Big Tech Seeks Its Next Fortune in the Metaverse
From virtual-reality glasses to software to digital goods, emerging online realms promise new ways to make big bucks
place/put/lay a bet on something 在…上押注
roll out 正式推出（新产品）◆ The new model is to be rolled out in July. 这种新型号将在七月份推出市场。
outspoken 直言不讳的；(Someone who is outspoken gives their opinions about things openly and honestly, even if they are likely to shock or offend people.) 近义词：blunt ◆ an outspoken opponent of the leader 一个直言不讳反对领导的人
hold sway 占统治地位;具有重大影响力；（If someone or something holds sway, they have great power or influence over a particular place or activity.）◆ Rebel forces hold swayover much of the island. 该岛很大一部份控制在叛军手里。
under sb/sth’s sway 在…的控制下; ◆ He was quick to exploit those who fell under his sway. 他毫不犹豫地利用受他控制的那些人。
fizzle /’fɪz(ə)l/ 虎头蛇尾地结束;草草收场；(If something fizzles, it ends in a weak or disappointing way after starting off strongly.)
The bets that Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others are placing on the metaverse reflect a growing belief that the emerging virtual realm will unlock serious real-world dollars.
The metaverse remains more aspirational than real, and its biggest supporters don’t expect it to be built quickly. Proponents though see a range of possibilities, from selling the hardware and software needed to access the metaverse to hawking virtual goods, services and advertisements within the digital world.
Companies big and small have started outlining business plans for the metaverse. Microsoft last week said it would roll out software tools around the metaverse in coming months, with pricing still to be disclosed. Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg last week also said that as the company works on the metaverse, it would look for ways to aid creators to make money, potentially tapping a $1 billion fund the social-media giant already has established.
Facebook的母公司Meta PlatformsInc. (FB)、微软(Microsoft Corp., MSFT)和其他公司纷纷押注元宇宙领域，这反映出人们越来越相信，这个新兴的虚拟空间将在现实世界掀起一波赚钱风口。
To tech leaders, the metaverse is emerging as a generational step-change in how digital interactions and commerce unfold. Metaverse proponents say the new digital world will have a profound effect on day-to-day lives, not unlike the emergence of the internet or iPhone.
“When we talk about the metaverse, we’re describing both a new platform and a new application type, similar to how we talked about the web and websites in the early ’90s,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said as he rolled out the company’s new tools for the digital world. They include the wider ability for users of Microsoft’s Teams workplace-collaboration software, starting next year, to join meetings using customized avatars, a person’s digital representation.
The digital world offers new ways to shop that should spur sales, analysts say. “The commerce capability I think will be insane because you’ll see these goods that are virtual and instead of looking at pictures, you’ll be able to rotate objects and look at them and try on different things,” said Brent Thill, an analyst covering the tech sector at investment bank Jefferies.