back to article Microsoft 365 invites users to 'Ask Me Anything' – as long as it doesn't require a clued-up exec to deliver clear answers

A Microsoft 365 AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread yesterday failed to reveal much of substance about plans for the future or how to fix the platform's many issues. "We are very excited to announce a Microsoft 365 'Ask Microsoft Anything' (AMA) for Microsoft 365!" community manager Dylan Snodgrass said back in February. The day came …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need TheRegister!

    Thank you TheRegister for your thankless endeavor to provide honest comments on the state of affairs in IT.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    All About Teams

    Understandable really[1]. Given the current level of MS Advertising for the thing.

    [1] Other conferencing products are available.

  3. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    There's just soo much churn

    I don’t know what it is with Microsoft these days, there's clearly been huge progress with features, functionality and integration, but there's just so much change, and it's all at different stages for different clients. It feels like features are constantly being re-bundled, re-worked, re-branded and re-named. I'm not saying progress isn't good, but it's the way that it’s done - it's disorientating and un-engaging for end users. Sure, you got used to X, but now X is Y, but not all of X is Y, and some of Z is now Y too, but only if you weren’t subscribed to Y in the first place etc... It's enough to give me the Ballmer sweats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Christopher Reeve's Horse - Re: There's just soo much churn

      You make way more money from confused captive users.

      1. Robert Grant

        Re: @Christopher Reeve's Horse - There's just soo much churn

        Activity is a wonderful substitute for achievement.

    2. kurrekt

      Re: There's just soo much churn

      Fair statement and I love a bit of drama in a comment but " give me the Ballmer sweats" may be taking it too far. That Ballmer fella was an absolute disaster.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: There's just soo much churn

        Too much churn and we could be looking at a Ballmer style disaster. I wonder if that's what he meant?

    3. Szymon Kosecki

      Re: There's just soo much churn

      Its probably a side effect of "Agile without a cause" ....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    The problem

    The problem is not the AMA (although I appreciate El Reg's coverage), the problem is the "community". Why Microsoft, with their boatloads of money, can't set up a team of professionals to monitor and respond to questions and problems from the community is beyond me.

    P.S. El Reg needs to define a standard measure of a boatload of money.

    1. WolfFan

      Re: The problem

      El Reg ‘boatload of money’ = An Ark.

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: The problem

        re 'boatload of money'

        Surelyit the unit would be the shed.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem

          The Ark measures boats, we need to measure money. A Seawaymax ( one that can go through all major canals) cargo carrier can carry 28,500 tons which is about $28,500,000,000 in one dollar bills, so about 1/3 of a Zuck (depending on the market).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem

          Nah. That would be silly. You never hear about Sheddy McShedface, now do you?

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: The problem

      Would a boatload of money be enough to make a mid-80s yacht rock album? Or would it just be enough to pay for the cocaine?

      1. EnviableOne

        Re: The problem

        surley a Boatload should be the price of a new yacht?

        $250,000,000 was the cost of the Hydrogen powered one Bill Gates was supposedly buying, and consequently was the cost of Steve jobs Venus....

    3. EveryTime

      Re: The problem

      No doubt they have a large team of community marketing professionals to monitor and interact with the community.

      The open question is if those marketing professionals know that they the technical side of the company.

      - The marketing department couldn't convince someone from the technical side to participate, and didn't have the political pull to force someone to do it. That would be some combination of inept internal marketing, internal power wars, and active indifference by the technical team. Some combinations would leave marketing blameless.

      - Some marketing hack wanted "control" of the conversation and didn't trust the technical people to properly lie about plans, schedules, features and bugs.

      - Some marketing hack thought that they would actually answer the questions. Which is absurd. Dunning-Kruger absurd. Some of these customers spend their who working days dealing with the minutia of the products. They are the experts from the end-user side. They aren't going to be asking a question that could be answered by skimming a manual or using the application for a few minutes.

  5. Vince

    Surely the questions should have been:

    1) Why is * 365 so unreliable?

    2) Why is OneDrive and SharePoint so god damn bad still?

    3) How do you make your Exchange so latent and break sync compared to on-prem run by others?

    4) Why do you undercut your own partners on pricing for the Office part?

    5) Why do you keep renaming the damn products confusing the hell out of people?

    6) Why do you deliberately cripple the full no-sub office compared to the sub office given the cost?

    7) Why do you still refuse to let small businesses use 365 office on RDS without the VL or Enterprise requirements?

    There are doubtless more.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could we ask a simple question: why does Orifice 365 have to be so shite?

    1. vistisen

      ...and you complain about the answers being vague

    2. steviebuk Silver badge

      Still better than gsuite

      1. Sampler

        I don't know, the mail in gsuite had been a helluva lot better than outlook in 365 (which is worse than the old exchange days before my decade in gsuite).

        Never head much of a problem with drive either, hangouts could be better, but it was better than Skype, why we switched.

        Maybe it's just being old and used to gsuite, but switching to o365 four months back with a new employer is not working for me.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "SharePoint is the back end of Teams"

    Well that explains a lot.

    You mind explaining why an SQL server wasn't good enough ?

    Except for the fact that SQL doesn't belong to Microsoft, of course. Oh, you forgot the existence of MSSQL ? What a shame.

    Looks like NIH is well and alive at Microsoft. Either that or Microsoft is desperate in finding things for Sharepoint to do.

  8. ovation1357

    'First, the user interface in Microsoft's "AMA Space" is poor.'

    And you're surprised? Poor UIs are what Microsoft does best these days.

    The whole Windows TIFKAM clusterf**k leading to Office and O365 UIs: Universally shite IMO

    Wasted space galore, oversized fonts, undersized fields... I've not even seen the AMA space yet I can already clearly picture it in my mind from the description :-|

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Long time since I heard TIFKAM, thumbs up for that..

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      I can help you imagine how it looks...

      • Pick a narrow width font with verticals roughly half the width of Arial or Helvetica. Extra points if you find one where uppercase I(i), lowercase l(L) and the number 1 all look identical
      • Render this font in point size 8
      • In mid grey
      • On a white background

      I've found that applying an override stylesheet is the only bloody way of being able to read the "modern" Microsoft web pages.

  9. picturethis

    Well, to be fair...

    The event was "ask me anything", they didn't commit to being able to provide answers.... That event would have been called maa (ms answer anything)..

  10. karlkarl Silver badge

    32-bit Teams for Linux please

    Its not like I would trust the software on my main development amd64 workstation. Would be really useful to run it on my ratty netbook though.

    The provide a 32-bit build for Windows. Is Microsoft trying to make out that Linux is for power-users only and they would always have the latest stuff?

    This is not true. I moved to Linux exactly so I can get out of the consumption / update cycle.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ask Me Anything.

    How long is a piece of string?

    Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?

    Do fish have ears?

    Who made God?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ask Me Anything.

      As long as it is.

      Because it is a monopoly.

      Yes, just no flaps for the ear.

      There are two types of things that can exist. A thing can either be eternal, or have a beginning. A thing that has always existed is therefore not "made". A thing that was made, and therefore at one point never existed, needs someone or something to make it. So by definition, it can be defined that God is in the group of things that always existed, and thus were never made or does not require something to make God.

      You can ask anything. But you can also ask better questions. ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There are two types of things that can exist.

        What about a being with a beginning but not end. Similar to the concept of a ray in geometry.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There are two types of things that can exist.

          Yes. A thing can have a beginning or no beginning. An end or no end. Thus three possible combinations of those two groups.

          The error people make is trying to first apply (or force) a thing into a group then proving it (bias and assuming) , instead of checking and reasoning on which group it falls into.

          For example the above assumptions that a definition of God requires a beginning or that the universe (physical as we currently observe) has no beginning. Data shows our universe has a beginning and logic can define a God without one.

          PS not sure why asking about beings? Anything can be eternal or not, if possible or not logically contradictory. A being with a beginning and no end is logically possible. Just not one we (fianite beings) can ever observe.

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