back to article Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts

I have been a Linux user for decades. Last week, I bought a Windows computer. It's not that I haven't used Windows – I do, as little as possible, in a VM – but recent problems with Teams persuaded me that repotting it in its own native soil would reduce the pain. And besides, I wanted to give Windows 11 a fair chance. Ho, as …

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  1. Elledan Silver badge

    A prayer for those forced to use Teams

    I do not use Teams, and by the gods I pray that I never have to. I have used Slack on occasion, and it has given me a glimpse into the madness that lies that way.

    Having Teams or Slack or other such tools which essentially just gets forced on you by your employer because of... reasons that may involve kickbacks or glorious ignorance is bad enough. Having every single system out there come with what is a work tool preinstalled and prominently put in a location where you are unlikely to miss it is borderline dystopian.

    Heck, even back when MSN wasn't dead yet didn't MSFT dare to throw it into people's faces like that.

    What's an OS? A Operating System that is application neutral and just happy to accept new drivers and run applications because that makes you happy as the user? Or a cynical intrusion into your private life that requires you to log into the MSFT mainframe using your MSFT-provided ID before logging into your MSFT Teams account for the working day.

    Yes, I am one of those Windows 7 holdouts, why do you ask? :)

    1. spireite

      Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

      Teams and Slack are as bad as each other....

      Teams is forced because w use Office 365, so it's part of the corporate sub.

      Slack is used by the devs.

      As I have a foot in both vamps, I have to use both.

      The biggest issue I have is that someimes, the apps startup and the content doesn't load... just a blank window. So I have to do a force refresh.

      The second biggest issue is the god-awful management of previous chats/discussions. It's hard work navigating through it in a bigger corp.

      1. AVee
        Joke

        Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

        A foot in both vamps?

        Well, to each it's own I guess...

        1. James O'Shea

          Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

          it ain't blood that Countess Tepes wants...

        2. jgarbo
          Thumb Up

          Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

          Two feet? Quite a length for one lad...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

      Slack was forced on us. Then it became clear to see all old chat history you needed to pay. They didn't want to pay for it. Eventually it was abandoned.

      Google Hang Outs was used and force on us. It was pointed out "You may want to put chat history on otherwise employees/managers could abuse staff over it with no record". No, was the answer to that. Some months later a request came in "Can you give us the Google chat history of these two employees" (they'd been having an affair, what the fuck that had to do with the company is anyone's guess. We gladly closed the ticket with "No, Google Chat History is off by default at upper management request".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

      Anonymous for obvious reasons.

      I am seeing this. It's insidious, and flies in the face of what Microsoft say they are now. Partner Of The Year awards so C-suite are "incentivised" to use MS tech and spend lots of money on them. Breathlessly excited MS interviews asking "how MS helped you with your ML challenge".

      The truth is (other than Office365, which is pretty useful), Azure etc is the least exciting platform, and the best use of it is IAAS and a bit of PAAS, and use best of breed tools for everything else.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

      It also insists on starting whenever I log in to that account, even after I've done things that supposedly should have stopped it doing that. That alone would be enough to make me say "never choose this".

      Then it routinely fails to find my microphone, even when pavucontrol shows that it is working.

      Just rubbish.

  2. MacroRodent Silver badge

    web Teams works on Linux

    I have been the web interface of Teams on Linux all through the pandemic. Works (even camera). There is supposedly a Linux Teams version, which is essentially a web browser running a single app (an Electron monstrosity), and some of my colleagues who have tried seem to have trouble with authentication all the time with it, so I never bothered. Web Teams works for my needs.

    My spouse has tried to work with Teams on Windows, with scarcely less problems (and as the IT support of our house, these immediately are my problems, causing grey hair). Yes, it really has trouble comprehending a user may have to access Teams as a member of different organizations, or as a "consumer" Windows ID user. How can it be so hard?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: web Teams works on Linux

      The web version (and Linux) is a CPU hog. I've never knew my laptop could spin its fans so loud - and try to talk to people when all they can hear are your laptop fans.

      Teams is not fit for purpose.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        It is the same as the Windows version, more-or-less. Neither is native, they are all Electron apps (macOS as well).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        My Haswell i7 laptop struggles to run Teams (Windows) - in a video call, it uses >50% CPU (just Teams), 1GB RAM, and the fan spins *loudly* ...

        1. Alpine_Hermit

          Re: web Teams works on Linux

          I now run Teams as an app on my iPhone or iPad, it's the simplest way for me, no resource problems...well at least I can't hear any cooler fans whirring away!

      3. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        Memory hog, as well. I'm forced to use it for work, but usually keep it shut down, as after 4-5 days of it running, unused, in the background, it has somehow gobbled a Gig and a half of RAM. Not sure WHAT it's doing with that much memory, as it's mostly just keeping an icon in the systray, but it really likes it.

    2. bolac

      Re: web Teams works on Linux

      Teams for Windows is also Electron. Electron is owned by Microsoft since the Github takeover. New OneNote and VS Code are Electron, too. The new Outlook One will be electron-based as well.

      Teams on Windows is even worse. It is installed into the home folder. Even if you ask for global install, it will install one copy to Program Files and then one copy to each user's home folder. Including an auto updater which pulls binaries from the Internet and puts them in the home folder, where the versions are accumulating to gigabytes of old Chromium DLLs and what not.

      But the biggest joke is that Microsoft made a tutorial how to improve Teams performance by whitelisting your home folder in the antivirus. You could not make this up.

      https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/OfficeDocs-SkypeForBusiness/blob/9df8f4069848c52ae810719e4baf171014b01452/Teams/teams-files-folders-antivirus-perf.md

      1. romanempire
        Flame

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        <-------- This

        Its a joke to deploy, admin and manage in corp environment. What the hell were they thinking!!!

        Not even any GrpPol for it.

        P.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        There is an enterprise install for Teams which any enterprise should be using (clue may be in the name).

        1. bolac

          Re: web Teams works on Linux

          I was never talking about private PCs. Who even uses Windows on their private PC in 2021?

          In every corporation where I worked (I am consultant) and that had teams (many refuse), thre was a copy in my user folder.. Are you sure that the enterprise install does not do the same thing, copy it to user folder?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        > But the biggest joke is that Microsoft made a tutorial how to improve Teams performance by whitelisting your home folder in the antivirus. You could not make this up.

        Sadly, Microsoft are far from the only big IT vendor suggesting these work arounds as has been recently seen from yet another big ransomware attack.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: web Teams works on Linux

      some of my colleagues who have tried seem to have trouble with authentication all the time with it

      I previously thought Citrix confrencing was bad...

      So I've got to use teams. I've got a linux desktop and the org I'm at has gsuite as well.

      EVERY day I've got to either clear login cookies (if I want to use the web instance) or delete the teams folder (for the electron app). Otherwise it just gets itself into a cannot login loop.

      As the account is on gsuite I have to type in my email address 3 times, once for teams to throw away and prompt again, a second time in teams for it to use and bounce me to gmail, then into gmail to really log in. Only once I've entered my credentials multiple times do I get to give up a CPU core and a sizable chunk of ram for the "joy" that is Teams.

      Some of my peers have to have the camera off to have teams in anything approaching an almost usable state.

      I swear in my next job interview when they ask "So do you have any questions for us?" I'll be asking if they use MS Teams.

      Anonymous because I don't want any hint of this getting back to the place that currently pays my wages.

      P.S. Can you share / present a window (like in any hangouts, zoom etc) or are you limited to presenting an entire screen ?

    4. John Sager

      Re: web Teams works on Linux

      I use the Teams app on Linux for one reason only. When we were denied the pub last year one of our Friday night group set up Teams for a weekly online pub session. It's worked fine for me on my laptop though it did choose the onboard camera rather than the USB one last week. One of the group with Windows says Teams messes with his Outlook when both are running.

    5. Ian 55
      Linux

      Re: web Teams works on Linux

      It is great to know that I am not the only one who cannot get Teams to work on Linux properly - it simply will not open links to meetings here.

      I can, if forced, run it in a browser, but it's crap there.

      The Android version at least gets me into meetings, even if it doesn't work well for messages at the same time.

      1. smot

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        It works for me on Ubuntu 20.04, Dell xps13 with 2 extra monitors. Webcam (USB, not the buit-in nosecam) works well. Only problems are: Screen/window share doesn't work with Wayland - only X, and only 4 people on screen although many more people shown as simpl,e icons. No backgrounds.

      2. FatGerman

        Re: web Teams works on Linux

        I installed it on Kubuntu 20.04 via the rather handy apt repository Microsoft have made for it. It works flawlessly. I rather like it as a way of keeping in touch with colleagues while also being able to keep them at arm's length. We also use Zoom and I can't see the need for that when Teams does the same thing, but hey-ho.

  3. andy 103
    WTF?

    Browser sessions don't work as you've described

    "I know of no system that allows different simultaneous workspaces with their own IDs, nor browser that allows the same with tabs"

    How are you expecting that to work in a web browser? Each tab is using the same browser session - they don't have a "separate session per tab" feature, and that would be annoying as hell if they did. Imagine if you'd signed into Gmail and then had to login separately to Google Docs, Google Sheets etc... per tab.

    This is why if, for example, you wanted to login to 2 different Gmail accounts you'd have to do it in 2 separate browsers, or a separate Incognito mode browser window. You can't be logged in with 2 separate accounts under 1 session.

    I'm not sure what you're expecting here but this seems to be a lack of understanding of how sessions work.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

      Firefox supports exactly that (allowing several separate workspaces, not forcing you to log in in each tab) through container tabs. Each container (with n open tabs in it) is a separate workspace and you can log into different Google accounts (or Microsoft or anything else) simultaneously

      1. timrichardson

        Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

        Yes, it is a killer feature.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Indeed, but somehow it is not improving Firefox market penetration.

          1. gv

            Note that Firefox is not a supported browser for Teams.

            1. Zygous

              Indeed :( Mozilla implemented WebRTC as specified by the W3C, whereas Chromium (and hence Edge) did not, and Teams was built to support the latter. Funnily enough MS doesn't seem to be in a hurry to resolve this.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

        Exactly. I have mine set up for this very purpose - it lets me log into my employer's system with my employer-issued MS ID, even though I'm using my client-issued system with its client-issued MS ID.

        Now, if only I could convince Office to default to the correct MS ID by default, namely the client one. Always, always it starts up using the employer ID, even though it's on a client computer and I only use the employer ID in Office to check and send mail in Outlook (where the client ID is also used).

      3. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

        Or even simpler… work stuff in Chrome, what limited personal stuff I do kept partitioned away in Firefox.

    2. sictransit

      Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

      Chrome will let you log in with different Google accounts simultaneously in different tabs.

      1. andy 103

        Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

        @sictransit what steps are you following to do that in Chrome?

        1. Kobus Botes

          Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

          @ady 103, @sictransit

          Firefox on Windows also allows one to log on to different Google accounts simultaneously (though my better half had to show me). Disclaimer: I did not try this in Edge (not my machine - I use linux), but Edge is hidden from sight by design.

          Steps: Open one account

          Click on the Google Account icon (top right corner)

          Click on Add another account (this was where I came short when I tried it before; to me Add another account means I want to create another Google account, but there you have it) and enter the other account's credentials.

          Job done.

    3. thondwe

      Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

      Err not sure it's that bad - Edge (Chromium) has profiles - so I can easily have a work one and a personal one and these operate in separate Windows. Chrome seems to have similar?

      My Windows is hooked up to both Work and Personal Accounts both with separate OneDrive Syncs - so that's workable. (Account - Add Workplace Account)

      Even Teams has me logged in and switchable between orgs (NOT in a nice way with Multiple Windows though - come one MS!!) and my personal account (that is a separate Window).

      I have Admin accounts (Azure etc) so they run in my Windows Sandbox or in private browser sessions...

      Generally I use the multiple virtual desktop feature to keep these worlds organised...

      So it is "doable" - this issue I have is that MS makes it hard to have a separate Admin account (e.g. in Azure) - which should associated with my normal account - so I can share a licence or it gets deleted when I leave and org or change roles...

      1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

        Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

        Same here. I don't even think about it anymore. 45 years schiznophrenic.

    4. marcellothearcane
      Gimp

      Re: Browser sessions don't work as you've described

      Private browsing window?

  4. TheProf Silver badge
    Facepalm

    And besides, I wanted to give Windows 11 a fair chance.

    Should you then not wait for it to be officially released?

    1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      Re: And besides, I wanted to give Windows 11 a fair chance.

      Too late, already baked in. Your Windows 11 Home will demand a single Microsoft approved account. Pro still let's you to have a local account. I've rather liked it so far.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: And besides, I wanted to give Windows 11 a fair chance.

        A _single_ account? You won’t be able to have multiple accounts on one machine? Bloody hell, that would be insanely stupid. Not even MS is that stupid… are they?

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    It would be easier, one suspects, for Google to implement multi-ID support in Chrome, instead of the global log-out/log-in switch it enforces. Easier, but still not easy.

    Google services already all let you change accounts, some of which you may already be logged in to. Gold standard as far as I'm concerned.

    1. Tomato42
      Mushroom

      linking different profiles is not a good idea; then if your YouTube account gets banned (because the "AI" glitched) you loose access to gmail

      1. snowpages

        Needs tightening??

        "lose" not "loose". That is all.

      2. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

        Stupid AI n8ked YouTube, gmail uneffected.Been supporting women's gymnastics and skating since the early 1960's. Now I do it via Instagram. I give more accurate scores than most judges according to the coaches.

      3. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Is that related to what I said? Are you saying that if my wife logs into my Chrome and her account is an option in the account switcher, that if my Google accounts gets banned for something then hers would be too?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Probably. My kid added his school Google account to my tablet, a few days later Google pops up notifications on my phone wanting to know my date of birth.

          Of course I entered 1/1/1970.

          Looking forward to when their fantastic AI realises that the two generic words found in the dictionary aren't my first name and last name and asks me for my passport.

      4. Gene Cash Silver badge

        > if your YouTube account gets banned (because the "AI" glitched) you lose access to gmail

        Or if Google decides your name is not actually your real name.

        I'm not sending Google my driver's license, birth certificate or any other such private information. Fuck them.

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          You might change your mind when you realise that it is just polite ransomware, and that you have no access to videos, bookmarks, music, work or even money unless you go as they demand. :-/

          I have three Google accounts due to weird YouTube vs Google vs company thing. It's a pain, but I rarely use any of them, at least I rarely use any of them *on purpose* - they are always there, watching...

  6. bolac

    Browser Profiles

    With Firefox, you can have multiple browser profiles. They have completely different browsing histories, cookie stores, password stores, proxy settings etc. For example, set up one for work and one for personal use.

    Go to the "about:profiles" page.

    Edit: You can run them at the same time in separate windows (not in tabs of one window though). I also like to put a theme on some so the window has a different color to avoid confusion.

    Also for my main private PC, I just added a completely separate Linux user for work stuff This way, everything contained in a separate home folder and can be easily removed from the private PC. I can use mail programs, contacts, calendars etc. without mixing up the two.

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