back to article Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 32, no, 44 million as Windows-slinger platform slides onto home workers' PCs

Keeping fingers crossed that its Slack-for-suits platform, Teams, would survive the week, Microsoft today confirmed a slew of a new toys for its corporate collaboration baby. This week is the third anniversary of Teams, and even the most hardened cynic would find it difficult not to admit that it has been a success for the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >One upcoming feature, the ability to read messages and write responses when things are running on low bandwidth or even entirely offline will be particularly welcome to those who found things borked beyond belief earlier this week.

    This sounds like such a little thing, but it shows how Teams is developing. They're looking at Slack, identifying the feature gaps and closing them, so that when The Powers That Be roll out Teams because it's included in their enterprise entitlement, the People That Actually Use It (probably to their surprise) don't hate it!

    The fact that Slack is still fundamentally just a web page - requiring a constant connection to even read old messages on android for example - is an enormous pain point that Slack have yet to close. In fact it takes Slack years to close any feature gaps. We're only *just* getting the ability to group channels into categories in the latest update.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Then again, you can only have The One True Notification sound on Teams. You can't disable it without losing the call ringtone, and you might not want to miss calls. Finally, MS have spent months working out the most irritating sound in the world before pushing it out in the latest update last week.

      We've been promised offline and more than one window for years in Teams, so let's not get our hopes up too early.

      Let's not kid ourselves, Teams is only making headway because it's free, installed automatically everywhere with Office 365 despite what the user wants, and MS are knocking SfB on the head.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Thats a key point but not entirely fair. Its also at least no2. (to slack) in the UI/UX stakes. Its genuinely nice to use (imo)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Are you kidding? The UI is atrocious - in line with the rest of Office products since 2016 and beyond (IMO)

          It can't render chat messages nicely - even the triple back-tick text box they nicked from slack for pasting code snippets looks really clunky.

          And when someone is screen sharing there's a fucking great big bar in the middle of the screen which obscures the presentation and cannot be moved.

          Yet again M$ are but abusing their monopoly to try and crush their competitors using a 'free', bundled mass-rollout of a convenient but totally inferior tool. It's practically 'The Internet' (internet explorer) all over again.

          Teams is very buggy at the moment and can't even getting simply things like muting and unmuting the microphone right (been having recent problems with this: come off mute but you're still muted. Sometimes toggling it again will fix, others you have to leave the meeting and start again!)

          It's also been very unreliable since the increased demand from everyone suddenly working at home although M$ has apparently now 'scaled it up by 600%'.

          In Teams this week, I've had to keep waiting a few minutes and clicking retry to send just simple text chat messages, meanwhile slack (although I admit I only use it for chat) hasn't missed a beat

          I had to use Zoom for the first time yesterday for a video conference and that just runs rings around Teams. It was highly polished and worked flawlessly! It was especially impressive that they supply a native Linux client which worked first time without any issues, including flawless video+voice quality and sharing of just a single application window from my Linux desktop.

          I'm only using teams by force because it's the 'chosen corporate platform' where I work. I wouldn't choose it. Mind you, I'd also give my right arm to be able to use Thunderbird (plus the awesome Exquilla plug-in for connecting to Outlook Web Access) instead of the utter piece of shit which is Outlook. Seriously! How the hell do the majority of works not scream and pull their hair out at having to use this monstrosity?

          So well done Microsoft! Clap clap clap. You've successfully conquered the world again by pushing your half-baked crap to the masses. And a whole new generation of, 'oooh, this new video conferencing thingy is a bit high tech and fancy,' end users will go on to live in blissful ignorance of how much better it can be done :-(

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Every time slack renders a pop up message with punctuation in, you know, unusual things like apostrophes, it renders them HTML encoded.

            Amateur software vs professional software. Very different.

          2. yoganmahew

            You've clearly never used Jabber. Teams is a Ford Mondeo to Jabber's Edsel...

      2. MatthewSt Silver badge

        > We've been promised offline and more than one window for years in Teams, so let's not get our hopes up too early.

        Agreed. We're still waiting for custom backgrounds on calls which were promised in the last "coming soon" wave. I don't like how backwards Microsoft have gone as far as Teams is concerned with "under-promise, over-deliver". They seemed to be getting better at it everywhere else

      3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        We've been promised [...] more than one window for years in Teams

        Not just Teams: Outlook too. I find it such a PITA not to be able to keep my calendar open all the time. I now run a separate app which can talk to Office 365 just to permantly show my calendar on my desktop.

        1. thondwe

          Right Click on Calendar and open in new Window or am I missing something???

          1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

            No options when I right-click the calendar icon in Outlook.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      This sounds like such a little thing, but it shows how Teams is developing.

      It's still largely an unholy mix of OneNote, Sharepoint and Lync. Being able to permanently disable video would be nice, especially in these bandwidth challenged times.

      Mattermost + Jitsi gives you more, for less.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You can disable video for the tenant and individually?

        The 'raise hand' feature is essential for a busy meeting and has been requested for years. At least it is going to be done 'in a few months'

        The biggest issue for Teams is the fact that it can only be installed per user!. Therefore every profile on a PC has a complete copy of the application in userland.

        This not only wastes loads of disk space on a multi-user machine but also means you can't restrict programs to run only from key folders that are admin accessible. You even struggle to whitelist due to the fact that updates also need to run from userland to update it.

        All so that a user could decide for themselves if they want to download and run it without have in g to bother to ask the pesky IT dept. Similar tactic to Chrome - but at least Chrome also offered a proper installer and Group Policy template file to manage it if the IT department wanted it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: Similar tactic to Chrome

          Teams was touted as "the future of the internet" at the top of the most popular search engines results page with a "click to install" button next to it and they kept showing it until pretty much every one had installed it?

      2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        It's still largely an unholy mix of OneNote, Sharepoint and Lync

        And Exchange Online (and Office 365 Groups). e.g. Where do you think all the chat & post messages are stored? Yep, in a mailbox.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          You've been able to use IMAP for this for years but Microsoft is still on the NiH (not invented here) kool-aid.

  2. Andy Roid McUser

    all the cpu resources

    Have you used Teams on a Mac? uses every last cpu cycle and I'm not sure if this is a feature but there's a nice flame and smoke effect near the screen when meetings go over an hour.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: all the cpu resources

      Macs should not be used in production environments ( Outside of Starbucks that is)...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: all the cpu resources

        Electron should not be used in production environments.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: all the cpu resources

      Yes, I've used Teams on a Mac (High Sierra on an 8 yo iMac and, Catalina on a MBP) - currently running in background on iMac and using under 1% CPU. Had a two hour, 12-way videoconference a few days ago and no slow down (even when starting and running a Windows 10 VM alongside it on a second monitor - needed to refer to something in a Windows-only program).

      Years ago I hated Macs but, nowadays with OSX/MacOS, I find them sound business machines - more expensive to buy (and harder to justify a 3-year write-off period) but less expensive to run in the longer term. Of course, YMMV - especially if you just hanker for *nix or Windows to tinker with.

      1. laughthisoff

        Re: all the cpu resources

        Been logged into Teams all day on my Mac as well. It's mostly spending its life hovering between 1-2% CPU usage. I'll check and compare on the Win10 PC tomorrow.

        Do I love it? No.

        Do I hate it? No.

        Can it be improved? Yes.

        Are there things about it that annoy me? Yes.

        Is it useful to us right now? Yes.

        Is it keeping my users in touch? Yes.

        Is 'free' a good thing? Yes.

        Does using it on an RDS server really fork me off? Yes. :-(

        Are there any little things I like about it? Yes.

        Are there any little things I hate about it? Yes.

        Are we going to keep using it? For now at least, Yes.


    3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: all the cpu resources

      Not just Teams, Onenote & Outlook eat battery on Macs too. I found these apps have the ability to eat the battery of my MBook Pro is under an hour when they're misbehaving. My suspicion is that they don't like it when you move between network connections (e.g Wired & Wirelss)

  3. b0llchit Silver badge

    Free access - with a price

    Yes, we will give all of you free access. What we will not tell you is the actual cost. That would be an inconvenient truth.

    You will pay, just not with money. We are allowed to read your communications using machines and gather all necessary behavioural data, as we are allowed to do so according to our brilliantly written privacy policy (which has hidden texts through a myriad of websites and hard to find links). Then all of that data will be shared with our valued business partners, who are are interested in doing the best thing for your health(-dataminingcommercialinterestoperation).

    Thanks you for using MS - hope to see you again soon!

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Free access - with a price

      Yes, we will give all of you free access. What we will not tell you is the actual cost

      Nor will we give you the tools to extract your data.

      Files are easy: Just copy them out (Subject to rate limiting...)

      Onenote: "Export as PDF" is MS's answer.

      Chats & Posts? Nope. Kiss goodbye to them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's borked again

    Been trying to access for the last 30mins. Then I was contacted by someone else failing to log into their meeting too, unconnected orgs.

    I'm quite happy, I avoid the shite MS vomits out it's orifice as much as possible.

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: it's borked again

      'Vomits'? I think that you have the wrong end in mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it's borked again

        Nope, when the brown stuff comes out the unexpected end you know it's really serious.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "440,000 employees at Accenture"

    Well yeah. Accenture signed with Microsoft, so their employees have it on their desktop whether they want it or not. Big deal.

    Mine's the one with Teamspeak in the pocket.

  6. a_mu

    Teams on windows 7

    Title says it all,

  7. J. Simon van der Walt

    I told you so

    Quite amused by the quick turnaround at my work. Earlier this week I was like 'people, I think you'll find we're supposed to use Teams instead of Skype, Zoom, FaceTime etc' Cue mass scoffing, blank looks etc. Ten minutes later: EVERYONE,TEAMS, NOW!

  8. gerdesj Silver badge

    You get what you pay for

    The bloody thing simply turns up on anything that has MS Office installed in the wrong way. A bit like Skype and Dropbox and all the telemetry and stuff.

    I installed Teams on my Arch Linux laptop and desktop to join in with the kids. Hey, I'm just the MD of the company, of course I'm happy funnelling all comms through MS. lol etc. I did remove it because CPU and load average went mental too many times and the process was implicated. I'll give it another go in a few months.

  9. nxnwest

    Teams vs Collaboration

    I've told management several times to effectively use Teams, their employees must actually collaborate on tasks. Teams won't magically make them collaborate, and being in Government, it is against their nature to do so.

    Now, working on projects with ITS or anyone under say 35 (mental not physical age)? Different story. Anyone who says 'Sharepoint is great!! Make a Sharepoint site!!'? RUN. Groups/Channels? Those get as confusing as the file/directory trees created/named by engineers using naming conventions as a pseudo DBMS.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    The only thing I lilke about Teams

    It's far better than Jabber.

    I've not used Slack so can't compare to it.

    Anyone got preference these days? Every place I've been for the last 3 years has used Teams.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: The only thing I lilke about Teams

      Gone from Teams to Slack in my new role. You can chat, call, share screen (slack has a cool "draw on their screen" thing, don't know if teams has that) add emoticons and thumb up posts.

      There's fuck all difference for all intents and purposes.

      1. yoganmahew

        Re: The only thing I lilke about Teams

        Yeah, you can install whiteboards in Teams, as a side app from the Windows store (free, I believe).

    2. A K Stiles Silver badge

      Re: The only thing I lilke about Teams

      I think my main preference would be to use one set of comms channels, whatever they are.

      Currently juggling some unholy combination of Outlook, Teams, Skype, Skype FB, Slack, multiple websites/blogs, Yammer, Zoom, Adobe Connect, Webex, Gotomeeting ...

      Yes, that's all in 2020 and all for work related stuff.

  11. 0laf Silver badge

    Stuck at home now and relying on Teams as well as the rest of 365.

    Teams is working ok for me, I'e not had any reliability problems, meetings on it have run ok, but yeah big fecking notifications blocking parts of the screen.

    But Sharepoint, supposed to be the backbone of all this stuff. Jesus H Crist it's awful, even the most basic features missing. Can I share a file? Yep. Can I share a whole folder? Yep. Can I share 2 files inside a folder? Oh no no no who would ever want to share more than one but not all files. We don't do that!

  12. Fading

    Using the freemium version here....

    As a messenger and video caller it works fine for the price (not on 365 yet - well I have a personal subscription but work is still exchange and office 2016) . It is simple enough for even the less technical minded to use so does have that going for it.

  13. adam payne

    Microsoft plans to further tweak its platform. One upcoming feature.......

    Is being able to reset your password without Teams throwing it's toys out of the pram

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's time to ban comments on any article about Slack or Teams?

    The arguments are getting ridiculous. Neither is perfect. Yes, the open source alpha nerds will see using Teams as an attack on their cred. Yes, most Teams users have had it forced on them, but find it a vast improvement on what came before it*.

    * Anyone remember the bastard lovechild of Skype and Lync**?

    ** Though I'm by no means certain there is any actual Skype DNA in Skype for business (more of a kind of immaculate contraption from Hell).

  15. Jaap Aap

    Teams? Feck Teams!!

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