Meta and Microsoft recently announced they will be partnering on the metaverse, the future of work, and gaming. 

Meta and Microsoft’s shared enterprise-metaverse ambitions are driving this partnership,” said Rachel Foster Jones, an analyst on the Thematic Intelligence team at GlobalData. “Meta is in a strong position with its virtual reality [VR] headsets but lacks appealing software. On the other hand, Microsoft is a leader in software — ranking first out of 58 companies in the thematic screen of GlobalData’s application software sector scorecard, which scores companies in the themes that matter most to its industry. Meta ranks 22nd.

“Both Meta and Microsoft view the metaverse as the next stage of workplace collaboration,” she continued. “The partnership expands their offerings and should increase adoption. Meta can capitalize on Microsoft’s loyal Windows 365 and Teams users and establish a foothold in the workplace collaboration segment. Microsoft, in turn, benefits from Meta’s VR hardware to boost its own enterprise metaverse and VR gaming ambitions.”

VR is an important technology in the future of work, and developing enterprise-grade metaverse platforms will further enhance its appeal,” said Rupantar Guha, principal analyst for GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence team. “Some of these developments include the creation of domain-specific tools for functions, such as employee training, collaboration, data visualization, and customer experience. Enterprises will become the key market for VR over the next three years, outpacing the consumer segment, with the global market reaching $51 billion by 2030. The consumer VR segment is currently larger in terms of revenue, but the enterprise segment will begin to dominate, accounting for 62% of total revenue by 2030.

“Since its inception, VR has been heavily gaming oriented,” Guha continued. “Meta has acquired several VR gaming studios, while Microsoft has gained from adding Bethesda’s VR games to its portfolio. However, despite the optimism of VR headset makers around immersive games, VR gaming remains a small part of the video games market in both unit sales and revenue. VR games cater to a niche audience, primarily early adopters. The Meta-Microsoft partnership will attempt to develop hardcore VR gaming, which is yet to emerge.”