The announcement came as part of a special event focused on augmented and virtual reality held within the virtual reality community platform Altspace.
Microsoft showcased the new platform that aims to provide the HoloLens augmented reality platform and the Windows Mixed Reality platform for virtual reality with a shared platform for meetings.
The Microsoft Mesh platform gives users a meeting space via virtual and augmented reality to interact with other users and 3D content, and tackle all the challenging technical parts to share spatial experiences across the web.
With the new platform, Microsoft wants to make sure that people without AR systems can participate in virtual gatherings with those who have AR systems.
The software giant aims to enable people to join meetings supporting the Microsoft Mesh platform through any device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone, and the platform also works with virtual reality glasses.
To illustrate what the platform can do, Microsoft designed a prototype app that works across HoloLens, and after placing the HoloLens and opening the app, anyone can design an avatar to represent themselves and join a meeting with other people.
The information captured by glasses can move people’s heads, bodies, and hands, and it is possible to talk to everyone, similar to a video call.
In addition to that, users can import, display and manipulate ready-to-use holograms and custom holograms, and holographic tools are also available.
To demonstrate the technology on a larger scale, the company is introducing a Microsoft Mesh-enabled version of AltspaceVR, a virtual reality meeting app, after Microsoft acquired AltspaceVR in 2017.
Over time, Microsoft plans to integrate Microsoft Mesh into its own apps, such as the collaborative Teams app that became widely used during the Corona pandemic as a way for co-workers to meet without being in the office.
The new platform is supposed to be an Azure service and its associated software development kit.
Specific customers can begin testing the Microsoft Mesh cloud service now in preview before it becomes more widely available.
Microsoft gets less than 5 percent of its revenue from devices, while an analyst estimates that Azure accounts for 17 percent of the revenue.
Azure revenue grew 50 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, while device revenue increased less than 4 percent.