On October 11th, a big announcement came out of Meta Connect, a virtual event dedicated to the building of the metaverse: Meta had struck a deal with Microsoft to integrate its Office 365 apps into Meta’s metaverse. The move comes to bolster Meta’s virtual world offerings, specifically the virtual reality components used for remote work.
The new functionality will include familiar Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Meta will also add Microsoft Teams’ video calling feature into its VR Quest and Quest Pro headsets. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the integration came because of the “once in a lifetime” opportunity afforded from the COVID-19 pandemic when many companies switched to remote work.
Now, according to Nadella, people who use Meta’s VR headsets can meet as if they are in person. The improved connectivity will likely affect Meta’s Horizon Workrooms program the most, as it is the company’s platform for companies. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, has said that meetings in the metaverse will likely become the norm in a few years.
In addition to the Microsoft Office integration, Microsoft will be adding its XBOX streaming service to Meta’s VR headsets. Now, gamers will be able to play XBOX games in 2D from their Meta Quest headsets. Meta recently rolled out the Meta Quest Pro at a $1,500 price tag to complement its Meta Quest 2 offering. It’s an unknown when VR technology will be able to completely support the playing of popular video games.
Meta’s pursuit of the metaverse, while admirable, has come at a cost to the company. Meta’s development arm, Reality Labs, has reportedly devoted billions to the pursuit. Meanwhile, Meta’s stock price has taken a beating amid the larger calamity in the financial markets.
Meta Has Been Busy in 2022
Ever since Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to Meta in late 2021, the company best known for social media has been hard at work in Web3. Here are three stories involving Meta and the next iteration of the internet.
First, there is Meta’s integration of NFTs onto its social media platforms. Just a little over two weeks ago, it unveiled its NFT sharing for all U.S. users on Instagram and Facebook. The move also allows for cross-sharing of NFT posts.
Second, there is Horizon Worlds’ expansion to Spain and France. Two months ago, Meta expanded its metaverse platform to those countries, saying the fast-growing community on Horizon Worlds has amazed the company.
Third and finally, there is Horizon Worlds’ user milestone. Eight months ago, the company announced that Horizon Worlds had hit 300,000 active users, though it did not specify whether those users were daily, monthly, or its total in history.
Meta has remained busy in 2022 on the Web3 front, developing VR technology and expanding its metaverse. It has also promoted the use of NFTs on its social media platforms. Even though there are just a couple of months left this year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another Web3 move out of the company.