Brad SmithSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Microsoft president Brad Smith recently discussed the metaverse.
  • The metaverse is a joint augmented reality experience that Meta is working towards.
  • Smith warns that the experience "not like dying and going to heaven."

Microsoft president Brad Smith recently discussed several hot topics, including the metaverse, in an interview with Reuters. While Smith thinks the technology will be important in the future, he tempered expectations for it. He also explained the importance of privacy and digital safety within it.

When Facebook rebranded to Meta, the company shared the idea of a metaverse that it's working towards. It is an augmented reality joint universe that allows people to interact in several ways. Meta plans to hire thousands of people to help create it. It's an ambitious idea that's drawn concern regarding privacy.

"I think (the metaverse) will be very big... and quite important," said Smith. "We have to ensure that it protects privacy, digital safety and protects against disinformation, manipulation. We have a lot to clean up."

Many of the concepts behind the augmented reality universe aren't new. Windows Central Senior Editor Jez Corden claims that "the tech industry's 'metaverse' fad is a load of bollocks." He also highlights that Minecraft is already a metaverse app.

While Smith didn't use the same type of language as Corden, he cautioned people about getting overhyped. "We're all talking about the metaverse as if we're entering some new dimension," he said. "This is not like dying and going to heaven. We're all going to be living in the real world with people."

Smith also noted that Meta likely won't be the only company to create a metaverse, stating, "everyone is going to be entering this."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also discussed the metaverse in a recent interview.