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Pushing Virtual Reality Brings Microsoft, Meta, And The Art Of War Together

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Ben Kepes is a Canterbury-based entrepreneur and professional board member. Although he is a pacifist, he is still interested in the art of warfare.

opinion: My introduction to the business was fairly mediocre. Thirty years ago, his trio of mostly unemployed dirtbags who like to spend time biking, climbing and tramping got together and he built a very early idea for Cactus Outdoor. Did.

To this day, the same company employs 100 people and manufactures the toughest workwear and outdoor gear on the planet.

When Cactus started, business was very simple. You build a product and hopefully someone will want to buy it. Assuming they did, the money they paid built a few more products and thus the business was created.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, resulting in supply chain issues, cash flow constraints, rebellious staff delights, and other tremendous commercial swings and arrows. Despite the odd hurdles, business back then was simple, at least for us.

I’ve been thinking about simple business pleasures lately, when I read the news the other day and saw the announcement that Microsoft, home of Windows, Office and Clippy, would enter into a strategic partnership with Meta, home of Facebook. I thought even more. , Instagram, and, sadly, conspiracy theories.


Take for example VR headsets and software, the solutions we are currently looking for platforms, Ben Kepes writes that there will be a significant shift to virtual work in business environments and a match in heaven.

With this partnership, Microsoft will integrate its Teams product portfolio into Meta’s new Quest Virtual Reality (VR) headset. For those who don’t spend their lives on the trivialities of the tech industry, in a quick recap, Facebook (the company) is running out of people whose three major franchises Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp convert to new As a result, growth stalled. user.

Seeing these headwinds in the near future, the company has decided to rename itself Meta and double (and triple) its investment in the Metaverse. Of course, the Metaverse is a term that leaves the general public scratching their heads and those in the tech industry questioning, but suffice it to say that the Metaverse is the virtual reality world of the future. In the near future, we will all be engaging with friends and family, learning new skills, and doing much of our work in complete isolation and privacy. others.

Here, the reader is reminded of the very obvious fact that for the past two years we have all been physically isolated due to Covid, yet virtually connected through Zoom, Hangouts, or Teams. You may have to ignore it for a while. At the same time, the world is witnessing a complete pandemic of mental health issues as individuals crave connection with simple humans untethered to devices, dongles, or data his streams. But in their great wisdom, our tech lords, with the addition of VR devices, somehow miraculously turned this mental health disaster into a warm, vague, (and most importantly ) I decided to change it to something very profitable.

But I digress…

Ben Kepes is a Canterbury-based entrepreneur and professional board member.


Ben Kepes is a Canterbury-based entrepreneur and professional board member.

What’s interesting about the past year or so is that despite billions of dollars invested in software and hardware to make VR work, user engagement has been lackluster at best. Aside from the fact that most VR platforms are buggy, have relatively low fidelity, and have the unpleasant side effect of causing low levels of nausea in those who use them, the reality is The use cases, typically consumer applications (gaming, entertainment, etc.) are not really prevalent at all.

That’s where this partnership comes into play. Like it or not, hybrid working is considered the norm in the post-corona world. A huge number of companies are embracing hybrid work instead of relying on staff collaborating over various video conferencing platforms.

Take for example VR headsets and software, the solution that we are currently looking for platforms, there will be a big shift to virtual work in the business environment and a match in heaven. Organizations are already spending tons of money on video conferencing, and products that offer higher levels of interaction, efficiency, and effectiveness are what customers are interested in.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft and one of the most respected technology leaders on the planet, is well aware that Microsoft’s device, the HoloLens, has really fallen short of its mark. HoloLens is an augmented reality platform, designed to provide contextual information on top of what the wearer sees in the real world. But VR takes it to the next level, giving the wearer a complete experience in a virtual world. That’s the metaverse.

And that’s Nadella’s genius. Meta is a company whose stock price is crashing. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is investing billions in the Metaverse, trying to do something to ensure the survival of the company he started. His humiliation in admitting that it is the business application, not the consumer’s application, that really moves the needle in the Metaverse puts him in a tight spot. Meta is basically consumer oriented and does very little in the corporate world.

Zuckerberg’s bondage is an opportunity for Nadella. Microsoft can entrust Meta with all the investments required to build the Metaverse platform. All the while, we can partner with Meta to deliver real value (applications and customer base). If it works, Microsoft will build a very valuable franchise in the plumbing of others. If that doesn’t work, Microsoft can walk away and it’s Meta that wasted precious cash and time.

Sun Tzu wrote the art of war around the 5th century BC. It’s old fashioned, but the book Nadella supposedly sits on her bedside table.