Earlier this year, some leaks about Microsoft’s “MetaOS” had many of us Microsoft monitors who were allowed to find out what this basic layer is and how it will affect Microsoft’s various products and services in the future. Recently, I found some more details about the company̵
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MetaOS has a lot to do with the next for Microsoft Teams, Office, Edge and more. I do not know when or if Microsoft will ever talk about MetaOS in public, but MetaOS and the related Taos team, led by Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Vice President of Experiences and Devices Group Kirk Koenigsbauer, are actively working on MetaOS inbox apps and services, I hear.
Microsoft’s MetaOS pitch at the highest level is that it’s focused on humans and not tied to specific devices. Microsoft seems to model a bit after Tencent’s WeChat mobile social / payment app / service here, my sources say. Microsoft wants to create a single mobile platform that provides a consistent set of work and playback services, including messaging, voice and video, digital payments, games and custom document and news feeds.
MetaOS consists of a number of layers or levels according to information shared with me by my contacts. At the lowest level, there is a data level implemented in the Office substrate and / or Microsoft Graph. This data layer is about network identities and groups. There is also an application model that includes work Microsoft is doing around the Fluid Framework (its rapid co-authoring and object embedding technology); Power Apps for fast development and even the Visual Studio team for dev tools. Microsoft creates a set of services and contracts for developers around Fluid Core, Search, personalization / recommendation, security and management. For software vendors and customers
Microsoft is working to create a set of common inbox apps and controls that carry across products and services. These include products such as Planner, Stream, Tasks, Lists, Files, Whiteboard, Notes (OneNote, Sticky Notes), analytics, learning, history, downloads and similar products / services. It also builds a set of hubs that build on top of the MetaOS technologies. Team is just one of those hubs. Others include Windows, Microsoft’s simple, simplified Office mobile app, also known as Office.com (and codenamed “Union”), Outlook, and Edge / Bing.
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If you’re wondering how Edge / Bing fits into this hub model, there’s a fairly newly formed organization in Microsoft called the Web Experiences Team (WebXT), which includes Bing, Edge, MSN, and content services. WebXT works with Office and Windows to create new homepages and new Bing Ads tabs. WebXT is also “building a large-scale payment service that trades for WebXT’s key companies such as Bing, Content Feed, Edge”, according to a recent job posting from Microsoft.
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has focused on its core business base from a strategy and product perspective. But the company has not given up on the idea that it can build on the “strength pockets” it believes it has in the consumer realm, by first focusing on productivity-conscious consumers and players. (One page: Looking at this MetaOS strategy, it’s relatively easy to see how / why Microsoft might have tried to place TikTok here to help push its message that its products are not just for businesses. , but instead focused on the whole life experience.)
In short, MetaOS is Microsoft’s underlying architecture and strategy for the fundamentals of its Microsoft 365 subscription services for business and consumer users. Microsoft 365 is big and getting bigger. Microsoft 365 contributed $ 20 billion in billed revenue to Microsoft’s FY’20 $ 143 billion in total, an increase of more than 50% over the previous year.