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The Horror of Microsoft Teams (medium.com/joshuamkite)
544 points by rekoros on Aug 12, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 332 comments

I use both daily.

I think the biggest problem with Teams can't be discovered by feature comparisons and performance metrics.

Teams enables a company to "secure" the application in the same way other MS products can be. That makes the product easy to sell, but in practice, it prevents Teams from being an effective collaboration tool.

If I want to create a new channel, I need to get approval from IT. If I want to invite a vendor to participate, I need to convince IT that the benefit of adding this particular vendor to Teams outweighs a raft of vague "security" concerns. In the end, it's not worth the trouble of asking and I end up setting up Slack channels instead.

By creating a product that can satisfy the IT policies of their enterprise customers, Microsoft has unwittingly created a platform completely unsuited to flexible and open collaboration.

In my experience with Slack, vendors are always locked down. A good practice is to create a totally separate Slack instance where vendors and contractors can talk freely with employees. If non-emoloyees are on company Slack, they can pick up IP, be witnesses to harassment, be exposed to PII leaks, etc.

Locking down channels is tough. As a company grows, there can be immense confusion when channels pop up all over (especially duplicates). Having some friction to creation can be helpful, but that could be simple public “shaming” instead of getting IT / HR in the mix.

When HR thinks its job is to administrate, the company has lost its chance at having a real culture. It sounds like using MS Teams is like having HR administrate over everything you say at work.

That's effectively what I do as well, but we don't have a corporate Slack account.

Teams is great for internal communications on long-running projects. It's well suited to that and I wouldn't substitute Slack. When used well, it cuts down on a ton of internal emails and status updates.

I don't really blame IT for locking down Teams. It makes a lot of sense for all the reasons you mention and many more. It's just that by locking it down they prevent Teams from really being a challenger to Slack.

It's not that Teams can't be configured to be just as useful as Slack, but enterprise IT best practices pretty much guarantees that it never will be.

Our Teams is basically completely open and not locked down at all.

I still hate it.

Why do you hate it?

It's slow.

It's broken in weird ways (renaming or moving a file will break it basically)

The threaded chats confuse everyone.

It's poorly integrated with the rest of office (I can't seen to figure out how to 'share to teams' from Word or Excel for example.

Plusses: The group video chat works well. It's not Skype for Business.

Why not create seperate private channels and make vendors single channel users?

I’ve seen that too, but having a whole separate instance gives the users a more flexible environment. There’s also the issue of discoverability... sometimes the company doesn’t want employees and vendors to know that certain relationships exist.

And you can federate the two slack instances as well as a separate firewall without having to create multiple accounts for the same users to access multiple instances.

"If I want to create a new channel, I need to get approval from IT."

That depends how it is configured - where I work you can create channels in Teams even if you're not an owner of that Team.

Anyone can create a Team as well - but it is accepted that this is only done for a good reason.

I think Teams is exactly excellent because it allows you to secure your collaboration tool. Especially valuable post GDPR where you really don’t want your non-tech savy employers putting privacy data into some online Trello board, or slack/discord for that matter. The fact that teams is just part of your 365 platform is soooo awesome in non-tech enterprise that it’s hard to describe just how useful it is. But basically we have 7000 employees in my shop, 20% of them them can’t name the operating system iOS/Android/windows when they call support. You want your IT to protect them from themselves, even if that’s obviously not how you would word it in your strategy.

Too much control is bad though, like you say, creating channels/teams/task-boards shouldn’t be too bureaucratic. We were a little too liberal when we first opened up, allowing people to name their own, which resulted in mail-list mayhem. Because Microsoft created an e-mail address with the name people chose. This resulted in the “specialised child care department” creating a “specialised childcare” e-mail address, that would show up in outlook. Which in term led to some rather important e-mails getting lost, because people sent them to the one of the now two “specialised child care” email addresses that wasn’t getting read.

We fixed this by moving creation into our own tool and using the 365 API, so people still get to name their own collaboration projects, but they get a “Teams - “ in front of the name, and that’s filtered out of the e-mail listing so they don’t show up in the outlook address book.

I don’t personally like Teams or Tasks all that much functionally wise compared to other tools, but the fact that they are part of our 365 security setup and the fact that we’ve already paid for them, means I’ll use them.

How is putting privacy data in Teams different from putting it in Slack?

I’m the wrong person to ask, all I know is that Microsoft, Azure and Offfice365 is on the government list of places we can put our data (which doesn’t go above NSIS level 3) safely and legally. Slack isn’t on that list.

Apart from some abstract legal paperwork requirements like those, I honestly don't see much difference between both privacy wise. If the company really requires privacy and owning their data, they should setup some hosted slack clone themselves.

AFAIK, Slack will store user data on servers in the US. For most European countries (if not all), Microsoft can guarantee that data won't leave that country. Especially for privacy sensitive sectors (e.g. finance), that can be a hard requirement.

Only for the UK, France and Germany

They can still guarantee to store it in the EU, which should legally be enough for any EU company. I don't think laws are allowed to require storing data in a specific member country.

AFAIK Italy too.

It's not that a company owns their data, or needs privacy, its that they need tools to discover customer or even non-customer data from across the entire suite of systems that they use. It's a tremendous amount of data and MS built tooling that helps do that across all of their services.

Setting up some kind of hosted solution in a country to comply with data sovereignty laws might be a solution, but it becomes a data island that makes compliance with other regulatory regimes that much harder.

You can literally pull every single conversation private or not from Slack with a button push or email request. The company owns all that data. There doesn't appear to be anything special about how Teams does data retention from my perspective.

Again, it's not about the company owning the data.

For instance, regulatory requirements might mean that someone comes to you and says...give me every interaction and related data that references this person who doesn't work here. That would mean anytime they are mentioned in word docs, records in Salesforce, anytime someone mentioned them in chat or email, and everything else.

I'm not saying that you aren't right. I'm just saying that the integration with other services allows for management at scale that is useful in large organizations.

Instead of going to lots of individual services and exporting data into something that you can then use to ad-hoc query, you can go to one place and create a job that goes out and collects the data for you. That has value.

In the end it gets back to the "best of breed" vs "pre-integrated"...It depends on how and where you assess value.

For some people, just not using MS has value. For lot's of people/orgs having all the things integrated already, even if they aren't the best tools available, is a better value.

Teams benefits from the cross-product and service GDPR and eDiscovery tools that MS has built. It's hard to explain the scale of some of that stuff, but it cuts across O365.

Why is it okay to put data in teams and not in trello?

When storing personal data outside of the organization, you need to have a proper agreement with data processor that handles all the GDPR-related issues, handles responsiblities and liability, verifies issues such as will the data be transferred outside EU jurisdiction to USA servers, etc. In general, organizations have these legal issues already settled with Microsoft due to their other contracts for e.g. Office and Azure and such.

For any new vendor you can't put the same data unless/until you have all these legal arrangements in place; and if that vendor says "ah, we're in USA, we don't care about GDPR" then you simply can't use them for such data.

Especially since Trello is owned by Atlassian. This one such me as weird too.

"I love how integrated it is but I had to write code to remove the integration that was counterproductive"

I get it, but it seems contradictory, and your workaround is probably beyond reach for many smaller businesses.

I get your point, but I’m not sure you can apply enterprise problems to small businesses. Take my specific example, my department has a mailing list called something along the lines of Digitalisation, we have this because we’re 7000 employees at 200+ locations and you can be pretty sure a teacher at one of our schools don’t know who I am or what my position is called. They would know that they need to contact Digitalisation, so we have a mailing list for it, just like this particular school has a naming list with the schools name in case I needed to contact them.

That wouldn’t really be an issue when you have 50 employees in the same office. Aside from that, I think Microsoft actually ended up adding a standard feature to hide Teams mail-addresses from the outlook addressbook when we raised the issue with Seattle, we just needed the extra “Teams -“ to make it easier to maintain.

You can use a group naming policy to enforce your “Teams-“ prefix requirements [1]. Or you can use a custom domain policy so the email addresses are at “@teams.company.com” [2]


2. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/create-grou...

a simpler version of that workaround can be built with a powershell script (and hell, with a little bit of fiddling around, you can even use PowerApps as a front UI) in less than 2 days if not one morning.

Alternatively, I can create a new team or channel myself without oversight, standards, or any sort of best practice. That functionality is not locked down allowing freedom but the possibility of a wild west chat system.

This is IT specific, in fact, you actually have to run powershell scripts over an admin console in 0365 to prevent to creation of teams by anyone in the organization, doing so also prevents the creation of groups in outlook, and plans in planner, as they are all back ended to the same place.

> I end up setting up Slack channels

If you can do this without getting fired, what is the problem for you?

> "This means that if someone does @${channel_name} you will get an alert. MS have not implemented muting as a feature. Secondly, for all those automatic/admin channels, you can’t unsubscribe yourself (or at least not with the default policies). Brilliant, isn’t it? Unavoidable alerts that any idiot on any channel can annoy people with."

At my last job we figured out the fastest way to get your company off Teams: add the CEO to a chatty channel.

Reminds me of the NET SEND command in windows 2000-xp. Allowed sending a popup text message to specific (or all with a wildcard!) machines on a network.

Sure there were times where such a feature would be convenient ("server going down for maintenance, please save your work", etc), but overall ripe for abuse. They disabled it in a service pack and took it out altogether in subsequent versions.

Back in my senior year of high school during Spanish class I naively used NET SEND to send a message to one of my classmates. The only problem was that I failed to specify the user in the command and instead used *. This ended up sending a message to all computers in the school district.

I remember the computer administrator coming into the class saying “Are you aware one of your students is sending messages to the entire school district?” My heart sank.

I ended up getting in-school suspension. Considering this was my first ever “offense” in school, I felt like a badass going out with a bang.

A classmate did the same, although the outcome was far worse.

We studied at university in the medical faculty, which happened to be housed in the academic hospital. We found out the hard way that the network was not segregated, his netsend command crashed all the ICU terminals...

Just that the guy isn't to blame. That's like saying "By switching off the lights in the break room I shutdown the power in all the operation rooms"

Same, apart from the suspension. On my first computer science class. That was... not fun.

The professor classified me as the annoying kid, until I surpassed his expectations with the first programming excercises :P

I did the same in 8th or 9th grade, but on purpose and I sent a crap ton. The admin stormed in and yanked the laptop out of my hands and revoked my PC privileges for ~3 months. Fun.

I caused havoc in high-school with that. And finding a way of executing binaries inside Novell's Netware thing, via the "Open" dialog within any Office application's Visual Basic macro editor haha

Renaming executables to explorer.exe worked with the application whitelisting solution my school implemented.

That's how we ended up with 8-player age of empires 2 deathmatches after hours ;)

I created a directory with alt+255. It was an unprintable character and showed up last in any dir listing. At most it added an extra new line. That’s how I was one of the only students whose apps didn’t get caught during auditing.

That brings me back. All .exe were blocked.

However it turned out that you could rename them .bat or .cmd and they would execute just fine.

I think Doom 2 multiplayer was extra fun because of the added need to be aware not just of in-game enemies but also the need to be aware of the teacher and be ready to instantly quit at any moment.

Haha, me too :D

Wrote a batch script that used a wildcard - it took them a while to find it and I was very lucky the only 3 persons who knew who it was wouldn't tell anyone. One was a teacher and I am thankful until today that he didn't screw up my life with telling this.

Hah! I did this one at a call center job back in the day, not believing that their sysadmins would possibly leave it open.

I was wrong. I did something like "NET SEND lol" and it sent out a popup to every workstation on the network. Hundreds of them.

Good times.

Once students learnt the NET SEND command, the school was plagued with popups... IT security is an evolving thing I guess.

I had so much fun with that back in school. Our machines were running Win NT 4.0 and and the computers were labelled with a the network name. So I would check the names of the machines my friends were on, or the whole class if I was feeling bold and then create a batch file to send them hundreds of messages.

Back in 2002 or so, NET SEND was a vector for spammers to send messages over the internet as well.


There's a notifications setting in my version of Teams that allows you to turn on / off a notification when a new thread is started, per channel.

There is also the "Channel mentions" setting, allowing you to turn off @${channel_name} messages.

Our CEO gave up on slack long ago. Email is the best way to get their attention.

And to be honest Email is ok. Email is like writing a letter and it should be.

You write it, think about it send it.

In a chat you just type and send as you think and decoding that stuff in hindsight is more work.

I’d rather get one focused and well thought out mail than 20.messages of which a quarter shouldn’t even bother me.

There is no real reason why you couldn’t write Slack messages as well composed as an email. But nearly nobody does.

Slack and Teams are different. Slack has muting. Teams does not.

I'll note that we never actually acted on this plan. The idea came up when we were comparing the two. The designated Microsoft Guy at the office was pushing Teams, because it's free as in beer. However, the inability to mute or leave a channel was a big 'wtf' and I'm honestly shocked that two years later they still haven't fixed it. It was a show-stopper for us back then and still would be now.

Why wouldn't you just Hide a Team you aren't interested in? I've hidden most of the Teams in our organisation because they aren't relevant to me.

Teams has mute on channels

On individual channels it does, on an entire team it doesn't. You can mention a team itself (rather than a channel in that team) and there's no way to mute that afaik.

I guess not all CEOs know what muting a channel means.

For extra fun, block access to the telemetry endpoint and watch Teams' memory footprint bloat to crazy levels as the data accumulates and re-attempts the sending.

There's some fun inspecting this data, too..

I've been wondering why Teams has become completely unreliable when I use it at home. If what you're saying is true it could be my recent pi-hole installation. I'm gonna test this.

I don't use the windows partition on my laptop for this reason. Once Unity and my steam has Linux support, I never looked back. Only issue is Matlab sometimes.

Out of curiousity, what issue do you have with matlab under linux? I have found its linux version to be one of the most stable commercial/nonfree programs I have used under linux (ubuntu/centos).

Not OP but if I wouldn't rm ~/matlab_crash_dump* regularly it would be hundreds of them. Can't really pinpoint the problems, but most of the time it's graphics related. Possibly because it gets used remotely over VNC or X2Go, not sure. In comparison the windows version over RDP has like 0 problems, running pretty much the same code.

What are you using Matlab for? Ever try Octave, Scilab, or Julia?

A real Easter egg?

How would one do this? Just a simple DNS block?

I don't use Teams but would assume so. My Pi hole captures a lot of other Microsoft telemetry, including VS Code related (though that seems to handle it fine).

The Teams client is built on Electron? Why?

Developers need to stop building slow applications. This is ridiculous. It's 2019 and software is slower than it was in the 90s.

It must take an enormous number of CPU cycles to execute simple tasks in an Election-based app. It's just incredibly inefficient. I heard similar things about Slack – that it was built on Node, maybe Electron, and was dog slow, especially to open. It's frustrating that developers are bringing the slowness of the web to the desktop. Just build proper desktop applications using native desktop APIs.

It's built on Electron and still no native Linux client. There's a web version, but you can't join meetings or screenshare. There are 3rd party wrappers for the web version that enable meetings, but you still can't screenshare.

At the very least their web version needs to have parity with the desktop application. It's 2019, browsers can handle voice chat and screensharing!

>It's built on Electron and still no native Linux client

Remember this next time their PR team tries to pull another round of "Microsoft has totally changed you guys, we swear! The new Microsoft loves Linux"

Well, there is an unofficial 'snap' package for Linux that enables all features including screen sharing. I don't remember the name but it must be easy to find.

Edit: probably https://snapcraft.io/teams-for-linux

you can view in a screen share, but not send your screen.

Can Slack do screenshare via Chrome? I know you can see others screen, but can't share mine.

Wow, I’m pretty sure Hipchat is built on Electron and has had all these features for years! Microsoft must really be struggling

"Microsoft must really be struggling"

Not really. They are making more money than ever. They don't have customers asking for a Linux client in large enough numbers. That's all it is.

What’s Hipchat?

What information are you expecting that wouldn't be easier to find by googling Hipchat? I can't understand why anyone would ask this.

No one is asking ”What’s Microsoft?” though.

Yeah, Hipchat is EOL and Teams has a market. Now, I _hate_ Teams, but it is nonobvious that Hipchat has a better notion of what features are necessary to be successful.

It makes sense for Teams. The app is a chat client, sure, but it also contains the entirety of Office 365 and a third-party app platform. Chats can have tabs with Excel documents, wikis, polls, etc.

By leveraging browser technology they have a platform that is incredibly extensible. Building that from scratch across iOS, Android, Windows and macOS is not feasible. And the benefit of having people reach to the tools at hand and strengthen Office's position outweighs the performance penalty.

> Building that from scratch across iOS, Android, Windows and macOS is not feasible.

Building a few chat apps is not feasible for one of the largest software companies in the world ?

This misses the point. The parent isn’t talking about just building a few chat apps. They are talking about building a chat app which can have basically any ms office thing embedded inside it.

Not real office, web-based office. Why not make a native chat app that opens Office files in the real full-featured Office ?

Office is going the other direction and moving more of the "full-featured" Office components to React Native and sharing them with the web. Teams was built as a quick spike by the SharePoint team to prove they could slackingly build a chat client. It might not be a surprise if it moves to React Native in the future.

Office 365 could just as easily be opened in the browser, instead of slowing down the app for all users. I mean it's a chat app, how many users are going to need to edit a document inside the app?

Microsoft had something called OLE just for that kind of embedding, and it was already cross-platform, as part of Office.

This has been discussed many times here... of course running a Chrome instance is inefficient but in some cases that's acceptable. Especially for the gains in cross-platform compatibility and reliable user interfaces.

Almost no other platform can guarantee that a UI elements will look pretty much exactly the same on all different operating systems.

Most people don't mind the extra RAM consumption for some applications... as long as the app works!

Who cares if an application's UI elements look the same across platforms? I want it to work on the platform I am using. I simply do not care what it looks like on someone else's platform, and I especially do not want to pay a performance penalty so some designer can have a virtual feather in their cap over it.

I prefer native widgets to whatever application-enforced fad of the year is current.

Apps are lauded for providing "dark mode" now; when ten years ago I simply switched GTK themes.

To say nothing of accessibility.

We've gone way backwards in UX.

To be fair, dark GTK themes don't really work. I say this as someone who uses dark GTK themes. Far too many applications end up with dark text on a dark background, and Firefox applies your theme colors to websites so websites also end up with dark text on dark backgrounds. At least a dark mode created by the application's authors usually works.

This has been a problem since forever. Even on Windows 95 it was like that. Probably before that. Windows does have special values for system colors, like text, window background, text background etc. But for some reason, a lot of programs ended up setting the text color explicitly to black and leaving everything else at the system colors. So you better left the color scheme at default. Which is probably fine for the average user, but there were these high contrast schemes which were white on black. People who actually had to rely on this must have had a bad time. Just how these schemes also increased the font size. Doing that, or increasing the system's dpi setting guaranteed that all text in every application would be truncated.

Firefox is a special case of stupid as far as themeing. Fortunately it's possible to both make Firefox's ui dark with css and make Firefox use a light gtk theme for websites with an env variable which is the logical choice.

Absolutely. Developers can pick from many native-widget frameworks in pretty much any language, heck I bet there are even Qt bindings for node. But there are just so many people doing web development, it's probably a hiring/design issue in that hiring web developers and designers is just so much easier than hiring whatever people know the GUI framework that's driving much of the code.

There's also the fact that the UI tools for web development are mostly way easier to use than Gtk or Qt.

Even "simple" stuff like Tcl/Tk is not trivial to get working easily or well.

HTML + CSS + something like React is miles simpler than writing something for Gtk. Qt has QML now but the C++ Qt bindings are _pretty hard_! And after all that work you don't (by default) get an app that resizes as nicely as the HTML/CSS box model does!

I think that WxWidgets has one of the better usability stories for cross-platform native, though.

If someone wrote a good feeling UI library that generated native UIs and had good JS and Python bindings, so many people would be happy to use it, I think. But right now, despite all the shortcomings, web tech is pretty easy to prototype in.

This is an important point. Being easier to create means faster to market, faster to create new features, easier cross platform, more value for users in less time. Not all apps can be web based but for those that can be, faster dev time has become a competitive requirement.

have you tried using OneNote in dark mode, it actually feels dark, like you can't see anything

My opinion is that the OS should not be responsible for providing native elements to the application. If this is true then the application is tightly coupled to the OS implementing these components.

In a perfect world, every application would have minimal dependencies required by the OS, and completely encapsulate their runtime and UI components, making them very portable... which is basically web apps, hence Electron's popularity...

I like the application to be tightly coupled to the OS, because then my applications have a consistent UI. All of my GTK apps look great, because I can change the theme for all of them with a single command. With one script, I can switch my entire system from dark mode to light mode, and have all applications have the exact same color scheme - can't do that if every application has their own implementation of the UI components.

And different systems have different UI requirements, so I don't think it makes sense in many cases to have the same UI between them. iOS and Android, for example, have very different standards surrounding what buttons mean, and how the navigation should work. The back button on Android, for example, completely removes the need to a back button in the application, while in iOS it is still required. And of course if you are making an application that runs on both touch screen devices, and devices with keyboards, the UI should definitely not be the same.

And then we end up in GTK hell: https://stopthemingmy.app/

At least the web platform is open enough to do this and still function.

>The problem we’re facing is the expectation that apps can be arbitrarily restyled without manual work, which is and has always been an illusion.

Except for working pretty well on most apps

>However, if you change things like stylesheets and icons, you should be aware that you’re in unsupported territory. Any issues you encounter should be reported to the theme developer, not the app developer.

Themes are rarely problematic and it would take 10 seconds to check if one supposed it to be problematic.

They could perhaps work on solving actual problems.

That's really not a hard problem to solve though, as an application developer you can just have a default theme for your app, and have some checkbox somewhere letting the user use their OS theme instead of the app default.

Or you can just accept that whenever you let someone configure the UI in an advanced way, it is possible for them to make the UI more confusing. Just because it is possible for someone to mess up your app with a bad config, doesn't mean it is best to remove any kind of configuration at all.

Yes, there are benefits to having the OS supply the components; switching themes, familiar design and probably performance gains.

But, the trade off is simply unpredictability. The app is assuming that the OS has all the components it needs, at the correct version etc. Not all OS's have all components you think, which leads to unreliable user interfaces, which may work for small applications with only a few OS dependencies, but as the app grows the reliability decreases...

You're correct in saying the UI should not be the same on every platform (iOS, Android, Windows). But in my opinion the app should encapsulate it's UI and share as little as possible with the host OS.

All major OSes have better, faster, more flexible UI components. These were invented for native apps.

If a component is not available, it means it's not appropriate for that platform or not part of the UX guidelines.

That's why you build on top of a layer which ensures the OS has the required components. If you build on top of GTK, you know your application will run on any OS with that GTK version installed. Or if you build on top of Android, you know they will make sure that the button component still works on different versions of the OS.

That's the point of the OS, offering a standard runtime environment.

Your "perfect" world isn't. It leads to a fragmented landscape of competing runtimes and UIs, is inefficient and results in extra implementation effort.

The JS community can't even be trusted to be stewards of a left pad library, never mind UI environments.

Coupling is not bad in itself. Depends on what you want to achieve. There's likely always a trade-off.

This sounds like Java Swing.

> "Who cares if an application's UI elements look the same across platforms?"


End users simply want a functional, working product. Polish on top is a nice added bonus, but these days it's been turned into the focal point of software development. A Teams/Slack-caliber project begins with product requirements, immediately followed by design and UI mocks - the software/tech always comes last.

Designers are given too much leeway. They care about a consistent UI across platforms; fantastic -- no one else really does.

A computer program is a tool to convert data from one form to another. FULL STOP. Unnecessary added complexity, on top of that data transformation, is wasted effort, wasted time, wasted energy.

Software development has caused so many problems for itself because of things like this. People forget so quickly that programming is not the job! Solving the data transformation problem is the job. Effort spent that does not solve the problem is wasted effort, and we've made a fucking industry that churns out far more waste than product.

The problem comes when you design a UI and then someone else goes to use it and the font in the selects is a different size and ends up cut off. Also windows users regularly complain at me that the ui looks ugly but its just the windows default ui elements they find ugly

The problem with regard to RAM consumption is the tragedy of the commons. One electron app is okay, but once you're running up to ten or more of them, the resource usage gets out of hand.

I remember back in the early 2000's when everybody was complaining about Java. That it was “slow”, and “used a lot of memory”, and that its UI “is not native”.

Now it's all JS and Electron and every single complaint people used against Java is an order of magnitude worse and everybody seems to be happy about it.

Progress have definitely been going backwards.

I know this doesn't speak to your comment, and is also a bit of a rant, but I would clarify that "tabs" in this respect are not like "tabs" in your browser, where you can have multiple "things" open at the same time. As soon as you leave the teams tab, that application/file is closed.

So if you have an excel file open in teams (which can take up at least 10 seconds - which does speak to your comment!), and want to go back to a channel or chat, you're actually closing that file.

Granted you can open the Excel file not in teams, but this is just an example of how being locked in one window where the tabs aren't your open items, but rather possibly open items, is counter-productive.

That brings me to something else that I find strange, that with every new piece of Windows software over the last 10 years, it seems like Microsoft forgot that it's called "Windows" for a reason. The big deal about Windows was having multiple WINDOWS. And every time you take that away, you stray further from productivity. Don't even get me started on multi-monitor support over the years! /rant

You can make an efficient Electron app, just look at VS Code.

Based on empirical evidence, it seems that humanity can make just one sort of efficient Electron app, and that slot's already filled by VS Code.

My VS code was using 10 GB of RAM today... It's better than other electron apps, but I would argue still not efficient

Did you open a 10GB file in it? Mine is using 200MB right now with a PHP project open in it.

Is that project 200MB of PHP? Because 200MB of RAM seems obese at best for a text editor.

I agree with you. However I don’t think it’s fair to call VSCode just a text editor. It’s not quite an IDE, but it’s a weird middle ground.

The nearest IDE I can think of is kdevelop or jetbrains. kdevelop is disturbingly light, but jetbrains consumes considerably more resources than VSCode. (And for good reason. They tend to do more)

Clearly whatever people at MS made Teams do not talk to the people who made VS Code

I'm not a fan of electron, but it's possible to build fast apps with it. Teams who build slow apps with electron will likely build slow native apps as well. Slow software is usually not the tech stack, it's the team.

I don't think it's impossible to make efficient electron apps. Vscode and discord, for example, tend to be reasonable in my experience. I think it's just that the time saved by not having to maintain cross platform software isn't being reinvested into performance/memory optimisation.

Moreover the ease of developing electron apps has opened the desktop ecosystem to web developers who more often tend to have bad habits because of how forgiving most web dev is.

This is the one criticism that I actually agree with. Electron apps are pretty painful.

If they are going to keep doing this they need a way to compile the things to native binaries. I don't know...something.

I personally get really kind of weirded out when I see simple software load Node. Adobe, I'm looking at you.

I'm really hoping that the cross platform dotnet stuff becomes a viable option now that the XAML stack has been open sourced.

It's a Slack clone. Slack is built on Electron so Teams must be.

I have a Karaoke project that runs in electron on a raspberry pi. Electron is not inherently slow. It runs on the Chrome V8 engine, which is blazingly fast.

Have you seen that picture with UI latency for code editors? I can't find the article but it is ridiculous that we have laggy software that uses insane amount of memory and CPU time. If we are serious about easing on the climate change we should start with bloatware that is the majority of the software industry nowadays.

For one, nobody wants to use C++

It's a shared code base with the web application.

I don't know. A lot of these issues (and I must admit I totally lost interest at the point I got to the complaints about message threading, although I did skim to the end[1]) are really personal preference. Take message threading as an example: we use it all the time and it works well. I actually prefer it to Slack threads.

My main beefs with Teams are:

- Performance: it's just far too damn slow to switch views.

- Awkward to switch back to a channel or another chat whilst on a Teams call.

- Connectivity: it's better than it was at handling disconnection and reconnection but, overall, it's still a ####ing moron and a timesink - you're still forced to restart on occasion (which takes too damn long).

One thing I do like: when our company switched from Slack to Teams[2] what I very quickly noticed, and what has persisted over the last year(ish) that we've been using it, is the much higher SNR. Maybe it's that Teams isn't so fun to use but, whatever the reason, there's just way less distracting guff being posted and, perhaps to my surprise, it turns out I'm quite happy with that.

Slack gives the appearance of productivity and collaboration without any of its substance. Teams, well, it's still an IM system and therefore always going to be subject to some level of wrath from me, but for the most part it feels like it does what it does well enough and doesn't try to be the centre of attention quite as much.

[1] Where I was mildly irked to read, "Microsoft Teams is the solution that nobody asked for the problem that nobody had," in the conclusion. I mean, really, if you're going to say that you ought to be honest enough to acknowledge that you could say the same about any current gen IM app. I certainly never asked for software that would make it even easier for people to keep disturbing me when I'm in the middle of something else, and I know more than a few people who feel similarly.

[2] Teams came with O365 and losing history with Slack was becoming a problem, but not one that felt like it was worth paying what Slack charge to solve: we felt like there were better ways to use that money, and overall - and after initial reticence - I'm happy with that decision.

That's a good point about switching between different companies "teams". That takes forever.

And why does it have that crazy "you're offline sorry" thing. That's the whole point of having a local client installation.

All in all, I've never worked anywhere that used Slack or Teams "well"...so I'm not sure why either of them engender so much rage or love.

I just wonder why I have to have Teams and Outlook? Why not meld the two and get rid of Outlook finally. For that matter, why not have a tab in Teams with the web version of Outlook?

Yeah I weirdly agree with this comment the most i started facing a customer has been on teams since it came out I have been using for about 8 weeks after years of slack and I would say switching performance is my biggest beef. I don’t know why general performance wasn’t more of a discussion in this post since most of the big complaints are really tied to how your space is setup.

At my work, we use Teams a fair bit, and I'll go out on the limb to defend it (a limb I'm quite familiar with at this point ;) ). Thinking of it as a Slack alternative is, IMO, the wrong starting point. We barely use it for chat (as we have Slack as well). Instead, we use it as a file share and central information home. Each group within a team has a channel and we use the tabs to track meeting notes, embed external calendars, and more.

And importantly, we use it for file sharing. Each channel is a root point for a team-specific folder. This is helpful because storing common docs there means they are perpetually available to collaborators, as opposed to OneDrive storage, which in my experience has been very hit or miss (sahre links expiring, etc. ). People can trust that team content is there.

There are downsides. It took me a few months to find my 'optimal' usage pattern, I can't have channel-specific sharing, and it takes me a while to explain the above to people on the team. It is far from perfect, but it is better than sharing a bunch of files in email threads or maintaining unofficial google docs in a Microsoft world.

So essentially Microsoft's chat app is not good at chat, but you use it for file-sharing instead because Microsoft's file-sharing app is not good at file-sharing?

It's okay at chat, but the big deal is that it's Microsoft's best client for SharePoint. It finally makes a lot of SharePoint features make sense and puts them in a way that is easy to use without paying a consultant design firm an arm and a leg on customizing the widgets on team SharePoint portals in such a way that mere mortals can find the important stuff like the team's document libraries, Wiki, or OneNote Notebook.

(It really is amazing how much Teams has lit up "we have the ability to do that now" for SharePoint features that have existed almost forever. I was particularly amused when someone asked me why so many Teams features have SharePoint URLs when SharePoint didn't support them and then showing them the three or four step process to do it on SharePoint that has been there all along.)

It's good at chat. It's not good at persistent chat rooms.

It's great for ad hoc groups of people to chat or for direct chat. It's also great for meetings. Where it gets cumbersome is in the persistent chat room management.

And as someone who is not a fan of chat rooms as a replacement for emails (I can't even filter or categorize information) I'm glad about that part.

Email is great and all, but not for regular topical discussions that may interest dynamic groups of people. A persistent, shared and searchable history and threading enables more effective discussion on a larger scale than practical with email.

Fair enough. Teams sucks for the case where you have a limited topic that you want adynamically changing user list to be able to access for an extended period of time.

I’ll take that in return for it not trying to replace email, which, at the very least has folders, and rules, and starring (nearly every implementation has some version of this), multiple clients, the ability to access from non GUI clients, etc.

I really don’t understand at what point we decided that email sucked and really what we needed was a proprietary solution that are up a ton of RAM and hardly had any ability to customise or optimize in ways thateven non technical people have successfully managed wth email.

For all the non email like features, I.e. instant chatting with an individual, or a group of people, Teams works great.

> we use it for file sharing

File sharing: apparently still a problem almost four _decades_ after the Internet was invented.

sharing information while controlling who gets to see it, who does not, making sure it is timely, making sure it is gone when it is no longer timely, and making sure all of these things continue to be the case is still a problem more than six _centuries_ after the invention of the printing press.

Heck, it's still a problem with direct connections. Take the average Windows PC. Take the average Android phone. Take a USB cable. Plug them in together. Now copy a few thousand MP3s from the PC to the phone using nothing but stock Explorer and watch the transfer rate drop to about 1/1000th of what the wired connection should be capable of, because Microsoft made sure to assign their most inept, incapable, dumbest employees when they designed MTP.

Well, the Internet everyone uses isn't really designed for it. HTTP is a request/response model. But the model of filesharing is that I have a bunch of data and I want to send it to you, not that I have a bunch of data and I want you to ask me for it.

File sharing over the internet means setting up a webserver, after which it works beautifully. But nobody wants to do that. They want to use browsers.

TCP isn't asymmetric in the same way, but who's out there thinking of raw TCP as "the Internet"?

It's a shame Torrenting gets such a bad rap. If I want to share a large file with somebody who knows what they are doing, I encrypt it, create a torrent, send them the magnet URL and then they can download it and decrypt it. No web server needed.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time, people have no idea what you are on about, or even if they do, they are behind a corporate firewall with torrenting blocked/on a work machine and can't install a client.

Doesn’t it just create SharePoint sites for each team on the backend and store the files in SharePoint?

Even on 1:1 chat sharing a file just uploads it to OneDrive and uses OneDrive links.

That’s why it’s a big electron app, it stitches together all of these disparate O365 components. It exists to empower the bureaucracy in a company to stop any migration away from their platform.

Users are pretty meh about it, but legal and compliance are big fans, because their process stays the same.

Yes, each Team sits on top of an Office 365 Group so comes with all of the stuff that you get with an 0365 Group (SP Site, Planner etc.).

NB All Teams have 0365 Groups but not all 0365 Groups have a Team.

Yes, Teams is a SharePoint client from the SharePoint team. Arguably the best SharePoint client ever from the SharePoint team. (The chat storage even gets stored in the SharePoint backend and you can add Teams chat as widgets on a SharePoint frontend.)


That is what everyone I know uses it for too. It is almost like git, in how every sub team has their own private branch.

Honestly, any important discussion that gets too chatty for teams, should be a meeting.

That being said, everyone in my team generally sits on the same floor, so collaborating physically isn't an issue. I am sure a few of teams's shortcomings will become more evident once we start collaborating with remote teams.

We currently use Teams and everyone on the team absolutely hates it. I am actively looking at alternatives such as mattermost or slack to get us onto something that doesn't run like complete garbage.

Also, why did this have to be developed using electron? If Teams were a native application, or even written using something on the .NET-side, we would probably have about 20% the complaints we do today. Watching an application that is more-or-less responsible for managing basic text and image data on a continuously-paginated basis occupy nearly a gigabyte of memory is simply intolerable.

Teams makes me want to write a clone just to prove how much better it could be. That is how bad Teams is. It makes me want to spend an entire month's worth of weekends writing a native clone that no one will ever use.

There are already a bunch of native Teams/Slack/etc.-like applications. Matrix has a good number of native clients[1]. There's Ripcord[2] which supports both Slack and Discord. There's Matterhorn[3] for Mattermost.

[1] https://matrix.org/clients/

[2] https://cancel.fm/ripcord/

[3] https://github.com/matterhorn-chat/matterhorn

What I want, is something that ISN'T a poor copy of Slack. We've lost the rich landscape of differing chat/collaboration clients, and now just have a mono-culture of Slack-Clones.

That isn't true at all - Matrix has a rich and growing ecosystem of chat clients. For Slack clones, you're well stocked, but the links given to you by the parent shows there is much more out there.

> Matrix has a rich and growing ecosystem of chat clients.

Including ones that work on iOS and Android WITH Notifications? Not having that feature has been a blocker for me so far.

RIP HipChat, last top tier native work chat program. We were paying customers for HipChat and were forced off when Atlassian killed it. Replaced by stride/slack/discord/teams all built on electron and all with awful non-native UI and web app like performance.

I know why they do it: electron is cheap and easy to spam on every platform. I don't know why: people pay for this crap.

Perhaps the issue is that people don't pay for it? Teams is free, bundled with other MS stuff that people are buying anyways. Discord is free. Slack is mostly free (until you are already stuck with it).

I’m curious what was so great about it: when we did the comparison even the Atlassian maintainers picked Slack.

It was a focused product. Native apps, high performance, no funny business. Yes, it lacked some features that the newer stuff had, but it did the team chat part really well and got out of your way.

Deploying web apps lets you iterate faster, stuff features in faster without ending up with different capabilities across the group of apps. Sometimes the ability to add features too easily is abused to add too many features without thinking through them.

When it was up. The frequent outages on HipChat circa 2014 or so got to be unbearable, and we switched to Slack at that point, and were much happier.

Apparently it was great simply because it was a native app. Who knew that was the top criteria for a work chat app.

I've found every instance of Mattermost that I've encountered to be poorly executed, notifications to be hit-or-miss, loading slow, access unstable and recent conversations to fall off my list unpredictably.

What do your coworkers hate about Teams? I've honestly found it to be an acceptable chat platform and I've gotta say I appreciate the cross-coordination with Outlook.

It makes me want to spend an entire month's worth of weekends writing a native clone that no one will ever use.

If you ever do, I'd suggest doing the same with Slack might get far more attention, given that it has a publicly documented API as well as a few thirdparty clients already.

Also, why did this have to be developed using electron?

Probably because Web/JS developers are far more common and cheaper than native ones? Otherwise, even MS itself is saying "Win32 is the future":


ripcord is exactly that


Not QuiTe --- that's a step up from a web app in a browser, but not "true" native (i.e. pure Win32 on Windows.)

I'm convinced the community with never reach majority consensus on a solution.

Maybe people just suck at communicating?

Check out Twist. It's great.

It's interesting that Teams is often compared to email or chat. It's much more akin to a forum or bulletin board system. I've found this to be a pretty powerful thing to have at work. However, it does happen to fit my work groups use case very well. We work on lots of short term projects. Each of these we spin up a "team" for. These are 3D projects that require a lot of media sharing from a cross disciplinary which works fairly well in Teams. It's been a pretty happy addition over Outlook (barf) and Skype for Business aka Lync.

Full disclosure, I work at MS. And I have never used Slack though would be glad to try it.

> It's been a pretty happy addition over Outlook (barf) and Skype for Business aka Lync.

Damning with incredibly faint praise, there.

Do folks on your team understand how poor your product is for users?

They said they work at MS, not that they work on Teams.

My team were using HipChat and had to find an alternative when they sold off to Slack. They actually offered a really good discount to move over. But as the company already recently moved to O365 and Teams is free within that, I thought I'd give it a try. My team hated it, I tolerated it. Until one day I'd just had enough of the UX that Teams brings. The biggest issue was the threading; it truly beggars belief. We ended up using multi user IM messages instead of channels. Moving (and paying) for Slack was the best decision I made.

That being said, the Teams UX will slowly and steadily improve. It will be interesting to see where we are in a few years. I hope to see both Teams and Slack support SIP, they surely must already be working on it.

> That being said, the Teams UX will slowly and steadily improve.

That's not the Microsoft way. It'll accumulate features without ever deprecating bad features, not fundamentally improve. Look at Outlook. That terrible threading has its roots there. There'll be _someone_ out there who loves it, so it'll never go away.

They've changed. Now they routinely redesign stuff. Add stuff that no one wants and cripple or remove those they want. And then make it slower.

Outlook web is a perfect example. It's 10x slower since the last redesign and their exclusive killer feature - SWEEP no longer works for me.

Have you sent feedback?

Having lived through Windows phone's saga, Windows 8, 8.1, 10 and the first set of outlook.com redesigns, I know one this - their feedback tool is a placebo button, a self therapy session to get stuff off one's chest.

Microsoft doesn't listen to feedback through their official channels. They might step back temporarily when there's overwhelming negative outcry from the news but they'll definitely attempt it again after a while.

> That being said, the Teams UX will slowly and steadily improve

You think that they people who brought us "The Word Ribbon" and Metro UI are going to make things better?

That's not how M$FT rolls. Their customer base is deathly allergic to change. They lose their minds if things change perceptibly from what they looked like when they bought the system.

I don't know. The word ribbon was miserable to begin with but it has reached a point, thanks to a bunch of UI improvements, where it's far preferable to the classic menu for many people (at least the majority of people I've met).

The word ribbon is definitely an example to follow.

Metro isn't, because , wtf. They can't make up their mind.

The Office Ribbon is ESPECIALLY useful on OS X where there's a menu system as well with the builtin Help -> search in menus box. With that, one doesn't ever need to even look at that abomination of a ribbon.

I'm an admin of both Slack and Teams. Almost all of this is due to how his org configured Teams. While there's some valid complaints, a lot of this comes down to IT not understanding the needs of their users or simply not caring about the needs of their users because of some stupid opaque management decisions. You can mute chats same as on Slack. You can be forced to autojoin same as in Slack. I have regular meetings with customers in Teams. While Slack is absolutely still better at what it does most of his horrible experience comes down to crappy settings by his IT. The mobile device integration is truly abysmal though. Hoping in apps requires you to install those apps as well to do simple things like project management. The whole point of hooking in an app is to not have to go directly to said app. We haven't had a problem with notifications either. Most of what's possible in locking down Teams is possible to do it Slack it's just not default.

Interestingly we do not have issues like this within our company. Recently switched from emails to Ms team and have never used slack. We are pretty happy with ms team with for few reasons: screen share, seems video or audio call, great support on desktop and mobile app, connection with everything Microsoft like word, excel, onenote etc. we are greatly enjoying it.

How big is your company? Have you tried the search 'feature'?

I just want to know who thought it was a good idea to return results with zero context around them and no way to jump to that point in a conversation. Right now the best you can do is search to find a date, then scroll up until you hit that date (which takes forever, since it lazy loads the convo one "screen" at a time)

Oh yes, so much agree - almost completely pointless to search for something in a chat and only see the one line that contains the search terms, none of the context chat around it - dumb dumb dumb.

I’d say about 200 people IT team. Our company culture is not very tightly interested with each other so may be there is less chatter around the company channels. At this point its email tool in chat format. I personally love it.

Have you tried any other chat system?

I could add so much to this, and in fact, recently closed a text file enumerating issues I had with Teams because I felt it wasn't a good use of my time, since I felt like I was the only one having problems with it.

A few more points, in case anybody in the Teams team is reading:

1. Implement filters. Filters for teams, filters for channels, filters for search results. I can't filter my Files by file type, so it's a mishmash of Word documents, OneNotes, Excel, Microsoft Project files, and PDFs. I can't even filter by channel, or search within a specific channel.

2. Search results: Implement filters, as above, but add the ability to sort by anything other than Date Modified. Unless I know a good portion of the document name or it's been modified recently, I'm forced to scroll through the list.

3. Skype integration: We already use Skype for Business. Why is Teams also reporting my missed Skype calls in addition to Outlook and Skype telling me the same?

4. Meetings: Is Outlook transitioning to an email-only client, or are we just going to have all functionality replicated across Teams/Skype/Outlook?

5. T-Bot: I've got this entity in my Chat sidebar; I guess it's the Teams version of Slackbot? Anyway, it sits there saying "What can I help you with today?" Slackbot gives me an example question to begin interacting with it, but T-Bot has the entry window greyed out with the text "Sending new messages to this bot has been disabled." It's not clear whether that's a Teams thing, or something my org did, but why is it even there if I can't interact with it?

While we're on Chat, there's a bunch of people listed in here that I sent a couple one-off emails to. I talk to more people than this; where are those? Why aren't they pulled from my Skype calls?

6. Calls: I see some contacts from one of my Skype groups, but it's also got contacts who a) I've already removed from that list, and b) don't even work at this company anymore. They're still crowding out the people I actually interact with regularly.

7. API integrations: I'm not even sure where to begin. Teams uses the Microsoft Graph API, which requires use of the Azure portal, and if you're already familiar with all that it might work for you. For the rest of us just trying to write a simple Python script integration (a la Slack webhook), it's a bit much.

I'm sure I could think of more, but this non-blog-post is already long enough.

#3 Skype is discontinued and Teams is the replacement. That's likely why.

Also, #4 is because of #3. The weird Meetings tab in Teams is a better version of a Skype for Business tab that almost no one used directly (also called Meetings and using the exact same icon), and having that tab in Teams now is directly a part of the Skype for Business migration.

That is truly unfortunate. Skype isn't great, but it's specialized and far better than Teams.

T-Bot = Clippy v4

#5: That's an organization decision to disable the T-Bot. Though why they disabled chatting with it and also disabled removing it from your Chat list (which is also something that orgs have power over) is a fascinating question of organization settings micromanagement.

#7: Teams support incoming and outgoing webhooks, very similarly to Slack, but as with so many other things, access to them can be enabled/disabled by organization settings.

An old employer of mine used Teams and my biggest problem was just sending messages to other people. For example, when typing in a chat message you can accentuate (bold, italic, etc.) certain pieces of text. However, if you go back and edit that text it removes the style and you have to really work to get it back. I can't remember exactly, but most of the time I would delete all the text and re-type it.

Microsoft ruins Skype, then tries making their own communication tool. Ugh.

What is it again that Microsoft is getting such accolades for? Visual Studio Code is fantastic. Github is great, but they bought that. Office 365? OneDrive? I'll give you those. Hosted Exchange is a thorn in my side. Internet Explorer and Edge are (were?) both a joke.

I don't have any experience with Azure. Xbox is great. Their server products have been fine since Windows 2000. Windows 10 is a joke. The Surface line isn't anything special.

In my experience, Windows 10 is a decent OS under the hood (eg, working with SMB network shares is much more robust compared to Mac), but the GUI completely ruins the experience. Win 10 is filled with annoyances like using no less than five different visual styles for right-click context menus. Not to mention Settings app that uses the same font and color for text and clickable links: there's no way to tell buttons apart from static text.

The whole GUI feels like something very poorly thought-out and cobbled together in a hurry by students for their first major school project, and unfortunately it stains the whole OS.

I was setting up Outlook on a new Windows 10 laptop, and copied the .pst files over.

When I opened Outlook to navigate to the open file dialog to add the .pst file, the bottom of the dialog asked what I want to save the file as...

The Surface line isn't anything special.

They are hands down the best not-Apple laptops I've used since IBM stopped making Thinkpads.

The surface laptops are especially special.

Their design aesthetic is clearly unique, and their products are well distinguished from each other.

No one else is 3:2 aspect ratios, processing in the screen section of the laptop, the hinge or fabric cover. (which has been shown to not be as fragile as people initially thought)

I am very hyped for the 3nd gen surface laptop and the 2nd gen surface go.

> What is it again that Microsoft is getting such accolades for? Visual Studio Code is fantastic.

Visual Studio is great.

For what? Legacy desktop developing?

We used Visual Studio daily. Everyone I speak to wants to switch to VS Code because we're tired of the laggy mess that is Visual Studio 2019. Even with no addons it stutters and micro-freezes all day long with medium-large solutions.

Somehow VS Code, an electron app(!), feels snappier than VS a native app. We're just waiting for feature party (and nothing special, just managing project files/solution files without editing the XML manually, better publishing, and similar C# debugging).

VS is no longer a pure native app, it has a ton of .NET in it. In theory that should be as fast as native, in practice... you've seen it yourself.

Nothing on Windows comes close to C++ for UI speed (or any other kind of speed).

> Microsoft ruins Skype, then tries making their own communication tool.

Even some rumors MS is in the market to buy Zoom.

To be honest, that sounds like the perfect fit. It already feels much like a MS program.

They definitely missed that boat. Zoom is way too expensive after their IPO.

A large chunk of the world runs on Excel. The Office desktop suite is literally what has kept Microsoft alive and thriving as a company.

> Edge are (were?) both a joke

Edge is one of the best E-pub readers ever, in any platform.

That's the only thing I use it for, but it beats Internet Explorer, that just wastes disk space, never being used.

> Internet Explorer and Edge are (were?) both a joke.

Chromium-based Edge (not pre-installed on Windows) is great.

At my org, you'd never know that slack has muting as an option. @here in a nontrivial channel gets you public humiliation, every possible "loud" reaction thrown at you (to the point of hitting the slack limit on reactions) and people publicly scolding you that you just notified 500 people in 12 different time zones.

Just mute it would be a valid option if slack allowed whitelisting @here/@channel, rather than blacklist

Our slack instance has the opposite, a bot that explains how to mute in many "public" channels upon a here.

As is I need to remember to do the same every time I join or get added to a channel or some inconsiderate person on the other side of the world will @channel at a dumb time.

I can relate to this. We have a few thousand people in our general channel. The channel description is:

Please do not use @ here in this channel. (You can mute this channel).

We used to have that, then there was a backlash and we're now far more tolerant. I'm not sure what the right balance is between not disturbing people and calling out folk (new joiners in particular) in from of the whole company.

Workspace owners in Slack can set permissions on who can @here or @channel in a channel.

Main issue killing me with Teams is that the desktop client can't be joined to two servers (at least, last time I checked). As a contractor, I have a Teams at my company and a Teams at my client, and I had to pick one, which is terrible.

There's a drop-down element in the top-right that lets you switch, but it's nothing as easy as Slack.

The drop-down lets me sign in and out of my one account, but I don't see a way to sign into another one. Similarly, there's a "Manage Teams" button I found, but you can't use it to add a team from another account/server there.

i think i'm joined to two now - had to be invited to second one

I like Teams.

I picked it up really quickly. My team picked it up really quickly. The rest of the company started asking me for it, which was my plan. I like the Sharepoint integration, the Outlook meetings integration, the Planner integration. I like that it works with my mac users. Yes it could be a tad quicker...

If you are getting too many messages it is your organisation that is broken, not your IM app.

Most of the other complaints in this article are to do with the set up, which the writer mentions in some cases but not others. As a manager I am very happy that I can control who is added outside of the organisation, for instance.

I can believe they’re overtaking slack because they make Teams an aggressive default install with the Office 365 client, and it’s replacing Skype for Business.

That's correct. The company where I am currently working at was using Slack but recently decided to stop paying for Slack and instead use Teams since they were already paying for a subscription to Office 365 for each employee.

I hate it. My colleagues hate it. The UI is terrible. Most of the time navigating between the channels is a pain and the UI is just horrendous.

I think the funniest thing that was released lately was the 6 emojis that you can use on a message(thumbs up, love heart ...).

The emojis are of bad quality and look like crap.

Anyway, you can't pay me enough to use this stuff and as the author said in this article, if and when I change jobs I will be making sure that the team I start on will not use this sorry excuse of bloatware.

>The emojis are of bad quality and look like crap.

Maybe an oversite on my part, but I didn't even consider this as I was evaluating an enterprise productivity app...

I think people underestimate the value in making intra office communication an enjoyable experience.

The emojis look like they came straight out of the early 2000s. It's about as bad as if the had picked Comic Sans as being the default font.

An ugly and unpleasant working environment can affect your productivity.

If “the emojis are of bad quality” is what constitutes an ugly and unpleasant working environment in 2019, I’d say the future is looking bright indeed.

Please educate us on your compliance requirements that allows you to 'throw the baby out with the bath water'

We use teams at work. Most people i know cant stand it. Its chatoix UI. 10 tabs on each «teams». Ive deleted the app. Whenever someone tags me i just open their browser app, reply and close. Even having the tab open sometimes causes cpu and memory spike and my laptop fans starts wirring. If they kill skype/lync for teams, MS is making a huge mistake. Lync and Outlook are the most distraction free softwares we use.

Skype for Business (Lync) was discontinued in July, and support will stop July 31, 2021.

Hold up, what? I was using it until last week (I'm no longer with that company), and it was the semi-de-facto IM solution, because the entire team isn't on Slack, and worked well enough to serve our needs- the person we want to talk to is at another location right then (we moved around a lot) and we needed to talk to them.

Discontinuation is news to me.

yeah thats not quite right: Microsoft announced that Skype for Business online will retire on July 31, 2021.

They still sell the product, and the hybrid/on premises solution is going to be around for a while. MS Teams will replace the "Online" only. There is no "on Premises" solution for Teams so S4B will be around a while I think.

Lync itself is decent from a UX standpoint. But holy fucking batman, the backend for Lync is an absolute nightmare to setup and maintain. I wouldn't blame Microsoft for wanting to get rid of Lync just to be rid of it.

what? are you serious?

Lync and Skype for Business UX is an abomination. I rage every day any time I have to use it, and I've been using it for about 10 years.

Its the worse UX in any app I've ever had, I find GIMP easier to navigate than S4B.

That is a bit odd I have never seen teams spike my laptop and I have outlook and excel and an ubuntu vm plus a load of other stuff running

It is not in fact installed with every Office 365 install. I just had Teams pushed with a separate group policy because of this.

They will overtake Slack easily since it is a free addition to most 365 plans

Newer Office 365 client builds are installing it by default. Worse, they didn't move away from the per-user installation. Instead they just took the brain-damaged route of force-installing it inside each user's profile when they logon. I think that's a real dick move, but, then again, I sometimes think I'm the last admin in the world who gives a damn about efficiency.

Again it depends. I downloaded an installer only yesterday that did not have it, even when it was part of the subscription. It is also not being pushed as an office update to my users yet. But then again I haven't checked if that is because WSUS is holding it back

If you take a blank W10 machine and do a 365 fat client install on it you get the ‘Teams machine wide installer’ installed on it, which then hooks the teams installer in on a per login basis. Your workplace must have endpoint management in place that somehow prevents this.

I had the fun experience recently of having to rename a bunch of files that happened to have a # in the filename, since that character is forbidden in filenames that are uploaded into teams.

Additionally, you can't seem to attach a .json file... though renaming it to .json.txt works. It's frustrating for sure.

Thankfully they finally fixed some issues recently so I can copy chats out of Teams without running into too many problems.

The most frustrating and immediate drawback is the low information density. It's gotten slightly better, but I can still see only about 20% of the information in a chat that I can with Slack.

Also the automatic conversion of things like ;) to animated emoji... please give me an option to turn this off. You have to ctrl+z afterwards to just use the text.

Additionally, you can't seem to attach a .json file... though renaming it to .json.txt works. It's frustrating for sure.

Ran into something very similar during my (very) short stint doing Sharepoint development. I'm guessing it's some sort of limitation burried deep in some default MS code somewhere.

One of the comments above says Teams sets up a Sharepoint site for each team to upload files, so it's probably the same limitation.

We can't have people trying to collaborate on programming. That's hacker stuff that doesn't belong on the corp network.

Teams does suck, but man... it's marginally better than Skype for Business. Skype for Business was so bad, you could send a message on your phone and you'd never see it on your desktop, and vise versa. Or you'd get bombarded with notifications on your phone while you were typing on your desktop. Microsoft would point to your local IT team's setup causing caching issues or what have you... and notifications were never in real-time, calls were impossible and would constantly drop people, and heaven help you if you ever changed your password; you'd sign in again only to find all of your messages had been erased and wouldn't ever re-download from the server. It was such a productivity loss for everyone and I'm guessing the only people who ever had a complete and sequential chat history of my chats were probably NSA employees who couldn't care less.

It's absurd that Microsoft didn't just buy Slack when they had the chance. Building this in-house has forced a lot of people to use some really shitty software.


What happened to Yammer?

Still around, just on the back burner

The worst thing about Teams for me is the god-awful file managing solution. Everything shared actually goes in to the SharePoint backend, but changes made in Teams don't always carry over to SharePoint and vice versa.

In addition, moving folders and files is such a broken and unintuitive pain, there's no way to do it inside Teams, you have to go to SharePoint in your browser.

I'm sure everyone who has had the displeasure of using it agrees with me.

I think it's pretty, but it's also very, very, very notification-happy. My icon in my taskbar is almost constantly flashing with stuff I don't need to read, from teams I'm only remotely involved with. I just figured out I could turn the banners off last week, but still overall it's a very....loud application. Wish I could write some kind of filtering rules.

The cynic in me says that’s how they got those “more than 13 million daily active users”, and there may be some truth in that. If your KPI is “daily active users”, and that’s measured by keys pressed and mouse clicks, getting everybody to click a few times is a win (for you)

My company rolled out teams but then did it in such a way or only the designated administrators can create channels... if you're not a designated administrator you can only do multi-party dm to dm chat.

The effect was probably half intended which is to say only the various corp administrators actually used teams, the rest of us just ignore teams save for their randomly blasted 'app is being updated guys!...guys?' and continue to use our half-baked email threads or GroupMe groups or other shadow IT solutions because the Enterprise solution is so painful / pseudo insulting.

Conversations.im / chatsecure / gajim all with an ejabberd server and omemo style encryption works a treat. GroupMe for group chats from legacy groups from before the xmpp days which we plan to migrate to xmpp and yeah we have no need of teams.

How is it that businesses get sold on these poor groupware solutions when they can:

a. self-host open-source Zulip (or Matrix/Riot, which is not that good compared to plain old The Lounge IRC) totally free

b. pay for hosted software that’s open-source so their information isn’t hostaged when they decide their solution is crap?

I see these kinds of poor choices made all the time. People usually don’t want to do the research or a salesman walks into the office and they get sold a contract.

It really bugs me because I think: these people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars for taking other smart people on a ride. Is making hundreds of thousands of dollars orthogonal to big picture thinking?

Is there a position where someone hires me to walk into their office and save them thousands of dollars on unnecessary SaaS contracts? I’d do that job with glee.

> self host ... totally free

Self hosting stuff is work for someone, and either needs hardware or rented VMs - it's the opposite of "totally free". This is why this happens.

> b. pay for hosted software that’s open-source

Not to mention the engineering hours spent managing it.

My experience with these things on AWS is that they are pretty much set up and forget.

Have you ever worked in Corporate America? Many times the decision to use something like Teams is made in an office across the country. And usually, its made with the vendor's sales team involved. This happens in government too, all the time.

You get an edict to use the software and the fun begins. I love the idea of including the CEO... have to remember that.

On the one hand, sales people dazzle managers, and the lowly tech workers are not asked for their input (or it's not valued).

On the other hand, software/service contracts allow you to dodge various responsibilities and blame other people.

I have used Zulip. It was fine in an environment where it was used to communicate among coders with a pretty rigorously defined and well-tooled workflow where integration with JIRA and github are important. In this environment it doesn't matter that less geeky users will find it less friendly than Slack, and coders are always using PCs or Macs and don't care that the Zulip mobile clients are ugly.

I'm using Teams now with a small startup team. It's fine for that purpose. There aren't enough of us to annoy one another.

Slack sucks in some ways. But maybe it sucks less. Most of my clients use Slack and are happy enough with it.

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