The Metaverse is becoming real much sooner than we think. So now we are looking for content creation tools that are required to develop all kinds of things in the virtual world. Here is how Microsoft sees the Metaverse and the development tools for it.
Mark Zuckerberg has done a lot to assign the metaverse concept to Facebook. He has gone so far as to rename the company to Meta. But But other big tech companies are circling the metaverse too.
Microsoft is one of them.
And while Microsoft has not been successful in any of its high profile projects lately, it might be a huge player in the Metaverse.
Why? Because it’s a big company that has a vast experience in working with developers.
Take a look at Babylon.js. It’s a bold claim made by Microsoft for metaverse.
Microsoft aims at metaverse with Babylon.js
Funny but Babylon.js is a free and open source 3D engine. Microsoft is famous for its proprietary software. But we are talking about open source now.
Babylon.js is built on top of WebGL and WebGPU. It was developed by two Microsoft engineers and first released in 2013 as a part of the IE11 browser.
Babylon.js can support a web version of the metaverse, Microsoft claims.
This is a point of differentiation to Meta. Zuckerberg has not yet said whether its vision for the metaverse will be web-compatible. Clearly Microsoft sees metaverse as the new kind of web.
There is a thing called Babylon Playground, a browser-based tool to create and edit 3D web content.
In a way Babylon.js might be the modern equivalent of FrontPage. Remember that legendary web development tool? It’s just as simple, using WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) idea.
Basically, you are not required to be skilled in coding or 3D modelling. You can do simple things to create your scenes and characters.
The best thing about Babylon.js is that it is web-native and supports emerging 3D web standards like WebXR and WebGPU.
Microsoft Metaverse is going to be different
At the moment it looks like Babylon.js can be seen as a web extension. So that’s a hint to how Microsoft sees the Metaverse.
Facebook’s appropriation of the term “metaverse” in the meantime shows no indication that it intends to support the web.
When Zuckerberg announced the Metaverse, he likened it to the mobile internet.
“We are still working, I would say, at the industry level to define what is the metaverse,” David Rousset, one of the developers says.
According to Rousset, Meta gave their vision and a lot of people thought that it was the only vision — and it’s not the case.
“We will soon disclose the vision of Microsoft in the metaverse. But for me, the web needs to be a big part of it, because you should be able to move from one metaverse to another,” Rousset says.
- Meta is definitely not the only big tech company that is working on metaverse
- Microsoft has it’s metaverse vision
- That metaverse vision is very different from what Meta announced
- Microsoft projects like Babylon.js and third-party apps like Frame are building 3D experiences on top of the web