Microsoft says it is adding 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Teams chat system, as part of its push towards the "metaverse".
It says its "Mesh" platform will let people meet in the virtual space, with or without a virtual reality headset, reports BBC.
Microsoft says the new features, which it is calling "immersive meetings" will be available in the first half of 2022.
It comes after Facebook showcased similar virtual chat rooms as part of its rebrand to name itself Meta.
While there is no single strict definition of what a "metaverse" will be, most versions envision a future version of the internet with a diverse range of interconnected virtual worlds, covering everything from gaming to education.
Both Microsoft and Meta are pitching 3D chat and collaboration, as a key part of their initial pitch.
Teams is Microsoft's business chat and video call app, similar to Zoom or Google Meet, and a version is also available for personal users.