Microsoft Mesh Mixed-Reality Collaboration Platform Enters Private Preview

microsoft mesh avatars hero image

Microsoft has unveiled a range of new updates for its Microsoft 365 ecosystem at its annual Build developer conference. The company announced that Microsoft Mesh, a new mixed reality (MR) platform, is available in private preview starting today.

Microsoft Mesh is a new Azure-powered service that was first announced in March 2021. It enables remote and hybrid teams to interact and share content with each other in a Teams meeting or an immersive virtual space. It can be accessed through a PC or virtual reality (VR) headset. Microsoft Mesh allows coworkers to engage with eye contact, facial expressions, and physical gestures.

“With Microsoft Mesh, developers can build experiences that extend beyond the bounds of the physical world, enhancing experiences like remote and hybrid town halls, employee training, new employee onboarding, and virtual tours and simulations,” Microsoft explained.

Microsoft Teams Mesh avatars

Microsoft announced that Mesh avatars are now generally available in the Microsoft Teams desktop app. The feature debuted in private preview in October 2022, allowing users to create an animated version to represent themselves in both 2D and 3D meetings. Starting this week, the feature is available for customers with Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise subscriptions.

New immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has also launched new Mesh-powered immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams in private preview. This release allows participants to create virtual meeting spaces within Microsoft Teams. The new experience lets attendees use apps to collaborate on projects or socialize with games. Microsoft says that users can access these virtual environments via a VR/AR headset or a PC.

Microsoft Mesh Enters Public Preview

Microsoft Teams Live Share software development kit

Microsoft also announced a few new features for developers at Build 2023. The company says that it’s now possible to build custom conversational bots using the Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio. Moreover, Microsoft Teams Live Share software development kit is now generally available. The SDK allows developers to integrate Live Share capabilities into their applications.

Finally, Microsoft has detailed new features to help Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) grow their business with Microsoft Teams. These include improvements to ISV target and insights, user discoverability, as well as contextual availability of apps.