LAS VEGAS — Technology company Microsoft (MSFT) is holding on tightly to its future in the metaverse.
Joining CoinDesk TV’s “All About Bitcoin” live from CES 2023, Henry Bzeih, global chief strategy officer of mobility, automotive and transportation at Microsoft, said that as the world moves toward a more digital landscape, a hybrid model is likely to be the future of consumer and company relationships.
“When we talk about the whole customer experience, you have to factor in the metaverse,” said Bzeih, who has 28 years of experience in the automotive and technology space.
CES, considered to be one of the most influential tech events of the year, is well-known for setting the stage for some of the biggest forthcoming innovations.
What Microsoft is focused on now, said Bzeih, is “mobility cross functionality” in order to transform how customers use platforms to shop.
One example he pointed to is the way consumers buy cars today. Rather than making the trek to a local dealership, Bzeih said consumers – via the metaverse – will be able to “configure the colors, features [and] functions,” of a car. He pointed to the Fiat 500e, which Microsoft is featuring in its virtual car showroom. Microsoft’s partnership with metaverse company Touchcast to lead the data development of that Fiat model is a “natural progression,” he said.
“Microsoft is sitting behind the scenes in an enablement mode,” Bzeih said. “What we do is create that edge to cloud product and solution areas for our customers.”
However, challenges like bringing the metaverse-enabled car selling to the U.S. market linger. The process can be difficult as it calls upon the need to adjust to the ideas of independent franchise owners, who often, too, find the metaverse puzzling, said Bzeih.
The solution, he said, may be a hybrid model that gives businesses the assurance that the “millions of dollars” they’ve invested into physical places don’t just vanish. “To walk away from that and make the whole experience, not there, it just doesn't make any sense for them,” Bzeih said.