Loading...

Microsoft Metaverse vs Facebook Metaverse: What’s the Difference?

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about something called “the Metaverse,” a concept poised to revolutionize our online experiences. However, the Metaverse means different things to different people, as in the distinction between Microsoft Metaverse vs Facebook Metaverse.

The term “metaverse” first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s famous cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” in 1992. But what exactly is the Metaverse? In Stephenson’s world, the Metaverse is a shared digital realm accessible to the public via the global fiber-optics network and viewed through virtual reality goggles. Essentially, it refers to digital environments enhanced with virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technologies.

Breaking it down, “meta” means “beyond,” and “verse” refers to “universe.” Some also use the term to describe virtual worlds where users can explore, interact, and even create entirely new digital landscapes, from buildings to parks, without real-world limitations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked interest in the Metaverse as people seek more immersive online interactions for work and education.

Mark Zuckerberg announced plans in July 2021 to transform Facebook into a more extensive platform, emphasizing social presence, work, and entertainment. Facebook even changed its name to Meta in October 2021 to reflect this shift towards building a Metaverse.

In popular culture, the Metaverse is often portrayed as a virtual reality internet, blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds.

Key attributes of the Metaverse include real-time, persistent existence, individual participation, a functioning economy, integration of digital and physical experiences, diverse contributors, and seamless interoperability between different virtual environments, unlike the disjointed nature of the current digital landscape.

How does the Metaverse function? 

The Metaverse can be broadly categorized into two types of platforms.

The first category involves utilizing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies to establish blockchain-based Metaverse startups. Individuals can purchase virtual land and create virtual environments on platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox.

The second category uses the term “metaverse” to describe virtual worlds in a general sense, where people can gather for various purposes, be it business or leisure. For instance, Facebook Inc. introduced a Metaverse product team in July.

When people buy or trade virtual assets on blockchain-based platforms, they typically use cryptocurrencies, even though many Metaverse services offer free accounts. Some blockchain-based platforms, like Decentraland’s MANA and The Sandbox’s SAND, require Ethereum-based crypto tokens for buying and selling virtual assets.

In these virtual spaces, users can trade NFT artworks or charge admission fees for virtual events like shows or concerts in Decentraland. Additionally, users can profit from land transactions, as the value of virtual land has significantly increased in recent years. On platforms like Roblox, users can generate income by charging others for game access.

Facebook and the Metaverse

Facebook’s transformation into Meta Platforms, or simply Meta, surprised many. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, explained that the rebranding signaled that the company was expanding its horizons beyond its traditional offerings and being involved in more than one product. He became “Meta,” representing the company’s future goals.

This name change came alongside an announcement that Meta planned to hire 10,000 employees in the EU to build the “Metaverse,” a move reminiscent of Google’s restructuring into Alphabet in 2015. But why did Facebook change its name to Meta?

The rebranding is a forward-thinking move for the company, aligning with the emerging concept of the Metaverse, where virtual communities thrive thanks to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. Meta encompasses Facebook’s existing services, such as Facebook itself, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.

However, one potential issue with Meta’s ambition to dominate the Metaverse is its significant role in people’s lives. Recent outages on its core apps have disrupted the digital world, causing widespread communication problems. The consequences could be monumental if such outages were to occur in an all-encompassing VR reality like the Metaverse.

Features of the Facebook Metaverse

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta (formerly known as Facebook), envisions the metaverse as a space for connecting, working, playing, learning, and shopping. Here are some key features of the Facebook metaverse:

Horizon Worlds: With the rebranding of Facebook to Meta, they introduced Horizon Worlds, described as an “ever-expanding social universe” with over 10,000 worlds and experiences. This platform utilizes VR technology, animation, and physics to recreate physical objects in a virtual environment. Users can engage in multiplayer gaming, music, interactive puzzles, sports, movies, and more.

Horizon Workrooms: Horizon Workrooms is designed to replicate the in-person workplace experience in a virtual setting. It offers collaboration tools that businesses can use for meetings and teamwork.

Horizon Venues: Imagine attending a concert or a sports event from the comfort of your own home. Horizon Venues aims to provide this experience by creating computerized simulations of event spaces, allowing users to participate virtually in events.

Meta’s website also mentions potential future applications for the Facebook metaverse, including virtual shopping experiences and immersive e-learning opportunities. This vision showcases Meta’s commitment to creating a multifaceted and interactive virtual space for various aspects of life.

How to access Facebook metaverse

You’ll need the right equipment to get started to explore the Facebook metaverse. Here’s how to access it:

Virtual Reality Headsets: You’ll need virtual reality (VR) headsets to step into the metaverse. These are advanced goggles that you wear over your eyes to immerse yourself in the virtual world. With VR, you use head movements to interact with and experience your virtual surroundings. 

Various VR options are available for different metaverse experiences, including the Meta Quest line (formerly known as Oculus Quest) offered by Meta. These headsets provide an immersive metaverse experience.

Microsoft and the Metaverse

Microsoft is actively involved in the metaverse technology space. As the owner of Xbox, Microsoft has a long gaming investment history. Moreover, Microsoft recently made headlines by announcing its intention to acquire Activision, known for popular video games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty. But what does this acquisition mean, and does it mean Microsoft now owns Activision?

The Microsoft-Activision deal signals a significant shift towards people spending more time in the digital realm, with gaming playing a central role in metaverse-powered virtual worlds. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, believes that gaming already offers users an immersive experience, citing titles like Minecraft (which Microsoft owns) and game-making studios like Mojang.

In addition to this acquisition, Microsoft gained access to Activision’s vast user base of 390 million monthly users and a portfolio of existing game titles. According to research firm Newzoo, the gaming industry is currently a $180 billion global market, and Activision’s resources will strengthen Microsoft’s position against competitors like Meta’s Oculus and Sony’s PlayStation. But what is Microsoft’s metaverse called?

Microsoft’s metaverse is “Mesh,” a platform that enhances Microsoft Teams. Mesh enables people in different physical locations to engage in activities such as chat, virtual meetings, collaborative work on shared documents, and more. It builds upon Teams features like Together mode and Presenter mode, making remote and hybrid meetings more immersive and collaborative.

Mesh for Teams is compatible with various devices, including laptops, standard smartphones, and mixed-reality headsets. It is a gateway to the metaverse, a persistent digital realm populated with digital representations of places, people, and objects.

Microsoft’s augmented reality headset and platform, Hololens, have already demonstrated their capabilities. Manufacturing workers like Daimler, BMW, and Ford have benefited from Hololens, using it for rapid learning, error tracking, and process quality improvement.

Microsoft envisions metaverse applications in various sectors, including business, education, training, and entertainment. These real-world applications can be enhanced and transformed using avatars, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

Challenges Facing Microsoft Metaverse

The rapid growth of Microsoft’s metaverse brings challenges that need careful consideration from both Microsoft and its users. These challenges span social and technological aspects and include:

Data and Security Concerns

Security has always been a concern on the internet, and the metaverse introduces a new layer of complexity. Microsoft’s metaverse must balance the exciting possibilities it offers and the need for robust security. This challenge involves developing new authentication methods and identity verification processes to safeguard individuals and their digital assets from potential threats.

Hardware Accessibility

While the internet is accessible through smartphones worldwide, full access to Microsoft’s metaverse often requires specialized and relatively expensive hardware. Microsoft’s current focus on professional spaces rather than consumer use also needs to evolve. Overcoming the limitations of hardware cost and availability is crucial for the widespread adoption of the metaverse.

Secure Digital Payments

The internet has become a global marketplace where people can securely buy and sell goods and services. Microsoft faces the challenge of replicating this level of convenience and security within the metaverse. This involves ensuring ease of use for various cryptocurrencies and implementing robust security measures to protect financial transactions.

Identity Verification

Identity is a fundamental aspect of the physical world, but it has yet to be more prominent online. However, the Microsoft metaverse blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds, necessitating new methods for identity verification. Microsoft needs to develop mechanisms that allow individuals to verify and prove their identity in a universe where appearances and voices can be altered at will.

Microsoft’s Approach to the Metaverse

Microsoft, a tech giant renowned for innovation, is taking a unique route in the Metaverse landscape. Unlike Facebook’s futuristic sci-fi vision, Microsoft is approaching the Metaverse with a practical focus on work and enterprise solutions.

The “Digital Life” Initiative

Under Microsoft’s “Digital Life” initiative, the Metaverse is a hub for accessing digital data, documents, applications, and information. It’s designed to cater to the needs of business users.

Hierarchical Structure

Microsoft’s Metaverse introduces a hierarchical approach, integrating it into various project contributions. This structure allows users to access different projects and explore specific interests within the Metaverse.

Collaboration and Flexibility

Microsoft’s vision aligns with Facebook’s in many ways but adds a collaborative and flexible dimension. The Metaverse concept is hierarchical, much like Facebook, but Microsoft incorporates it into project contributions, providing greater flexibility in its implementation.

Microsoft vs. Facebook Metaverse

Microsoft’s Metaverse goes beyond document collaboration and emphasizes work-related aspects. In contrast, Facebook (Meta) strongly emphasizes internet-based social media relationships and colorful virtual realities.

Approach to Building the Metaverse

Microsoft adopts a top-down approach, integrating its Metaverse concept into project contributions like Mesh for Teams, focusing on mixed reality for work. In contrast, Meta (Facebook) opts for a bottom-up approach, inviting all users into a growing metaverse that combines work and play.

Unique Strengths

Both companies leverage their strengths in their Metaverse endeavors. Microsoft excels in enterprise solutions, while Meta understands the social dimension well. Deciding which vision is more realistic is challenging, as they share fundamental similarities.

Teams as a Blueprint

From an innovation standpoint, Microsoft sees Teams as a blueprint for the Metaverse. Organizations can create custom virtual environments within Teams and connect various realities, offering a consistent identity across these metaverses.

Meeting Places

Microsoft’s Mesh for Teams offers pre-built vibrant locations for various scenarios, including meetings and social gatherings. The long-term vision involves creating custom environments within Teams, fostering collaboration, and enriching experiences.

Facebook’s Concept

On the other hand, Facebook’s early concept for a metaverse headquarters, Horizon Home, focuses on social interaction, entertainment, and shared experiences. They plan to create virtual residences called “Skyline Homes” for hanging out and pursuing interests.

Microsoft and Facebook (Meta) approach the Metaverse with distinct objectives and strategies, catering to both business and social aspects. Microsoft emphasizes hierarchical collaboration and enterprise solutions, while Facebook envisions a colorful and social virtual world. Each approach has its strengths, making the future of the Metaverse a fascinating journey of innovation and connectivity.

Conclusion

In the metaverse’s evolving landscape, Microsoft and Facebook (Meta) are making significant strides, but their approaches and priorities differ. Microsoft’s focus on work integration, collaboration, and enterprise applications contrasts with Facebook’s emphasis on social interactions, virtual communities, and immersive experiences. Understanding these distinctions is key to navigating the metaverse’s future developments.

FAQs

What is the primary focus of Microsoft's metaverse?

Microsoft's metaverse strongly emphasizes work integration, collaboration tools, and enterprise applications.

How does Facebook's metaverse differ from Microsoft's?

Facebook's metaverse concerns social interactions, virtual communities, and immersive experiences.

What are the challenges facing Microsoft's metaverse?

Challenges include data security, hardware accessibility, secure digital payments, and identity verification in a virtual world.

What are some key offerings of Microsoft's metaverse?

Microsoft's metaverse includes features like Mesh for Teams, designed for remote collaboration, and a strong focus on enterprise solutions.

How do Microsoft and Facebook envision the future of the metaverse?

Microsoft takes a hierarchical approach, integrating the metaverse into its projects, while Facebook aims to create a more all-encompassing metaverse from the ground up, encompassing both work and play.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

Share link:

Most read

Loading Most Read articles...

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox

Related News

Cryptopolitan
Subscribe to CryptoPolitan