Microsoft is already synonymous with work, but the company is currently trying to make themselves irreplaceable by creating a new productivity layer called MetaOS which will tie together all of their apps and services with a unified API plus a good mix of AI added in.

Writing on the ZDNet blog, Mary Jo Foley explains that MetaOS (also TAOS), would be built in Microsoft’s productivity cloud (now the ‘substrate’ of MetaOS) which contains silos of customer data in services such as SharePoint and Office 365, and would be designed to make user experiences and user-facing apps smarter and more proactive.

A job description for a Principal Engineering Manager for Taos notes:

“We aspire to create a platform on top of that foundation – one oriented around people and the work they want to do rather than our devices, apps, and technologies. This vision has the potential to define the future of Microsoft 365 and make a dramatic impact on the entire industry.”

Another SharePoint/MeTA job description adds:

“We are excited about transforming our customers into ‘AI natives,’ where technology augments their ability to achieve more with the files, web pages, news, and other content that people need to get their task done efficiently by providing them timely and actionable notifications that understands their intents, context and adapts to their work habits.”

MetaOS would have APIs which would let 3rd parties plug in apps and services and will likely power Microsoft’s unified search service.

It may also be connected to Fluid Framework, a collaborative infrastructural technology that allows users to create and embed components inside applications and documents that will always remain up-to-date.

To condense it down to a practical level, the work would unify all your company’s productivity data, analyse it behind the scenes with AI,  and deliver actionable insights and assistance to help you get work done better and faster, no matter whether you are on your phone or Mac or Windows PC.  If Microsoft can pull it off, and become the new way work is done, they could make the Office competition, with less access to large data stores, irrelevant.

Microsoft is looking to bring in 3rd party developers, so I expect we will hear more about the technology in the near future.

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