Monday, January 24, 2022

The Metaverse is here and Microsoft Teams is part of it

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Vesa Nopanen
MVP for Office Apps & Services (Teams & Collaboration focus), Principal Consultant in Office 365 and Modern Work. Extremely passionate about Microsoft Teams's power to change how people work together. Helping and coaching customers to find benefits, solutions and value when adopting new tools, methods, ways or working and practices into daily work-life equation. I am always eager to challenge current situation and dig out new possibilities and ways to think and work. You could describe me as a jack of all trades but my main focus area and deep personal driver is Microsoft Teams since it has changed the way I work and did a giant step forward to make it possible to work from anywhere - the location does not matter even us much as it mattered before. Microsoft Teams opened the path for many organizations to rethink their practices, worklife, culture and start the change. That's why I am very passionate about Teams.

The future is bringing us an incredible vision on how we are going work, meet, talk, collaborate and use applications, files and data with the help of AI. Before it was more like me doing this and us having a meeting. In Metaverse we will be doing everything together, all the time.

This is very clear in the Microsoft Cloud already and even more in the near future. While you could say “isn’t this what we do already” it is not the full picture: it will grow bigger, more versatile and have multiple dimensions: it is the Metaverse I am referring to here.

And make no mistake, Metaverse is a real game changer.

You might have noticed I have already taken a step towards Metaverse with this blog and with my social network activities. I am pivoting my focus from Teams-only view towards Metaverse as a whole. You could say it is “bye bye Mr Teams” and “Welcome and meet Mr Metaverse“, if you like to have a bit of fun with titles. Now your mind is racing with thoughts about this – is Vesku dropping Teams away? Of course I am not going to do that!

Microsoft Teams has a big role in Microsoft’s Metaverse – it is the user interface for Metaverse for most of the people at business. Teams is the hub of work, and it makes it a key point for people working together, collaborating, doing work and of course when you meet with others. Hybrid world and work only has made it’s role even more important. Mesh for Teams will make it really easy to enter the immersive Metaverse and meeting Experience.

However looking at the picture sized with Metaverse there is a key difference: Teams is not the only way how you use it. Teams has matured a lot during 2021 and it is in fact big player: 250 million monthly people use it for work, learning, education and to meet with others. All these people are accessing Microsoft’s Metaverse using Microsoft Teams.

I will be taking into account Microsoft Mesh, Mesh for Teams, HoloLenses / mixed reality, Microsoft Cloud and other technologies – but it is very much about the Future of Work – how we are going to be meeting and working together and how all these possibilities will change our culture. Everything in the Microsoft Cloud is part of the Metaverse, so this gives me good opportunity and reason to change my perspective to bigger picture – even to Meta Metaverse and other Metaverse solutions to think about business, culture and the change forward.

I also changed my blog name to My Metaverse Day ( ) to reflect the modern workday experience. Being connected to people, data, files and able to collaborate, work and ideate together is already working in the Metaverse. The immersive experience to the Metaverse is going to realize it for lots of users once Mesh for Teams is there to be used just like Together mode today. But even as I write this blog post I am very connected to the Metaverse – I have Teams open, I can access my files, notes, Whiteboards and work with others all the time. Microsoft Graph surfaces me the information I should be relevant – that is the AI doing it’s magic. Just think Microsoft Loop, Context IQ, easy ways to expand the experience with Power Platform and other pieces of underlying technology. It is all connected. It is all Metaverse. In it’s just a start – but mark my words, the Metaverse is here to stay.

The way Mesh for Teams was presented at Ignite 2021 got my thinking process started but it took some time and plenty of discussion to materialize what this can mean and where it can take us. It is not just about avatars or meeting cameras, but the potential we have in the future.

Yes, we are already using the Metaverse. We are in it – so to say.

Since I am a Sci-Fi fan: Metaverse, Mesh for Teams, HoloLenses and other tech out there is very futuristic at the moment: but we have seen Sci-Fi become reality many times before. This is no different – first everything was going to be digital, then everything was going to the internet, then to the cloud and now to Metaverse.. What a great time to see be there to implement vision to work and business.

You can say: The Metaverse is the next evolution step for the internet and the cloud.

I am not alone with my thoughts here. For example, The Bill Gates (yes, The) stated the following in his article at

I think we’ll soon start to see an even bigger shift. People shouldn’t assume that the quality of the software that lets you have virtual experiences will stay the same. The acceleration of innovation is just starting.

Within the next two or three years, I predict most virtual meetings will move from 2D camera image grids—which I call the Hollywood Squares model, although I know that probably dates me—to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars. Both Facebook and Microsoft recently unveiled their visions for this, which gave most people their first view of what it will look like.

Bill Gates

In the same article Bill Gates also writes “Microsoft plans to roll out an interim version next year, which uses your webcam to animate an avatar that’s used in the current 2D set-up.” which sounds like an amazing way to use your webcam and connect reality to virtual reality. Without a need to add any specific hardware or even VR headset.

At Ignite November 2021 Microsoft stated that Mesh for Teams is going to be in public preview during H1/2022, so my guess is summer 2022 is when we get to experience immersive Metaverse in Microsoft Cloud.

The metaverse is here, and it’s not only transforming how we see the world but how we participate in it – from the factory floor to the meeting room.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, at Microsoft Ignite 2021

Avatars in an immersive space having serendipitous encounter.

The next step is the Metaverse. That is where you can find me.

Read more about Metaverse in my blog:

  • The future is bringing us an incredible vision on how we are going work, meet, talk, collaborate and use applications, files and data with the help of AI. Before it was more like me doing this and us having a meeting. In Metaverse we will be doing everything together, all the time. This is very … Continue reading The Metaverse is here and Microsoft Teams is part of it

  • Hybrid work world and realization that we are missing shared experiences has been one of drivers why meetings in 3D are going to be more normal sooner than lot of people realize. In the hybrid work world needs to have various ways how to innovate, work together and relax with others. Constant video meetings and … Continue reading Collaboration in the Metaverse: Mesh for Microsoft Teams

  • It is the time for the recap for most relevant information, news and announcements that were released about Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Loop, Microsoft Viva, Power Platform and more. I will be applying some updates to this article as more information is revealed during Ignite keynotes and breakout sessions. So please do revisit the page for … Continue reading Microsoft Teams News Summary of Microsoft Ignite 2021 November #MSIgnite

Microsoft Mesh / Mesh for Teams pictures from Microsoft Mesh site and blogs/materials.

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