Microsoft partners with Meta to bring Office 365 apps, Xbox to metaverse

October 13, 2022 4:30 pm

Meta Platforms has partnered with Microsoft to bring a series of Microsoft Office 365 products into Meta’s virtual reality (VR) platform.

Unveiled at Meta’s Connect 2022 keynote, Microsoft and Meta reached a new partnership agreement that will bring the former’s Microsoft 365, Windows 365, and Xbox Cloud Gaming services to Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro.

“We are bringing a Microsoft Teams immersive meeting experience to Meta Quest that allow user to gather in a virtual space resembling a boardroom,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at Meta Connect.

Meta’s VR will include common Microsoft office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Sharepoint,

According to Nadella, Meta's Quest and Quest Pro headsets will be interoperable with Microsoft's business smartphone and identity management programs, enabling businesses to control and safeguard VR headsets on their enterprise networks

Xbox Cloud Gaming will also be connected with Meta’s Quest VR headsets, players will be able to play Xbox game on a giant screen projected inside a Quest headset. To be specific, this will allow Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to stream different Xbox games to phones, tablets, PCs, select smart TVs, and the Meta Quest platform.

Explaining the business opportunities behind the partnership, Nadella said in the keynote that Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance in formerly office-based work environments,

In November 2021, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft’s Teams chat and conferencing program that features digital avatars, is updating and in testing now and it will be released in the first half of next year.

Dubbed Mesh, the new Teams features will allow remote workers to create metaverse where they can meet, talk, present and view PowerPoint presentation in the immersive space

At the time, Jared Spataro, the head of Microsoft Teams, said much of the motivation for the introduction of metaverse came from the challenges with the pandemic, as some employee go to the office after the pandemic while others decided to work remotely.

Since the company changed its name from Facebook to Meta last year, it has moved its attention and resources toward creating what Mark Zuckerberg calls an “open,” “interoperable” metaverse.

The firm's exploration and development division, Reality Labs, has already spent $5.7 billion in 2022 just on developing the necessary technology and virtual communities