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Microsoft CEO discusses metaverse, Activision Blizzard, and how the company will create the next internet

Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently discussed the company's acquisition of Activision Blizzard in an interview.
  • Nadella also explained how Microsoft's experience in gaming will help it create the metaverse.
  • He believes that the metaverse is "essentially the next internet" and that Microsoft's experience will gaming will help build the metaverse.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently spoke with the Financial Times about the company's recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The executive related Microsoft's growth in the gaming industry to the metaverse, which Nadella claimed is "essentially the next internet."

The interview between Richard Waters from the Financial Times and Nadella opened with Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, wherein Nadella explained how gaming is more than a "side bet" by Microsoft. The meeting later transitioned to a discussion about the metaverse.

Nadella drew parallels between building the metaverse and creating video games, explaining that making games is about creating a world that people can interact in as well as with. He noted that Microsoft already has experts who know how to make interactive virtual spaces that allow people to perform tasks and communicate with others in a virtual world. It's worth noting that some of these experts have been transitioning to Meta.

"Take what's happening with the metaverse. What is the metaverse? Metaverse is essentially about creating games. It is about being able to put people, places, things [in] a physics engine and then having all the people, places, things in the physics engine relate to each other," said Nadella.

The CEO took it further by saying that people already interact in games in a similar way to what we'll see in the metaverse in the future.

"You and I will be sitting on a conference room table soon with either our avatars or our holograms or even 2D surfaces with surround audio. Guess what? The place where we have been doing that forever... is gaming," explained Nadella.

In the eyes of Nadella, Microsoft's experience in gaming gives it a leg up when moving into the metaverse.

"To me, just being great at game building gives us the permission to build this next platform, which is essentially the next internet: the embodied presence. Today, I play a game, but I'm not in the game. Now, we can start dreaming [that] through these metaverses: I can literally be in the game, just like I can be in a conference room with you in a meeting. That metaphor and the technology... will manifest itself in different contexts," said Nadella.

While the metaverse is a hot topic these days, Microsoft's approach to it hasn't pleased everyone, including people within the company responsible for HoloLens. Some have argued Big Tech on the whole doesn't have a clear vision for what the metaverse is.

Nadella also shared thoughts on the metaverse in late 2021, though those comments focused primarily on working within the metaverse rather than playing.

In related news, Microsoft is reportedly struggling with its plans regarding the future of HoloLens.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

8 Comments
  • I am sure you will need HoloLens for this. So, you better get that team in order, or you will fall behind.
  • Haha, hahaha, ha. Oops!
  • Very very very very true
  • METAVERSE = Communities. In that Nadella is right.
    What it is not is a single uniform meeting room, ala second life, populated by cartoon avatars.
    Metaverse is a collection of vitual spaces: discussion forums, image sharing, video sharing, code repositories, shopping malls, multiuser gaming lobbies...
    It is the internet that already exists, just slightly realigned. Where Zuckerberg and the media pundits think of a unified platform where Meta can build communuties to milk, the communities already exist and the metaverse is wherever those communities exist. Facebook has the front end but on the back end all they have is gossip groups. They're wasting time and billions on another front end built around VR and ignoring the existing communities that people are not going to abandon. Nadella is right. MS, is very well positioned: with Linkedin, Teams, XBOX NETWORK (neé XBOX LIVE), Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and all the other online games. Plus Gamepass. All they lack is DISCORD to front for everything. Or something like it. VR AVATARS? A meaningles distraction, optional decor at best. Unless MS if ready to execute on a unified front end he really should have stayed quiet until they did.
  • Microsoft is notorious for announcing ideas an rarely following through to fruition. Much of that is lack of marketing a supporting these potially great ideas. Then other companies take those ideas and run with them. Then Microsoft just seems to lose interest, once that happens. I love some of their products, but their lack of consumer push is a pain.
  • Meta verse! Blah. Basically what's he's chatting poo about is a marginally updated version of the 2003 launch of second life. I'd never heard of meta verse before 6 months ago. It's like all the tech CEO's got together and decided they needed a new term to create a new cash cow for an old idea. Bear in mind, this is the CEO who's pulled life support on an absolute tonne of Microsoft products. How on earth does he expect to be taken seriously with this. And, doesn't a virtual world work better with...say...virtual reality. Like, say, hololens. As far as I could tell, hololens was actually doing OK. Big government contracts, ecosystem developing at a decent click, lots of companies buying into it. If he can kill that, then almost every other bit of hardware that Microsoft build is under threat.
  • I think I figured it out they want to go ahead and go to the 1990s Microsoft style they will do all the software and make their operating system more popular and let other companies do the hardware and later in a couple years Microsoft will make their own Hardware.
    but for now they just want to let Samsung do all the hardware while they make sure it's that Microsoft os system is the main operating system to capture 80% of the market. like how the original windows and Android did.
  • Metaverse = basically the human dystopian scenarios shown in Wall-E:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1BQPV-iCkU