Microsoft Introduces Mesh: A Virtual Meeting Platform Integrated with Teams

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As organizations navigate the transition back to office spaces, Microsoft is introducing an innovative approach to work with its “hybrid” solution, Microsoft Mesh. Unlike traditional office setups, Mesh allows employees’ avatars to convene in a shared virtual space, irrespective of their physical locations. This groundbreaking virtual connection platform is seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Teams, providing a novel way for teams to collaborate.

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Having undergone testing with companies such as Accenture and Takeda, Microsoft Mesh has garnered positive feedback. Takeda’s Chief Technology Officer, Leo Barella, emphasized the continued importance of human connection in the evolving landscape of work. According to Barella, Mesh has facilitated more collaborative and immersive meetings, capturing the essence of casual workplace interactions, from lunchtime conversations to coffee chats.

Mesh offers a range of customizable, pre-made virtual spaces, allowing companies to tailor their environments with elements like informational videos and logos, all without the need for coding. Leveraging Unity, Microsoft’s 2D and 3D development platform, the Mesh toolkit enables further customization of the virtual world. This means that companies can recreate desired locations, whether it’s a retreat or a specific venue, and invite employees’ avatars to gather.

At present, Microsoft Mesh is accessible on desktop PCs and Meta Quest VR devices for those seeking a more immersive experience. Microsoft is extending a six-month free trial to businesses or enterprises with qualifying plans. Subscription pricing varies, starting at $4 per user monthly for Microsoft Teams Essentials, and going up to $57 per user monthly for Microsoft 365 E5. This new paradigm in virtual collaboration aims to redefine the way teams connect and collaborate, offering flexibility and innovation in the modern work landscape.