, referring to the ongoing remote work policies first implemented due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

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. Microsoft Teams will also be cross-compatible with Meta’s VR space for business meetings called Horizon Workrooms. Zuckerberg said this cross-device experience will be “the foundation of the virtual office of the future.

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