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Microsoft Mesh for Teams Unveils New Immersive Experiences

Microsoft Mesh for Teams Unveils New Immersive Experiences

The News: At Build 2023, Microsoft announced new feature updates to Microsoft Mesh for Teams including avatars, immersive experiences and custom development. Microsoft rolled out the Microsoft Mesh for Teams updates during the Build 2023 event for Teams Technology Adoption Program (TAP) clients. Platforms such as Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 and E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium, and Teams Premium users will receive access to the rollout. Read the full article on Microsoft blog.

Microsoft Mesh for Teams Unveils New Immersive Experiences

Analyst Take: Microsoft announced new immersive experiences in Microsoft Mesh for Teams at its Build 2023 event. Microsoft Mesh for Teams enables companies to have increased employee engagement by addressing video fatigue, and also provides companies with the ability to host large-scale events. With the pandemic, companies had to depend on digital technology to meet and get work done. According to Microsoft’s Work Trends Index, teams have become more siloed and remote employees feeling more isolated at work after moving to flexible workstyles. In addition, 43% of business leaders consider relationship-building to be the greatest challenge in flexible work. While technology has helped employees be productive during the shift to remote, and now to flexible work, technology can also be leveraged to help employees build relationships..

Microsoft Mesh for Teams provides a platform that provides employees with shared immersive experiences which offers the flexible workforce a sense of being together in a virtual environment, and reduces the financial burden and environmental impact of travel and facilities. Microsoft Mesh for Teams provides cross-platform connectivity across virtual reality (VR) headsets such as the Meta Quest 2 and Quest Pro, PCs, laptops, and others offering the flexibility for employees to join meetings as physical faces or virtual avatars. In addition, Microsoft is also offering developers and creators the ability to build custom experiences that help bring people together within an organization.

Microsoft Mesh for Teams Avatars

Microsoft Mesh for Teams offers an alternative to attending Teams meetings with video or without video.
Customizable avatars and reactions providing attendees with a much-needed camera break while still demonstrating to other attendees that you are in attendance which encourages engagement and collaboration. Users are able to switch on or off their video feeds to activate their avatars, all while engaging and collaborating with colleagues. Microsoft Mesh for Teams avatars are generally available on the desktop Teams client for PC and Mac.

Microsoft Mesh for Teams Immersive Spaces

At Build 2023, Microsoft unveiled new, immersive features for its Microsoft Mesh for Teams. The update enables users to add immersive experiences on the platform which leads to greater engagement while attending meetings.

This release allows participants to create virtual meeting spaces within Microsoft Teams and connect in immersive spaces with realistic interactivity. According to Microsoft, Microsoft Mesh for Teams immersive spaces mimics many elements of an in-person interaction, such as, the ability to walk over to someone you want to catch up with, or to be in a space with multiple concurrent conversations without talking over one another. The platform incorporates spatial audio providing attendees with the ability to experience sound as they would in an in-person setting. Immersive spaces for Teams can be accessed through PC or VR headsets and is available for Teams Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers in private preview

Microsoft Mesh for Teams Custom Development

Microsoft Mesh for Teams provides core functionality for developers and creators to build custom environments that help employees feel present and interact with one another. As reported by Microsoft, Mesh does the heavy lifting to enable environments and interactions to stay synchronized across participants’ devices which means everyone who joins from PCs and VR headsets will share their experience at the same time. Because Mesh is built on Microsoft 365, identity management and enterprise-grade privacy and security are built-in. Developers and creators are freed up to add differentiated value, content, interactivity and magic to custom spaces using a set of tools that integrate with Unity. Mesh enables developers and creators to use Unity to create new 3D environments or port existing ones into their space.

Microsoft rolled out the Microsoft Mesh for Teams updates during the Build 2023 event for Teams Technology Adoption Program (TAP) clients. Platforms such as Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 and E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium, and Teams Premium users will receive access to the rollout.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

As Practice Lead - Workplace Collaboration, Craig focuses on developing research, publications and insights that clarify how the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows enable group collaboration and communication. He provides research and analysis related to market sizing and forecasts, product and service evaluations, market trends, and end-user and buyer expectations. In addition to following the technology, Craig also studies the human elements of work - organizing his findings into the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows – and charting how these variables influence technologies and business strategies.

Prior to joining Wainhouse, now a part of The Futurum Group, Craig brings twenty years of experience in leadership roles related to P&L management, product development, strategic planning, and business development of security, SaaS, and unified communication offerings. Craig's experience includes positions at Poly, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM.

Craig holds a Master of Business Administration from the Texas McCombs School of Business as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tulane University.

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