Earlier this 12 months, some leaks about Microsoft’s “MetaOS” had plenty of us Microsoft watchers scrambling to determine what this foundational layer is and the way it will have an effect on Microsoft’s numerous services and products sooner or later. Lately, I’ve unearthed some extra particulars in regards to the firm’s high-level targets and lower-level product plans round MetaOS.
MetaOS has loads to do with what’s subsequent for Microsoft Groups, Workplace, Edge, and extra. I do not know when or if Microsoft will ever discuss MetaOS publicly, however MetaOS and the associated Taos crew, headed by Chief Working Officer and Company Vice President of the Experiences and Gadgets Group Kirk Koenigsbauer, is working actively on the MetaOS inbox apps and providers, I hear.
Microsoft’s highest stage MetaOS pitch is that it’s targeted on individuals and never tied to particular units. Microsoft appears to be modeling itself a bit after Tencent’s WeChat cellular social/fee app/service right here, my sources say. Microsoft desires to create a single cellular platform that gives a constant set of labor and play providers, together with messaging, voice and video, digital funds, gaming, and customised doc and information feeds.
The MetaOS consists of a variety of layers, or tiers, in response to info shared with me by my contacts. On the lowest stage, there is a information tier, which is carried out within the Office substrate and/or Microsoft Graph. This information tier is all about community identification and teams. There’s additionally an utility mannequin, which incorporates work Microsoft is doing round Fluid Framework (its fast co-authoring and object embedding technology); Energy Apps for fast growth and even the Visible Studio crew for dev instruments. Microsoft is making a set of providers and contracts for builders round Fluid Core, Search, personalization/advice, safety, and administration. For software program distributors and prospects,
Microsoft is working to create a set of frequent inbox apps and controls that may carry throughout services and products. These embody merchandise like Planner, Stream, Duties, Lists, Information, Whiteboard, Notes (OneNote, Sticky Notes), analytics, studying, historical past, downloads, and related merchandise/providers. It is also constructing a set of hubs that construct on high of the MetaOS applied sciences. Groups is only one of those hubs. Others embody Home windows, Microsoft’s single, simplified Office mobile app, also known as Office.com (and codenamed “Union”), Outlook, and Edge/Bing.
If you happen to’re questioning how Edge/Bing suits into this hub mannequin, there is a pretty just lately fashioned group in Microsoft referred to as the Web Experiences Team (WebXT), which encompasses Bing, Edge, MSN, and content material providers. WebXT is working with Workplace and Home windows to create new homepage and new tab web page interfaces powered by Bing adverts. WebXT is also “constructing a big scale fee service that powers commerce for WebXT’s key companies like Bing, Content material Feed, Edge,” in response to a latest Microsoft job posting.
Below CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has refocused on its core enterprise constituency from a method and product perspective. However the firm has not given up on the concept it may possibly construct on the “pockets of energy” it believes it has within the shopper house by focusing first on productivity-minded shoppers and avid gamers. (An apart: When this MetaOS technique, it is comparatively simple to see how/why Microsoft might have tried to slot TikTok in here to assist it push its message that its merchandise aren’t only for companies, however as a substitute targeted on the entire life expertise.)
Briefly, MetaOS is Microsoft’s underlying structure and technique for the foundational layer of its Microsoft 365 subscription providers for enterprise and shopper customers. Microsoft 365 is huge and getting larger. Microsoft 365 contributed $20 billion in billed revenues to Microsoft’s FY’20 $143 billion total, up greater than 50% over the earlier 12 months.