Microsoft announces Mesh, a virtual Teams meeting platform

Many organizations advocate for a return to office-based work, but Microsoft is proposing a novel “hybrid” working model. The company has introduced Microsoft Mesh, allowing employees’ avatars to convene in a shared virtual space, irrespective of physical locations, utilizing Microsoft Teams as the underlying platform.

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Microsoft Mesh underwent trials with companies like Accenture and Takeda, receiving positive feedback. Takeda’s Chief Technology Officer, Leo Barella, emphasized the evolving nature of work, highlighting the significance of human connection in workplace success and employee satisfaction. According to Barella, their Mesh-powered meetings have become “more collaborative and immersive.”

Mesh offers pre-designed spaces that companies can personalize without coding, incorporating elements like informational videos and logos. The Mesh toolkit, utilizing Microsoft’s Unity development platform, allows further customization of the virtual environment. Employers can create versions of desired retreats and invite avatars to participate.

As of now, Microsoft Mesh is accessible on desktop PCs and Meta Quest VR devices for a more immersive experience. Microsoft is extending a six-month free trial for business and enterprise plans. Subscription prices range from $4 per user monthly for Microsoft Teams Essentials to $57 per user monthly for Microsoft 365 E5.