It’s no secret that despite Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, and spending billions of dollars per year to build Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, Meta is struggling to deliver an app or an experience that even their own employees are eager to use. But that’s OK. Nobody is clear yet on what the metaverse actually is, other that it involves virtual reality and some kind of “digital presence”. The metaverse is a bet, and Zuckerberg is betting to arrive there first.
Meta has not so many real use cases to test its metaverse version against. Microsoft has plenty of use cases, especially when it’s integrating around Teams and is present in all operating systems and devices. But Microsoft’s has been struggling with its efforts in Augmented Reality with HoloLens. So this partnership seems a win for both companies.
The downside is different for each company, however. If this partnership fails to deliver at least some usable version of the metaverse, Meta has much more to lose than Microsoft. Microsoft is not centered around the metaverse, while in Meta Facebook has redefined itself as “the metaverse company”. This situation reminds me of the joke about eggs and bacon: Eggs and bacon is a day’s work for a chicken, a lifetime’s commitment for a pig. Guess who is the pig in this partnership.