Microsoft Acquires AltspaceVR to Push into Virtual Reality Market

The vast possibilities of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) has lured a number of technology giants to make a foray, and Microsoft Corporation is not the one to stay behind. The company is facing stiff challenge from the advancements made in aforementioned fields by companies such as Apple Inc., Facebook, Sony, and HTC, they have poured in more financial might to gain ground over the competition. On Tuesday, Microsoft completed the acquisition of the AltspaceVR team, strengthening its progress with Samsung on the Odyssey mixed reality headset and integrating it with SteamVR.

This acquisition is a substantial initiative by the Windows and Xbox Company to create hardware and software around its highly famous operating system. However, did not reveal the specifics of the deal, simply saying AltspaceVR is joining Microsoft. This also means Samsung, the South Korean Company, is also developing Windows based mixed reality headsets, which will be available in a bundle with motion controllers for US$499.

Microsoft Forming a Niche by Mixing AR and VR into Same Headset
Currently, augmented reality seems to be the leading segment, led by Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit, as these can work with millions of smart devices consumers are already using. On the other hand, virtual reality requires expensive headsets and personal computers that are powerful enough to run the software. Now, Microsoft is trying to find a niche for itself by mixing the two, AR and VR, and produce a transformative technology.

Microsoft Unveils Motion Controllers to Support Window 10 VR

To offer high-end virtual reality (VR) experience, good controllers are a must! While contemporaries such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive already had their pairs, will soon join the bandwagon, as it gears to unveil its all new mixed reality and VR headsets.

Here is what to expect:

Recently at its Build developer conference, Microsoft announced that its motion controllers will operate sans external tracking sensors. Further, they will be integrated with innovative technology to enable them offer responsive and precise tracking of movement in a user’s field of view. For this, the headsets will use their inbuilt sensors. While briefing audiences about these extraordinary features, Terry Myerson, the Executive VP of Devices Group and Microsoft’s Windows also mentioned that the company is planning to offer easy-to-use setup. These motion controllers will be sold alongside a multitude of Microsoft, mixed reality or Windows VR headsets and will be available later this year.

Design and Features Microsoft Plans to Offer in Motion Controllers

These controllers will look much similar to the Vive and Oculus Touch controllers at the first glance. It will also include a thumb stick a lot like the Touch, will sport a wand-like design with a tracking ring at the end, and a touchpad similar to Vive. However, Microsoft also confirmed that these motion controllers will not work with the HoloLens. Besides this, it is also planning to replace the plain Xbox controller, commonly used in existing samples of Windows mixed reality headsets.

Considering the value-additions Microsoft seems to have on cards, experts predict if it fills the app store of the upcoming Windows VR with loads of popular games. This would make the motion controller one its kind.

Microsoft Integrates LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365

Microsoft is ushering to create the next-generation of cloud-based businesses. In a major business move, Microsoft integrates LinkedIn Sales Navigator data with Dynamics 365. This was one of the first deliverables that Microsoft promised last year after it acquired LinkedIn for US$ 26.2 billion last year.

Unfolding as a boon, professional salespeople can view LinkedIn sales navigator data along with other information on the Dynamics 365 sales dashboard. However, this has come as an unpleasant move for Salesforce – Dynamics 365’s biggest rival in the CRM market.

Integration Lucrative for Investors in Microsoft CRM Solutions

Following this integration, users with both the systems will be able to view information from LinkedIn profiles in the inner pages of Dynamics 365 Sales. They can obtain contextual recommendations and can provide tailored content along with account and lead updates. LinkedIn sales navigator and Dynamics will sync information on a daily basis so that both the systems are up to date on information exchange.

The integration makes sense for users of Sales Navigator to invest in Microsoft’s CRM and vice versa. This is all the more important for Microsoft to woo companies that are considering CRM applications from rivals such as Salesforce and Oracle.

Not only this, there lie some other announcements from Microsoft as well. It has launched Dynamics 365 for Talent, which is a new human resource app for companies to manage their workforce. Another major announcement from Microsoft is Dynamics 365 for Retail. This service is for retailers who want a centralized system for managing employees, inventory, customers, and financials.