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What is Microsoft Mesh? A New Developer Platform for Mixed Reality Apps

Author avatar - Brad Sams

Brad Sams

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We are about two weeks away from Microsoft’s second iteration of Ignite. Or is it the first for 2021? Either way, this is the promised second-installment of Ignite 2020 and it looks like the company is going to announce a new developer framework called Microsoft Mesh.

How do we know this? WalkingCat has once again surfaced information ahead of the conference and has found a session called “A developer’s introduction to Microsoft Mesh”.

Based on the image you see below, it looks like Microsoft Mesh is a developer platform targeting mixed reality applications. The key to this platform appears to be the enablement of “presence and shared experiences from anywhere – on any device- through mixed reality applications”.

Breaking this down, I interpret it to mean that Microsoft has a new development platform that is not explicitly tied to any single device and allows you to create AR/VR experiences for multiple platforms. Potentially, this could enable a scenario where you have someone with a mixed reality headset, HoloLens, an iPhone, and Android device all collaborating on the same mixed reality experience at the same time.

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If that’s truly what Microsoft is going to announce at Ignite in March, this will be a step forward towards breaking down the silos that exist today with AR/VR applications that typically require the users to all be operating the same underlying hardware – meaning everyone has the same device.

Microsoft has been pushing its VR/AR apps and services to all corners of its own tools, even SharePoint has a VR iteration, but creating a cohesive platform for all endpoints is an entirely different objective. If Microsoft is successful with implementing easy-to-use tooling for these types of apps, the end-goal would be to become the preferred framework for the industry.

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