I've been using Teams for years, and though I had an issue on a call with one guy the other day, otherwise I'm in at least one meeting with ~5+ folk daily and it works consistently.
Teams still can't keep up with my 720p webcam without the preview dropping to 15fps and lagging so badly that I get distracted by the delay between my motions and the movement of my preview in the corner.
In 2020, six months into a pandemic where everyone is working from home and Microsoft's highest priority ought to be on their video conferencing collaboration tool -- but clearly isn't -- is fucking nuts.
Oh, and speaking of the audio, Teams really ought to get decent noise removal, echo cancellation, and/or automatic muting.
This covers any/all products and is black magic:
As for quality of meetings, just some counter anecdata...
We moved a many thousand person enterprise across dozens of offices into Teams. The business in question is a meetingful culture, all day every day, and for the most part do not experience the issues you describe.
The issues we do see tend to be (a) echo cancellation from participants who connect from a device and a telephone simultaneously and leave audio turned on on both, (b) consistently the same humans from the same locations, who have similar quality problems on Zoom or WebEx, suggesting what the common element may be.
They don't target users, they target the people making purchases. A feature goes in the marketing materials. Usability does not. "A full replacement for Slack!" works well because the guy making the decision doesn't use Slack or Teams and probably doesn't even know what they do.
Back when the world started falling apart, my university took a survey about remote education. As part of my feedback I told them they need to get better tools, because college students don't want to use clumsy enterprise software like Office 365. Obviously nothing came of it (and I didn't expect anything, but someone needed to tell them).
Still a bit confusing trying to find things but to be fair I have the same issue with most of these platforms.
I think this area will see an increasing amount of innovation and it's anybody's guess as to who will come out on top in the end.
My Linux and MacOS machines behave exactly as the parent suggests, it completely melts my laptops (and my laptops are not slouchy, i7-2020 MBP and a Precision 5520 with a Xeon E3-1505m).
In fact, it's often the case that after a meeting teams will continue using 100% of a CPU core until it's restarted.
Perhaps it's better in Windows?
Due to this, and as the notification system is designed by a sadist, I switched to using it in a browser, which unfortunately means you can only see one person at a time on calls for some reason.
It is now not uncommon for me to join calls twice at once from browser/app each, and juggle audio/speaker/camera settings for a bit to do demo's, then killing the native app.
I can at least get native notifications & not convert my PC to a space heater this way, but it's still pure bullshit.
I had a brief hope when I found some reference to native notifications in a config file, but that was a dead end.
Search far back into history and Teams will load all that past content, then not release it when you're done with the search. So it just bloats in memory. It is caching, but just not in a way that's useful at all.
Try this: say something in a channel, then click away to another channel. A few seconds later the first channel will go into a bold font indicating new activity there. Click back again and that new activity is... your own comment.
We are using it as remote platform for our online classes and it feels stable but the UI's workflow seems to be not the best.
Most people don’t. Or they pay very little compared to something like Slack. Microsoft provides lots of incentives for Enterprise EA customers.
Teams also works with enterprise PBX and hybrid environments, which is lucrative for enterprise customers.
I don’t like Teams personally but I understand why companies choose it. Better this than Skype for Business.
Another thing I love is having Teams, Skype, and Skype for Business being three entirely separate networks for calling, in spite of being owned by the same conglomerate.
What a time to be alive.
Strange how a company with the resources that MS have can't make a decent product, but I guess it is par for the course. I guess what is more fascinating is how people are willing to pay for the garbage that MS makes.
Our CIO doesn’t understand why we’d all rather use Slack, since he isn’t involved in the message/group hell that is teams.
(I’ve mentioned this before on HN, but Teams’ lack of native popups that means that I can’t turn them off with DND mode during a presentation makes it fundamentally untrustable software.)
Yes, I do. I think it's great. I agree that it's a bit of a resource hog, and I agree that the search isn't particularly wonderful, but none of those impact my day-to-day experience (which is about 50% in Teams at the moment).
Some things that I like:
* The 'conversation' system works extremely well to keep discussion grouped by topic so you don't get the Slack issue of having to read every message of the last 3 days to see the 25% that relate to you. Yes Slack has threads, but I have yet to encounter a channel where they were used consistently well.
* The seamless transition from chatting to voice/video chatting smooths co-working. We have several team members who have joined since the start of lock-down and the low barrier to starting a video call smooths the process of me supporting them and helping them feel part of a team.
* We are a consultancy so the multiple 'Teams' concept maps well on to each client project giving us good organisation of conversation and data.
The performance issue does rear it's head when I'm screen sharing - my WfH solution involves an x240 plugged into a large monitor and it struggles to both encode that and do whatever else I want to do. Zoom is similar but not as bad. Otherwise it works well.
I get it, they worked on it, they want it to be great. It's not. It's just an anti-competitive bundle.
In the specific case of my team, we use Teams because we were told (warned? threatened?) that Skype for Business would be discontinued. Otherwise, we would have completely ignored it.
> lack of native popups that means that I can’t turn them off with DND
What is popping up? Toast notifications?
1) looks terrible
2) does not behave like a standard OS notification so you can't swipe on the trackpad to dismiss it nor does it appear on the lockscreen (if your system is configured to display notifications on it)
3) is an always-open window (though invisible when not in use) but it still appears in the "window" menu and you can focus on it (seriously WTF? why not just create the window when a notification is displayed and destroy it right after)
4) takes up a lot more space while not delivering any more information than what a standard system notification would deliver
Of my complaints I might have with Teams, this is the one that raises the temperature of my blood a bit every time I see it. The fact that you can focus on it particularly pisses me off because when I Cmd-Tab to the Teams main window there is nothing in that window that appears to have focus. You have to click on the main window before ti becomes useful. ::eye_roll::
This is an incompetence problem, just like all the other shortcomings of Teams.
It is quite horrible, but if you have no alternative to it then it is viable.
Slack has it's issues also and to be frank the threads in Teams work significantly better than in Slack. In Slack threads feels like a really bad afterthought (which it is) but in teams it is all there is which is better.
I would like something better than Teams, but I will take teams over nothing every day of the week.
Everything in teams is split between the teams and chat section, and combined with everyone creating a whole group for literally everything, it’s impossible to keep track.
Other than a using it for a single video calls, it sucks. What is the menu of the left for? Just show me my chats.
I actually ended up liking google meet. Short URLS instead of random long URLs like Teams. Just click and join the meeting. No messages to download stupid Microsoft Edge, download the app or other sign in with Microsoft crap. AHHHHHHHH!
I accidentally ended up allowing my organisation full control over my personal machine because it signed into Windows with the same email. Very, very sneaky. I usually dodge all these stupid tactics very well. Dunno how it got past me.
Whenever I open the app, I ask myself, now why have I done this. Now, I just open it in my browser and hide all other crap with uBlock Origin.
It seems to have a file section that shows OneDrive, but are those files actually the same as OneDrive or is there something different? There are "Files" in a bunch of other Teams sections but I am not sure if they are the same or not? There's a calendar which seems not to be linked to my Outlook calendar and actually just fails to load every time ..... there's even a section called "Teams" inside "Teams"! ... which has "Conversations" that seem to be separate to the "Chat" function in a different part of teams, and has a "Meet" function which I think is different to apparently the "Calls" function in another part of teams. It also has a Wiki in there but I don't know how that links to anything else ...
The main point of the article is this paragraph at the end:
Teams is now the closest thing that Microsoft has at its disposal to transform into an OS style fabric that connects a significant share of information workers globally. Nothing like the glory days of Windows, of course, but we should expect to see very conscious steps from MS to further the goal of Teams becoming more OS like. The place where the user interacts with a multitude of apps, share their work context with those apps, a “service bus” for the various apps to exchange data with one another, and finally a unified communications channel for notifications and messaging.
Disclaimer: Teams wouldn't install on my previous machine so I didn't have to use it. Unfortunately I have a new machine and now it does install.
- You can't see participants' email addresses. So if you have a bunch of third party people, you just see "outside of your organisation" next to their names, but you don't know which organisation.
- There's a whiteboard function. It's off by default. Virtually impossible to enable and use if conferencing with a third party org. Everyone just screen-shares MS Paint instead.
- You can't launch two instances of Teams for two orgs. Some people are consultants and need to log on to multiple accounts! Not everyone has "my org". I've got accounts with something like five or six at any one time.
- Speaking of which, logging off and logging on takes a solid minute on a very high end machine. Someone explain to me what Teams needs 60+ seconds of CPU time for just to log in. Is it mining BitCoins to pay for my access or something?
- Sometimes I might be presenting to 10+ executives from third-party orgs, which is a stressful experience at the best of times. That's exactly when Teams decides is the best time to pop up a logon prompt. In the middle of my sentence. A fat white dialog box: unclosable, uncancellable, and slow as molasses. "AUTHENTICATE NOW PEASANT, YOU ARE UNAUTHORISED TO CONTINUE SPEAKING WITHOUT A VALID MICROSOFT ACCOUNT."
It's slow – often taking many seconds to respond to clicks. For example when screen sharing, it's easy to select the wrong window as it takes so long to populate the list. Just switching between chats or sections can be excruciatingly slow. The most common phrase said in meetings is 'Sorry, Teams is playing up'.
It's a resource hog – just having it open causes my MBP's fans to spin up like it's about to take off, reduces the battery life from a good few hours to less than 30 minutes and grinds the whole system to a halt at least once or twice a day. Was in a long workshop the other day and it actually overheated the laptop.
It's bloated – it tries to do everything, but doesn't do anything well. Video calling is okay, but the picture constantly freezes and stutters. The rest of it is an unholy mash-up of Sharepoint, Outlook and who knows what else.
It's missing basic functionality – for example, it doesn't seem to be possible to search uploaded documents. It's often easier to upload it again than browse through an unhelpful directory structure to find wherever Teams has put it.
It doesn't use native notifications – they don't respect the system-wide notification settings, don't appear in control centre like all other notifications, and are often obscured by the macOS native ones.
Oh, and did I mention it's a buggy, bloated mess?
I’ve always thought of Windows as the annoying OS that gets in your way...then my company started pushing MS Teams and now I have two huge barriers in getting work done. What choice of words can I use for it? Dumpster fire? No, that’s an insult to real dumpster fires.
Teams has been a continuously crashing app on my system. It disconnects from calls many a times, repeatedly crashes and restarts, uses a lot of RAM and brings everything else to their knees. I don’t even have many teams or channels or calls going on!
Recently when I searched for Teams using a lot of RAM and being sluggish, I saw several User Voice posts with complaints going on for years and it keeps getting fresh comments regularly.
Then there’s Microsoft ostentatiously having a knowledge base article about the memory use of Teams where it blatantly lies that Chromium (which Teams is using because it’s an Electron app) in Teams releases memory to other applications whenever the system is low on free RAM. I’ve only ever seen Teams strangle all other apps to die with out of memory errors! Funnily, the revenge is most visible on Edge (based on Chromium) and Brave (based on Chromium). It’s like that multiple Spider-Man meme!
I check for updates on Teams regularly, hoping beyond hope that it’ll improve. So far, hope has lost!
You'd think at least b and c would be equivalent?
Logging out would also log me out of my email so for convenience it is just much easier to uninstall teams and be up and running again the next day with a minimum of hassle.
The easiest thing off course would be if Teams implemented an "Off work" status settings.
> What's the difference between a) being "not available" with no notifications [...]?
That is the status I wish was there but it is not. You can only tell teams that you are "away". This does not prevent notifications.
I see, so you use uninstall just because it's a more convenient Log out UX, than the actua Log Off function, because of auth. That I can understand (and it sounds like an oversight from Ms)
> the sender can see that you are online and actually in front of you computer.
You mean because of the read receipts (eye icon next to the message)? Those should probably not be sent when someone is in away/dnd, I agree.
> You can only tell teams that you are "away". This does not prevent notifications.
Gotcha. (I just realized my confusion came from the fact I had never hasd notifications enabled in the phone app. I just treat it like email, 7 days a week).
Yes, precisely. It saves me the hassle of reentering my password every morning.
I've done it on Android for apps I don't trust and those who shove ads down my throat and it works amazingly.
MX Player doesn't show video ads when I'm watching a video
Asking for a friend who still struggles to understand the rational for the top menu selection, ordering and naming. And also just why?
I'm all in for competition, but I want that competition to be good and enjoyable to use. Half-assed shit being around means that some short-sighted beancounters will switch to it despite it being terrible and the employees have no choice but to use it.
It crashes randomly. Different versions crash for different reasons. I've seen debug logs after crashes -- which, incidentally, are either segfaults or graceful quits -- indicating that an "ERROR_SUCCESS" is returned after an AD authentication and the whole thing just dies. The current bug is that I can't make calls using the app, only the webapp in Chrome -- it literally just says "There is a connection issue", but doesn't elucidate further what it is. I can reproduce this 100% of the time, but I can't directly raise a bug report (beyond, say, this ) and even have a nice video of the steps to reproduce on my machine -- open the application, and try to call someone. Clearly, something is "wrong" with my AD profile in a big way, and it's in MS's interests to reach out, talk with my employer, and find out what's going on.
Naturally, this hasn't happened, and I use Zoom as a marginally less frustrating alternative.
If you are in a meeting you cannot send code to another chat member you ha e to use the other window to do that.
Go check the latest blog posts on Teams blog, they all talk only about management features, cuz that is what the tool is for, for managers to keep track of you.
Teams has already now interesting ideas and I think it's good try to explore the features a bit. Many organizations would likely get productivity boost if people got proper training with new way of collaborating, instead of sticking to old way of mailing documents and presentations back and forth.
Those aren't free software I know, but we are talking about Microsoft and the fact that Linux is even a vaguely well supported platform was a very pleasant surprise.
Switching between Chat and Team views can rocket the RAM used from 300 to 800MB instantly.
Scrolling through the list of people you have chatted with, or through older conversations in a team chat is inconsistent in terms of behavior vs other Windows applications.
The desktop client only half-arsedly supports multiple organisations (wherein you won't get any notifications from any other orgs unless you've actively selected them), and of course doesn't support multiple accounts at all.
Who on Earth thought a giant purple banner that doesn’t respect my system notification or Do Not Disturb settings was a good way to do this?
The setup approach is semi-bad:
- On PC it doesn't need admin rights for install but then still need some P2P firewall rules for proper conferencing
- On Citrix/RDS it's a pain to maintain up to date
Then we got performance issues:
- High resources usage, this thing eat RAM like chrome
- CPU jump a lot once you start a meeting
- Probably because of those two points, we got negative
feedback about screen share not working at all for Citrix users
To add to this, we also noted a potential GDPR/privacy issue:
- You can only hide a chat message but can't delete it