Microsoft will make Windows, Office, Teams and other programs available for the new Meta Quest Pro and existing Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets under an expanded partnership with Facebook’s parent company.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, outlined the plans during a surprise appearance with Mark Zuckerberg as part of the Meta CEO’s keynote address at the Meta Connect virtual conference Tuesday morning.
Here’s what they announced:
- Microsoft Teams will be available on Meta Quest devices, letting people use Meta’s VR headsets for virtual Teams meetings, as an alternative to Meta’s Horizon Workrooms virtual meeting technology.
- It will also be possible to join Teams meetings from Workrooms.
- In the future, users will be able to use Meta avatars in Teams for whiteboarding, brainstorming, and meetups.
- Users will be able to interact with features in Microsoft 365 apps including SharePoint, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Quest Pro and Quest 2.
- It will be possible to stream Windows 365, the cloud-based version of Microsoft’s PC operating system, to Quest Pro and Quest 2 devices.
- Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory will be available on Quest devices for enterprise security, authentication, and device management.
- The companies are also “exploring ways to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to Meta Quest Store,” said Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s president for Collaborative Apps and Platforms, in a post outlining the news.
“You will be able to play 2D games with your Xbox controller projected on a massive screen on Quest,” said Nadella, wrapping up the joint appearance with Zuckerburg. “It’s early days, but we’re excited for what’s to come. Who knows, the next time we talk, maybe we’ll be playing flight simulator together in VR.”
Meta will release the Quest Pro on Oct. 25 for $1,499.99.
Microsoft has pursued its own vision for the metaverse, through its HoloLens headset and Mesh mixed reality platform, but the company under Nadella has repeatedly struck partnerships with ostensible rivals.
The Meta partnership “complements our commitment to HoloLens,” Microsoft’s Teper said in his post.
Facebook/Meta and Microsoft are no strangers, dating back to the Redmond company’s $240 million investment in Facebook in 2007, part of a broader strategic relationship between the companies at the time. Microsoft no longer holds that stake.