The Microsoft Outlook app received three new voice search features. Microsoft says this is only the beginning of how it plans to change the workspace.
Microsoft and the Metaverse: What You Need To Know
The metaverse is all over the news, but few people seem to understand what it is, how it works and what it might mean ...
The metaverse is all over the news, but few people seem to understand what it is, how it works and what it might mean for business operations. Amazon and Facebook have remained in the spotlight for news involving this new technology. Facebook even changed its name to Meta as a sign of its commitment. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has a hand in this technology too. Here's what you need to know.
What Is the Metaverse?
It is a digital universe that individual users can explore and interact with. This universe comprises many different virtual worlds, each with its own rules. You can move between these worlds and participate in activities such as gaming, socializing or shopping.
How Does the Metaverse Work?
Not unlike online gaming, it involves many different servers connected together. These servers store information about the various virtual worlds and their inhabitants. When you log in to this virtual universe, you can see and interact with these virtual worlds and their inhabitants. You can also create your own avatar, which is your alter ego in the virtual universe.
What Does the Metaverse Mean for Business?
This technology provides a new way for businesses to interact with their customers. It is a revolutionary take on creating a virtual presence that companies can use for marketing, customer service or sales. The possibilities are endless.
Companies can also use this to bridge the gap between in-office and remote teams worldwide. Some companies are already experimenting with virtual conference rooms.
So far, the virtual world has been used primarily by gaming companies and social media platforms. However, as the technology develops, we will likely see more business applications emerge.
What Is Microsoft's Involvement in the Metaverse?
Microsoft has made it clear that it won't allow Meta to monopolize this virtual space. The Microsoft CEO also made a clear connection between the metaverse and what has existed in online gaming culture for several years. He posits that sharing a virtual conference room is not much different from sharing the fantasy worlds where Call of Duty and other games occur.
According to the NY Times, Microsoft further cemented this mindset by trying to acquire Activision Blizzard. This is one of the main companies behind Call of Duty, which is accessible on Microsoft systems and the Xbox. Microsoft is also focusing heavily on Microsoft Mesh, its corporate metaverse.
Microsoft's ultimate goal is to create a seamless connection between the physical and digital worlds. The company sees the virtual space as bringing people together and facilitating authentic interactions.
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What Are the Challenges of Using the Metaverse at Work?
Companies are already drafting policies for avatars and how true-to-life these characters need to be. While this is a serious concern that can impact the LGBTQIA community and racial minorities, security is also a big concern. Consider the following.
- Identity Theft: In this virtual space, your avatar represents you. However, bad actors can use an avatar to steal your identity and commit fraud. With such a breach of trust, teammates would not know whether the person behind the avatar is who they claim to be.
- Hacking: Skilled hackers can get into the servers hosting these virtual spaces if they aren't adequately protected. That would give the hacker access to all the data stored on them. Hacking is one of the top ways avatar identities could be stolen or even held at ransom.
- Data Leaks: Like in the physical world, companies store data in the virtual world or related to it. If this data were to leak, it could have severe consequences for the company and its customers.
How Can Companies Address These Metaverse Challenges?
The challenges of using this virtual space at work are significant, but they are not insurmountable. With proper planning and execution, businesses can overcome these concerns. Consider the following best practices:
- Leverage the power of multi-factor authentication.
- Train workers and make security a team exercise.
- Educate employees on the risks of identity theft and data leaks.
- Balance the close monitoring of user activity with privacy concerns.
- Use avatar management software to control employee avatars.
Why Is Cloud Migration Important for the Metaverse?
Businesses cannot effectively access virtual worlds without migrating to the cloud. Some companies might opt to create their virtual universe, but the cost of servers and energy to power this independently can add up. Additionally, it may become almost impossible for remote teammates to access without cloud technology.
At Cloudficient, we help businesses seamlessly transition to the cloud. Whether you want to join the metaverse or take advantage of other cloud computing tools, we can help you reach your goals. Contact us for a quote.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.