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Microsoft Teams as a Platform (jukkaniiranen.com)
58 points by homarp 66 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 109 comments



I have to work with Teams every day and I can honestly say I've never worked with anything that bad. The UI is really slow, it's hard to find things, Notification settings do not work at all, I had to mute everything because otherwise I'd get pushes everywhere at the same time, even if I literally had the conversation open. App constantly breaks, doesn't load images until reset, has insane input lag(try pressing enter to send the message and start typing the next one...) and ram usage often skyrockets. I can often fetch a coffe when I switch tabs between Chats and Teams. Their API is also convoluted and not thought-out which made making a simple Slackbot clone very difficult. I think the biggest part of its success is the fact that it's just provided with Office 365. I honestly don't see how anyone would pay for this as a standalone product...


Could not agree more, it one of the worst apps I’ve been forced to use over the past year, unreliable as hell, hungry on resources, deforms code within code blocks, lots of audio problems, hard to share links of editing meetings with people, what the heck is up with its non-native notifications and the beyond all that the thing is just damn visually unappealing (to me).


I can confidently say that I literally never participated in a Teams call that didn't have audio issues to the point of some people being unintelligible, even if audio with the same people but different conferencing works just fine.


Last year I have regularly had calls with participants from US, Italy, Finland and Australia. Never had any issues so go figure...


With audio I can't say I had problems on Teams but there are a lot of things that are poorly designed and there's very little hope for an upgrades


My company has completed Teams voice implementations at multiple orgs. Obviously the endpoints and ISPs factor in, so there are many variables. Having good Internet service for team members (however a company wants to provide/subsidize that) is key, keeping latency and jitter under control is key, along with prioritizing traffic on the LAN (or obviously WAN if you can - e.g. MPLS). People try to skip that last step a lot but it makes or breaks a good implementation. IME, Teams voice is fundamentally a stable phone system if the network conditions allow it to be. It's hard to transplant to a random employee's home or a hotel ballroom unless you have some assurance of the service quality there (hotel internet not prioritizing, kids gaming while mom is trying to run calls all off the crap ISP router, etc).


Interesting perspective. Of course, these days virtually everyone uses Teams from their home office. The issues you mention makes Teams more like a SIP PBX (special care & attention required from the networks people; hypothetically could, but won't, work over Internet or VPN) and less like a conferencing tool.


While most have no problems, managing service perception requires addressing the few that do. You can wing it and say yeah everyone has broadband so they should be fine, and the office has mass b/w on a DIA circuit so should be fine, but when things aren't fine these are the elements we look at. Teams has been a solid voice platform thus far for our customers - speaking on basis of comparing to other customers using other cloud PBX solutions, and has a lot of benefits when customer is already invested in MS land.


Statistically speaking have you considered that your connection or hardware might have been the issue?

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.


I have gigabit fibre and an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti.

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.


> 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:

https://krisp.ai

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.


Worse than teams is Skype Business even worse is something called Yammer. But I share the opinion that Microsoft Teams is poorly designed. I frequently get confused as to where to find something, it is slow and buggy. Post pandemic this has been our main communication tool. But one cannot expect much from Microsoft. Sometimes they do luck out with a good product and that is rare and it doesn't last, they eventually cripple everything.


> I have to work with Teams every day and I can honestly say I've never worked with anything that bad.

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).


This, enterprise software seems to be largely targeted to make a good impression on the golf course, not to work well in practice and show sympathy to it's users.


Yeah ... I can run Discord, Zoom, Meet - anything really, and my system doesn't have any performance problems. I open up Teams and usage jumps to 100% (MBP 13" i7 2016)


Maybe they fixed something because I'm currently in a training session with about 25 people with a bunch of breakout rooms and shared docs and CPU is hovering around the 3% mark (but we mandated that you only turn your video/mic on when speaking) and it's pretty snappy.

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.


What’s your OS and CPU/GPU? Wouldn’t be unheard of for MS to heavily optimize for newer instruction sets


Windows 10 on an i7 (Dell). It's a work machine.


Have you reported this? I have never noticed it take something other than 0-1% cpu unless I'm actually doing something interactive like being on a call. I'm sure there are tons of bugs that cause this (which is bad) but that's different and much better to it being something inherent in how the App works.


I guess this largely depends on what platform you're on or if you take meetings.

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?


It seemed to struggle after a video call for me. I tried to persevere & took to restarting the native app after every call for a bit, however on Linux you can't screen-share a single application (only an entire desktop).

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.


CPU usage on windows isn't a problem as far as I have heard. RAM usage is, with 0.5-1Gb being par for the course. That's no worse than Slack et.al though.


there is an unacknowledged but reported issue in macos related to the "new meeting" experience, which in most versions is disablable. there are also some common issues with specific gpus, but again no acknowledgement beyond a common help suggestion to disable "gpu acceleration". if you're stuck using it and struggling, see if you can find a setting to disable the new popout conversation/meeting experience.


I am running teams now and all my other tools slack office atom git hub and cpu sitting at 10/11%.


Search in Teams is beyond dreadful, trying to find items in old conversations is pointless. I end up scrolling back and back. Which is infuriating as nothing is cached so Teams is constantly downloading


Which is infuriating as nothing is cached so Teams is constantly downloading

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.


It is? The only reason I think teams is sort of bearable is that at least search works more or less as expected.


I have to work with Teams every day and I can honestly say I've never worked with anything that bad. The UI is really slow, it's hard to find things,

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.


I could also add to that list that they probably copied the buggy call code from Skype so I have the exact same Bluetooth issues and crappy sound as Skype.


They definitely have some Skype underpinnings. If you link to a chat thread the link says something like @skype.thread.


That makes sense, I'm not surprised much, the audio quality and bugs are the same on Teams. Not sure why they've done that, Skype has tons of reliability issues, maybe they are not aware of how bad it really is.


That surprises me because Teams is not based on Skype nor derived from it. Teams was an acquisition by Microsoft.


It also has the base background noise, wich made me stop using Skype back in the day.


Weird

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.


Agreed. We used to use Azure too and my perception of Microsoft is that it is still a company that produces mediocre offerings. Their products do 80% of everything, badly (but they tick the check marks) and they still don’t have taste as Jobs said decades ago.


My favourite issue with Teams was that we would sometimes receieve messages from colleagues out of order, and without any notification. The UI would happily - and silently - insert N lines of conversation above the last line you've read. Quite often the delay could be in the minutes. We figured this out after many frustrated sessions of "but I already gave that context / sent that info". This didn't happen very often, but even just two or three shaky days in a quarter left us with a bad feeling. If you can't trust something as simple as chat delivery, it doesn't give a great feeling.


Still an improvement over the abomination known as Skype for Business


> I honestly don't see how anyone would pay for this as a standalone product...

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.


Indeed, it's absolute garbage. The the absolute worst of Microsoft software culture distilled into one garbage application.

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.


UI is not only slow but horrible. Try to distinguish between starting a new thread or replying to the one above. And its mobile app is the worst pile of crap I've ever seen.


At least for the desktop application they fixed this 10 days ago (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/what-s-new-in-mic...)


> I have to work with Teams every day and I can honestly say I've never worked with anything that bad.

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.


Teams is bad for the same reason that JIRA is bad.

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 think it's much better than Google Chat, and I enjoyed it more, than using Slack, though. I hope Teams gets more popular. I wish I could stop using any these kind of apps and just can go back to using email so I can decide when to respond to mails :(


Do people actually enjoy using Teams? For me, it’s a good video conferencing system, but everything else it does makes me want to tear my hair out. It’s got to the point that I’ve set a permanent away message of “I don’t read Teams messages, please contact me on mail or Slack” just to make sure that I don’t have to spend any more time in it than I have to.

(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.)


> Do people actually enjoy using Teams?

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.


This is such a weird article. 99.9% the reason any organization is using Teams is because they got it for free with their Office 365.

I get it, they worked on it, they want it to be great. It's not. It's just an anti-competitive bundle.


> 99.9% the reason any organization is using Teams is because they got it for free with their Office 365.

In the specific case of my team, we use Teams because we were told (warned? threatened?) that Skype for Business would be discontinued[1]. Otherwise, we would have completely ignored it.

[1] https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/...


if there's one thing that's worse than Teams it's Lync. there's only one thing i like about it - the global Win+F4 mute keyboard shortcut.


How much of that is tech management issues though? I mean, in past life we implemented the whole lync stack of servers, SBCs, etc., and it worked great. We had a few older employees that were highly skeptical of the conversion (a phone's a phone, right??) but completely changed their tune once they got used to clicking on phone numbers to dial, simultaneous ring, etc. We couldn't have done that if the fundamental performance wasn't taken care of. The system took a lot of tuning but I can't but think that implementation poor implementation/management of the stack was a bigger problem for Lync than the actual system itself. I'm blaming the sysadmins. ;)


I currently use Lync and despite all Teams flaws I'm trying to convince my coworkers to stop Lync/webex meetings when Teams meeting work fine and it comes with an Android app so audio issues will be fewer


Yeah. Though it’s a little bit damning that the best thing you can say about Teams is that it isn’t Lync/Skype for Business.


I don't know why people keep saying it as if it's something new. It's basically an upgrade/replacement from Skype for Business, feature for feature. Both weren't great but it's still much better than Skype for Business on the Mac. I'll take it.


It's better than Skype and Lync so that immediately makes it good enough for most. I find it to look and work like a re-skinned slack. It's like Chrome vs Firefox if you ask me. It does the same things in pretty much the same way.

> lack of native popups that means that I can’t turn them off with DND

What is popping up? Toast notifications?


Teams uses their own notification system (at least on macOS) which:

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


but it still appears in the "window" menu and you can focus on it

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 drove me away from the desktop app. The native notification system is great because it gives me full control. I have no control over the teams notifications. So now I use teams in the browser since the browser uses native notifications.


The wonder of Electron apps


It’s not even an Electron problem - Electron apps can still access the OS’ native notification system.

This is an incompetence problem, just like all the other shortcomings of Teams.


Yes. Teams does not honour osx toast do not disturb settings (open right hand side pane and scroll up to reveal Nightshift and DND).


> Do people actually enjoy using 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.


I find Slacks threads as an afterthought a lot more palatable than Teams’ messages as an afterthought.

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.


What's the difference between threads in Slack and Teams? They seem almost exactly the same to me. That being - one level of replies to a message.


Exactly. The best parts of Teams are the ones I was already using perfectly fine with Lync/Skype. The rest of the interface, chat rooms, apps and everything else are atrocious.


I have been using Teams since 3 weeks and it is such a confusing mess of stuff and menus that I still don't know how non-techy people find their way around it. Their are submenus in chats, and chats in submenus. Emails of all participants are randomly shown in chat. Files are thrown around here and there.

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.


I find Teams honestly quite baffling. I can't tell what it is for, where to find anything, or what the intended way to publish any given task should be. It just feels like a giant splurge of features all randomly shoved together.

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 ...


Bit of context - Jukka's background is Microsoft's Dynamics CRM so a lot of this article is about how Teams can integrate with Dynamics CRM and other stuff.

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.


Since everyone is venting about Teams, my experience of it is pretty disappointing as well:

- 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."


Good grief Teams is bad. Let me count the ways:

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?


Platform my foot!

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!


Every day I uninstall Teams from my iPhone and then I download it and install it again the next morning. Why? Because there are no option in Teams to tell it that I am "Off work". With Teams installed you will always be at work no matter if it is weekend, holiday or Christmas eve. If you want get the off work and don't want to carry around a separate work device, uninstalling every day seems to be the only valid option.


Isn't this what the 'quiet hours' feature is for? I get no notifications between 7pm and 7am, or weekends.

https://www.lync.se/2018/10/quiet-hours-in-teams/


Yes, but my work hours are more random than that. For me, Work does not start and stop at the same time every day, so in my case, quiet hours wouldn't work. I need a "manually override" in form of a "Off work" status


You can change your quiet hours every day. It’s probably less work than deleting and reinstalling apps.


What about just setting your status in Teams to DnD? Use quiet hours to cut out certain days (weekends), and set status to DnD when you're done for the day, set to available when you start for the day? In desktop app you can manage exceptions for DnD and that should be respected on the mobile app.


What's the difference between a) being "not available" with no notifications b) logging out of the app on weekends and c) uninstalling?

You'd think at least b and c would be equivalent?


b and c is not equivalent. If you log out you will have to enter your password when reinstalling. If you just uninstall it and the reinstall it, you don't have to enter your password.

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.


> b and c is not equivalent. If you log out you will have to enter your password when reinstalling. If you just uninstall it and the reinstall it, you don't have to enter your password.

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).


> 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

Yes, precisely. It saves me the hassle of reentering my password every morning.


Reading all these comments I am genuinely confused as to if we are talking about different “teams” I’m using the Microsoft Teams app on iPhone and not only do I have much more granuarity in statuses with Busy/do not disturb/away/be right back/etc. But also just under that option in the app I have notifications settings which are both easy to turn off completely but also has options for quite hours and quite days.


Quiet hours could be exactly what this person is looking for, yes


Out of curiosity, does iOS enable you to disable internet access to an App?

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


You can set your status as away, and have quiet hours set as well. It's about the only part of Teams notifications that works well for me.


IOS allows you to turn off notifications from any app you choose.


Or cut off internet to that app so there will beno question of messages getting delivered at all


Goto settings and 'Sign out'


While we are here, anyone knows a resource explaining the general interface decision made by the teams designers?

Asking for a friend who still struggles to understand the rational for the top menu selection, ordering and naming. And also just why?


Microsoft office suite 365 gives good tools but misses on one thing - Forum software. Something like Stackoverflow. This is one product slack too did not make.


I would not want Microsoft to poison yet another market with a half-assed offering like Teams and then use their existing marketshare (like including it in Office 365 for free - which is the only reason anyone is using Teams) to push it despite its technical shortcomings.

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.


Discourse is nice and making a Microsoft version of it that integrates with all the other fluff should be a lot easier than implementing a Slack equivalent.


I really cannot express in words adequately how awful teams is for me, on MacOS 10.14, on Arch Linux, or in the [chromium only!] browser. It's a memory and CPU hog, the classic example of a terrible electron app, has appalling videoconferencing skills, and is thrust down my throat from those Upon High. If I were MS, I'd be very worried about another anti-trust suit coming shortly. It's objectively worse than all the competition, the UI is appalling, and there's no support.

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 [0]) 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.

[0] https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msteams/forum/msteams_tf...


There are a lot of things need to do if Teams wants to become a true platform. For example consuming less RAM than current, add more useful apps...


The Android app hasn't worked for me for the past four months. I reinstall it clean it completely etc but I still get error messages about a slow connection on 250mbits Internet and notifications doesn't get updated or not sent at all. Messages I send on the app takes around 25mon tog et sent, if they do. Calls stay open and steal battery due to notification getting stuck forever... I reported errors multiple times but no change. They just pile on more features for management without a thought out into UX, which only gets worse and worse or bug fixes.

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 as a platform" and other stuff Microsoft is pushing beyond the basic Office apps like Word/Excel/etc sound like enablers for bullshit jobs and generators of endless busywork with questionable value. Instead of eliminating busywork, they are simply digitizing it or sometimes creating more of it.


Goal of teams is interesting. It's not a group chat or conferencing tool. As mentioned towards end of the article, Teams is "operating system for work". The idea seems to be that people would spend most of their time inside the Teams. Instead of opening links to other apps, you bring the content from the apps to Teams via Fluid [1].

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.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy1Tyr93Sw4


My company has mixed experiences with Teams. For us it works OK for video conferencing. But for shared control over a desktop, it 50-50 doesn't work (ie you can't INTERACT with the desktop..). In practice we then leave Teams and switch to any shared-desktop app that works (e.g. teamviewer). While teams is immature like this, we stay away from it. Also, keyboard layout switching doesn't work (if I switch keyboard layout, typing stops working), so unless you live on the US west coast near the guys developing Teams, you should probably stay clear of Teams. When I google the "shared control doesn't work", I just find lots of others with that issue, but no solution.


I agree about Teams - but I don't think it's fair to extend this to Azure or to Microsoft in general as some responses have done. Having been at MS while Teams was being developed, I can say from interactions with those involved that it in particular Teams design and development had serious issues. (Not the least of which is that it seemed to be developed in a middle-management-out fashion, rather than top-down (by use-case) or bottom-up (by appropriate use of the tech. stack). There were also some cultural issues.


The web version doesn't even work with Debian GNU/Linux + Firefox or Chromium. So If I want to access audio conferences using a machine that only runs free software I can't. I need to install Google proprietary Browser. Can't they even make a standards based web site/platform/whatever? Thank Lennart Poettering for pulseaudio! I run the Chrome browser in my computer at work (which I don't trust), then access it thru openvpn+vnc then redirect the audio both mic and speakers to my free-software-only computer at home.


I use Fedora and it works well both in Chrome and as the installed app.

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.


Yeah, the whole point is that I was trying to avoid installing non-free software, at least in my home/personal computer. I run Chrome in my work machine to which I log in remotely. But yes, at least it works on Linux!


I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Teams would run on my Ubuntu-based OS (Pop!_OS). Not my first choice though.


It's a garbage application in that it can use 800MB or more of RAM.

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.


How about adding the ability to use it with multiple accounts? That's by far my largest gripe with it.


The annoying thing about this is the mobile app supports multiple accounts and multiple organisations just fine.

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.


I've dug out an old android phone to sit on my desk in a dock purely to serve as a 'Teams Notification Device' (patent pending) as the way they have implemented notifications is the most godawful dumpster fire i've seen in a long time.


Yeah the notifications are a total deal breaker (or would be, if work hadn’t gone all-in on Teams).

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 worst part is, every time I switch accounts the "tutorial" tool-tips start again. And I have to manually switch like twice a day. Teams is just horrible.


With Lync being soon gone recently started to switch to Teams and as a heavy user of Discord (note: If anyone working for them see this, make them a release a business version please, they would sink everyone) I have been extremely disappointed by this product.

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


No thanks, not for me




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