Microsoft Mesh feels like a Black Mirror episode: should we expect ads coming to it?

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Microsoft Mesh is now generally available in Microsoft Teams after the Redmond-based tech giant previewed it to Teams users at the end of 2023. For those of you who don’t know, Microsoft Mesh allows Teams users to create a virtual avatar and engage in social interactions within pre-defined virtual spaces.

Developers can create virtual spaces and Microsoft will make them available to download and install so that companies all over the world can use them for virtual meetings.

Those engaging in Microsoft Mesh will need to make an avatar, select the preferred virtual space, and host virtual hybrid meetings that can range from work sessions to fun activities, brainstorming, etc. It all sounds quite exciting on paper, and according to the glimpses, Microsoft Teams users should be in awe of this new capability.

However, while these virtual spaces can be accessed on PCs and tablets, for a full immersive experience, Microsoft recommends VR devices, such as the Meta Quest.

To support hybrid work and geographically distributed organizations, we created Microsoft Mesh. Mesh powers 3D immersive experiences using next-generation technology that help virtual connections feel more like face-to-face interactions. Mesh is available on PC and Meta Quest VR devices.2


The Redmond-based tech giant says some commercial customers such as Takeda, Accenture, BP, and Mercy Ships are already seeing the benefits of using Microsoft Mesh, not only to enhance and motivate collaboration but also to reflect the companies’ values and image.

From this perspective, Microsoft Mesh could be an excellent way for branding marketing. You know, welcoming guests or hosting meetings in virtual spaces that are displaying your company’s logo and brand. What could go wrong?

Well, it could open the way for Microsoft to introduce ads to these virtual spaces. This could most certainly happen if Microsoft Mesh becomes popular.

Will ads come to Microsoft Mesh virtual spaces?

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft Mesh can integrate ads to the equation, if the feature becomes popular with companies and users. Theoretically, it has the technology to support ads, as developers can build highly customizable virtual spaces.

However, for Microsoft Mesh to become popular, companies would need to encourage using VR devices to fully grasp the immersive quality of this capability. Otherwise, a Mesh meeting accessed through a PC would not differ much from the existing Teams meeting.

As we noticed in our survey, even AI is not widely adopted by Windows and Microsoft users, and there is still a long way to go before Copilot will be popular among Windows users. But while Copilot doesn’t require Windows users additional devices to get the right experience, Mesh would be quite disappointing without experiencing it with a VR device.

Even so, without a more subtle device, wearing a VR device just to join a Microsoft Mesh meeting is quite dystopian, and I don’t see how wearing one for hours would make one feel comfortable.

Microsoft Mesh could end up being a popular feature, if there would be the right devices to facilitate a seamless transition from the real to the virtual. Maybe we’re not there yet, maybe Microsoft has launched this feature way too soon, or maybe I’m wrong.

We’ll have to wait and see.

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