microsoft mesh virtual meetings

Microsoft Mesh: Its Collaboration Experience and Alternatives

By Kyla Mintz

Harnessing the full potential of Microsoft Mesh is within reach for every user, with a few tips and tricks that can greatly enhance the virtual collaboration experience. From getting started to personalizing your virtual presence, these suggestions are designed to guide users through the Mesh network, making every interaction more engaging and productive.

Exploring Microsoft Mesh: collaborative technology

Online video conference

Technology typically evolves in two directions; what people need to perform their jobs, and what businesses selling expensive technology want to promote. So, while most users only leverage 15% (mostly Save, Copy and Paste) of the functions in Word or Excel, developers continue to add more integrations and features to expand lock-in and add that wow factor for marketing campaigns. 

A classic divergent example is collaboration. Most users are happy to chat and share screens, but the makers of expensive virtual and augmented reality gadgets want businesses to communicate like they do in Star Trek or Star Wars. 

So, imagine stepping into a world where geography is irrelevant, and your colleagues, regardless of their physical location, are just a virtual handshake away. That’s the promise of Microsoft Mesh, the OS and platform makers new for 2024 effort to redefine the essence of VR collaboration

With its immersive mesh space integrated into Teams, Mesh offers a mixed-reality experience that bridges the gap between physical and virtual collaboration. These spaces or virtual stages are not just for show; they are designed to forge stronger social connections by enabling more natural interaction and socialization among colleagues.

The result is a transformative meeting experience, including workshops, one that could be a standard feature for those equipped with Microsoft 365 or Teams business plans and suitable hardware.

What is immersive mixed reality?

Diving deeper into Microsoft Mesh's core reveals a fascinating realm of immersive mixed reality. Mixed reality replaces flat video with 3D avatars of meeting attendees or workers and 3D object graphics, viewed through smart glasses, VR helmets like the Meta Quest VR sets, or nascent holographic projectors. 

Imagine a smart city meeting where government and technical attendees can zoom in and out of the streets to see specific details and identify transport weak spots or areas where civic improvements could be made. In the era of Digital Twins, from customers to processes and whole factories, Mesh can show them off through highly engaging applications in Teams.   

The Mesh platform stands out with its no-code editing tools, allowing anyone to shape a virtual world without a single line of code. Attendees and workers can expand what’s in the mesh by asking Microsoft’s Copilot AI to create custom 3D digital features and environments. The experience creates a sense of physical togetherness, promoting shared experiences that feel as realistic as an in-person gathering.

Spatial awareness and audio add layers of aural depth to the experience; imagine multiple group discussions in a virtual space, with spatial audio enabling you to focus on the conversation just as you would in a real-world social setting. In this context, the ability to search for specific discussions becomes crucial.

Making your virtual presence felt

Virtual presence in Microsoft Mesh is not about replicating the physical world; it’s about enhancing it., avatars bring a touch of personalization, allowing team members to express themselves in meetings without needing a camera. 

This AI-powered technology captures accurate motions and expressions and supports 3D avatars and 360-degree holoportation, adding layers of realism to every virtual interaction. 

Mesh's essence lies in its ability to provide a sense of presence on any device, from smartphones to consumer-class Quest VR. By enabling expressive and camera-free communication, particularly valuable in the work-from-home and collaboration era, knowledge workers and experts will have a higher-level view of complex issues.

Benefit from cross-platform accessibility

Cross-platform accessibility is a cornerstone of Microsoft Mesh, allowing it to run seamlessly on many devices including PCs and smartphones to Meta Quest VR devices for full immersion. smartphones, and more. The experience adjusts according to your hardware, from a 3D volumetric view on headsets to a 2D perspective on PCs and tablets, ensuring that all participants can engage fully in the shared virtual experience.

Furthermore, Mesh’s compatibility with a wide range of 3D file formats and its support for various development environments ensure that collaboration using existing models is not just possible, but also incredibly smooth.

Kumospace vs. Microsoft Mesh: why Kumospace comes out on top

kumospace vs ms mesh

While Microsoft Mesh focuses on cutting-edge technology in the race of collaborative technologies, consider Kumospace, the virtual office platform. With its strong emphasis on enhancing company culture, Kumospace streamlines communication and collaboration, making it a beacon for remote and hybrid teams striving for unity and camaraderie.

It’s not just about providing a space; it’s about tailoring the user experience to meet the modern team’s needs, and this is where Kumospace shines as the superior alternative to Microsoft Mesh.

Improved team collaboration

In the realm of team collaboration, Kumospace is a game-changer, offering an interactive online workspace that’s both inviting and conducive to shared company culture. Its platform is adept at creating moments that bond remote teams, whether it’s through casual watercooler conversations, celebrating milestones, or employing tools that foster team cohesion like online whiteboards and digital games.

The platform’s effectiveness is underscored by the productivity boost reported by workers, with two-thirds feeling more productive when using Kumospace.

Gain productivity insights

Kumospace’s commitment to enhancing remote work efficiency extends to providing critical insights into team productivity. While specifics comparing Kumospace’s productivity analytics to those of Microsoft Mesh are not available, it is clear that the visibility into team dynamics offered by Kumospace’s advanced analytics plays a pivotal role in streamlining workflows and driving efficiency.

Benefit from an integration ecosystem

The integration ecosystem of Kumospace stands out as a key feature, connecting seamlessly with the productivity tools teams are already using. This ease of integration means that workflows are maintained and improved, allowing teams to work within a familiar framework while enjoying the benefits of a superior virtual environment.

Kumospace may not have 3D bells and whistles yet, but it can be used on any device instantly with minimal setup. It allows users to create their own customized office and meeting rooms, collaborate on teamwork, or focus individually as needed while being aware of everyone’s status and needs.

The Technical Specs: understanding Microsoft Mesh's infrastructure

Remote communication at home or office

Peeling back the layers of Microsoft Mesh, we see a robust and sophisticated infrastructure. Built on Microsoft Azure, Mesh empowers developers to craft immersive, multiuser, cross-platform mixed-reality applications that redefine the boundaries of collaboration. 

Whether your users are non-programmers using the no-code editor to tweak ready-to-use environments or a tech-adept developer harnessing Unity (a 3D graphic design and world-building application) and the Mesh toolkit for custom creations, there’s a sandbox of potential for users across the spectrum.

Once these tailored experiences are tweaked to perfection, they can be uploaded for global collaboration, encapsulating the essence of a meshed world with strong attention to detail.

Explore a network architecture

Microsoft Mesh’s network architecture is a testament to the power of Azure’s services, including:

  • Azure Active Directory, which not only authenticates and authorizes users but also ensures a secure and reliable developer experience
  • AI-driven features that enable immersive experiences
  • Seamless display of physical and digital objects across devices
  • Making virtual interactions as accessible as they are engaging.

Spatial maps and holographic content provide consistency and universality to the environment, further improving the developer’s ability to create custom 3D experiences. Those with an Office subscription are granted access to Microsoft Mesh’s full features, including SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365 Calendar, ensuring a comprehensive toolset for virtual collaboration.

Focus on visual realism

The visual realism in Microsoft Mesh is impressive, emphasizing lighting environments that trick us into believing in the virtual world. Using Unity’s universal render pipeline, Mesh achieves lighting effects that create immersive spaces where shadows play and natural light dances, just as they do in reality, lending a powerful sense of presence to virtual interactions.

Networking meetups in the virtual world

Communication via the Internet concept stock illustration

Networking in the virtual world takes on a new dimension with Microsoft Mesh, offering users the tools to customize their events in ways that were once confined to the physical realm. Accessing immersive spaces within Microsoft Teams is straightforward via the View menu, which opens the door to a world of possibilities for virtual events that can range from intimate gatherings to large-scale, custom-tailored business activities like all-hands meetings, training, or simulations.

For businesses with a Teams Premium license, there are even more options with exclusive capabilities to craft bespoke immersive experiences that elevate any virtual event to new heights.

The power of event customization

Event customization within Microsoft Mesh is as easy as it is impactful. Premium users have access to an array of ready-made 3D immersive spaces, each designed to meet a variety of business needs. 

Whether it’s employee events, training sessions, guided tours, product showcases, or meetings, Mesh for Teams enables organizers to deploy custom spaces, orchestrate visual elements, and leverage no-code editing for personalizing event spaces without the need for programming skills.

The Mesh portal streamlines event creation and management, offering tools to create reusable event templates and environment uploads for customized experiences. Note that Mesh is limited to 16 attendees per room or 200 in a multi-room setup. 

Microsoft Mesh's reach extends globally, to a wide pool of participants for virtual meetups. Mesh virtual events are mindful of the international audience, displaying the host’s time zone by default for clarity in scheduling.

Coffee breaks and casual encounters: social interactions in Microsoft Mesh

Cartoon Color Characters People and Online Party Concept

The social fabric of the workplace is woven from the threads of casual interactions and impromptu encounters, a concept not lost on Microsoft Mesh. Within Teams, organizations can create metaverses — immersive spaces that serve as virtual offices where avatars can collaborate on projects and engage in natural dialogue, mirroring the nuances of physical interaction. This digital meshwork fosters a sense of unity and connection among team members.

Meet in virtual coffee bars

Virtual coffee lounges in Microsoft Mesh are the epitome of customization, offering a diverse range of 3D environments where team members can socialize and bond. Picture your teams sitting by a fire pit, lounging on couches by a scenic lake, or engaging in playful banter while tossing bean bags in a cozy house setting near Redondo Beach. 

Each environment is crafted to replicate the relaxed atmosphere of a coffee break or casual get-together, strengthening team bonds and fostering interaction. With just a few clicks, you can drop into your preferred virtual environment and connect with colleagues.

Enjoy spontaneous conversations

The virtual environment of Microsoft Mesh is designed to cultivate a sense of physical proximity, facilitating spontaneous conversations much like those unexpected and invaluable office run-ins. These impromptu chats are not just about camaraderie; they’re about reinforcing collaboration and nurturing social connections within the remote or hybrid team setting, contributing to a more cohesive and productive work environment.

Making the most of Microsoft Mesh: Tips for users

Team members discussing project online scene

Harnessing the full potential of Microsoft Mesh is within reach for every user, with a few tips and tricks that can greatly enhance the virtual collaboration experience. From getting started to personalizing your virtual presence, these suggestions are designed to guide users through the Mesh network, making every interaction more engaging and productive.

Getting Started in Mesh

Starting with Microsoft Mesh is straightforward, requiring only a Microsoft Teams Premium license. Users can create an account to access the full suite of Mesh features, including setting up and managing events, creating reusable templates, and managing uploaded environments through the Mesh portal.

The ‘Immersive space (3D)’ feature seamlessly integrates into Teams meetings, allowing users to collaborate within a 3D environment while enjoying familiar Teams functions such as shared content and chat.

Personalization tips and better audio

Personalization within Microsoft Mesh extends beyond the virtual office spaces; it also includes avatar customization. Users can select from various pre-designed options or create a personalized digital representation to suit their preferences, choosing body shapes, clothing, and facial features for a more authentic interaction.

Spatial audio is another feature that should not be overlooked, it provides a realistic and immersive auditory experience during virtual meetings, ensuring that conversations are as vivid virtually as they are in person. By personalizing their experience with various environmental options, users can tailor their virtual presence to align with their unique style and preferences.


From the immersive realities of Microsoft Mesh to the superior collaborative environment of Kumospace, this journey through virtual collaboration has revealed the transformative potential of these platforms. Microsoft Mesh stands out with its robust infrastructure, cross-platform accessibility, and social interaction capabilities, while Kumospace shines with its enhanced team collaboration, productivity insights, and integrated ecosystem. While Mesh may lack current discounts and deals, its ability to connect teams in unprecedented ways is a value proposition that cannot be overlooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Transform the way your team works from anywhere.

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Headshot for Kyla Mintz
Kyla Mintz

Kyla is part of the Marketing team at Kumospace, where she helps run the social media accounts and creates content. Kyla has many different passions outside of work, including volleyball, traveling, and restaurant dining.

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