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if all your friends built a metaverse

Microsoft joins the metaverse madness

Microsoft Corp. has decided to partake in some metaphorical bridge-jumping and join in the metaverse fun, Bloomberg reports Tuesday.

The software and tech company has announced it will be adapting its "signature software products to create a more corporate version of the metaverse," a concept similar to that championed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that lets users to "live, work and play within interconnected virtual worlds," Bloomberg writes.

Microsoft's foray into the space — a collaborative platform called Mesh that will hopefully be available in early to mid-2022 — will allow customers to chat and share office files as digital avatars directly on the company's messaging and conferencing program Teams, explains Bloomberg and The Verge. The company hopes Mesh "will further help reduce the cognitive overload of having to be on video calls all day long," says the Verge.

Users can employ the 3D avatars to represent themselves in meetings, and won't need a VR headset to do so. The company is reportedly even including "translation and transcription support," writes the Verge, to make it easy to meet and converse with international coworkers.

The news arrives shortly after Facebook rebranded itself as "Meta," and announced it has similarly been working on virtual workplaces and spaces for companies and businesses. The two tech giants will likely "compete heavily" in the metaverse space, predicts The Verge, but perhaps there's a more definitive "line in the sand" between the two ventures than people think — rather than rule its own metaverse like Meta would like, "Microsoft sees its role with Mesh in providing the foundational glue that helps hold a multiverse of worlds together," writes Fast Company.

Said technical fellow Alex Kipman: "We win in our strategy if we have infinity metaverse[s] out there as opposed to a few, or one."