Microsoft has introduced more than 90 new services and updates to address emerging trends and explore ways of connecting people, organizations, and ideas in the increasingly digital world.

The new updates were launched at the ongoing Microsoft Ignite 2021, a global event that brings together over 100,000 executives to experience Microsoft’s latest and future technologies.

Beginning next year, users will be able to join a Microsoft Teams meeting using a personalized avatar that looks like them, as part of the new updates. This innovation is aimed at personalizing online meetings, making them more engaging, and exciting for anyone using anything from basic smartphones and laptops to mixed-reality headsets.

The first step most users of Mesh for Teams will begin by attending a normal Teams meeting as a personalized avatar of themselves rather than a static image or video. Within Teams, organizations can create immersive places, metaverses. Users of Mesh for Teams can enter these locations with their avatars to socialize, work on projects, and have those fortuitous encounters that stimulate creativity.

When Mesh for Teams begins to roll out in preview in the first half of 2022, users will have a variety of options to choose from to create and join a Teams meeting as a unique, personalized avatar. Other attendees might also be represented by avatars, show themselves on video or use a static picture or bubble with initials.

Speaking at the Microsoft Ignite conference, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said, “Microsoft Ignite is an opportunity for us to show the results of our efforts across a wide spectrum of products in several key trends including how to optimize for the new world of hybrid work, how to help customers build a hyperconnected business, how every business can become a digital business and how to protect everything with end-to-end security.”

At the 2021 Ignite, the focus is on the Microsoft Cloud which powers an organization’s digital capability, while providing the safeguards necessary to keep data confidential and secure. The Microsoft Cloud is used by organizations to power digital capability, while providing the safeguards necessary to keep data confidential and secure.