We’ve all been very focused on the arrival of Microsoft Copilot but it’s not the only new kid on the Microsoft block! Microsoft Mesh has arrived. Our team tried it out, so you don’t have to.

What is Mesh?

Microsoft Mesh is essentially a bridge between virtual and real-world interactions. Using cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence, it lets people meet up in a virtual space. Mesh’s’ purpose is to make remote interactions feel more real and engaging. 

Microsoft has been trying to solve the challenges of remote collaboration for years.  Within Microsoft Teams, the tech giant has introduced various features aimed at enriching virtual interactions – including breakout rooms and the auditorium and coffee shops in Together Mode. Mesh is a little different – think of it as having a meeting or a class where everyone feels like they’re in the same room.  

The Three Parts of Mesh 

There are three parts to Mesh – firstly the Avatars in Microsoft Teams that you may well have already played with. Then there are out of the box immersive workspaces, for those who are happy to roam around a world imagined by Microsoft designers. Finally, there is the option of custom immersive workspaces for those who want to build their own entirely new customer specific 3D experiences – for meet ups, training, conferences etc. 

Immersive Workspaces  

The immersive workspaces are without a doubt the “cool part”. They include holographic experiences, where you can see and interact with 3D versions of your colleagues or friends. They make meetings way more interactive, allowing everyone to engage with the same virtual objects or data. Plus, the visuals make you feel like you’re there with everyone else. 

One of the benefits is being able to have multiple, simultaneous conversations and communicate effectively in subgroups without talking over each other. 

How does the licensing work?

If you’re keen to explore Mesh and are already a Microsoft 365 user or have a Teams business plan, the Avatars and the preconfigured out of the box immersive spaces are already available to you.
If you want to go a step further, and customise your own immersive spaces, you need a Teams Premium license or the Mesh trial.

Insights from Our Team

Our journey into Microsoft Mesh began smoothly, taking just a minute to dive into its virtual world. Starting with the “Lakehouse,” we found it entertaining, with games and cozy fire pits for roasting virtual marshmallows.

Transitioning to meeting spaces, we noticed a video game-like feel but adapted quickly for our morning meeting. We did have a bit of a laugh at the legless avatars. Mesh’s spatial audio however made conversations feel natural, especially during presentations.

Reflecting on our experience, we found Mesh kept us focused, minimising distractions from emails and messages. While it might not revolutionise daily meetings, it holds promise for special events and unique gatherings, like online socials or internal conferences.

In summary, Microsoft Mesh blends entertainment with productivity, offering new ways for teams to collaborate virtually. We’re excited to explore its potential further.

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