back to article Teams seeks 24-hour party people for consumer chat

Microsoft has previewed some more consumer-friendly features in its Slack-for-suits platform, Teams. The additions come a little late in the day as the Windows giant has seemingly ceded mindshare of its existing chat platform, Skype, to upstart Zoom, among people isolated not just from the workplace, but also from friends and …

  1. bryces666

    trust Microsoft?

    How can anyone trust Microsoft to make this all work and keep it working? And what happens when it doesn't, can you get support? We have recently just rolled out office 365 but SharePoint performed dreadfully, getting help and support from Microsoft was nigh on impossible!

    I also hope not needing Teams installed also equates to not needing a Microsoft account to join a meeting, that was the prime restriction that drove me to implement Zoom over the other offerings last year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: getting help and support from Microsoft


      Welcome to the real world. People all over the world have known about this for decades. Their support even to paying customers is almost non exitant and in my experience, Sharepoint is about the worst.

      We used to call it 'Share - what is the URL of my document today point.

      I'd put a document into it and copy the URL. A little while later, I'd use the URL and all I got was a '404'.

      Where the F*** has my document gone?

      The company mandated that we use Sharepoint. So we recorded the insertion and logged the URL. Box ticked. Then we'd load it all into our local git repository. We knew that we could find it there. PHB's were satisfied and us developers went about our business happy that the docs, code and everything else was accessible.

      Then they moved Sharepoint and everything else into Azure. That broke the company security rules that we'd all signed so we stopped putting it into the cloud. Things went wrong with our Azure sharepoint. It took MS two weeks to sort out and restore the data. Nuff said.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: getting help and support from Microsoft

        Attempt to open spreadsheet in teams app - most features don't work

        Right Click to 'open document in browser; - different subset of features work

        Now have a right click to 'open document in sharepoint' - get a few more features

        Finally 'open in app' starts excel so you can actually do stuff.

    2. NATTtrash

      Re: trust Microsoft?

      I also hope not needing Teams installed also equates to not needing a Microsoft account to join a meeting, that was the prime restriction that drove me to implement Zoom over the other offerings last year.

      Hear, hear! But...

      I hadn't counted on the great "flexibility" of the rest of the world, who find it difficult apparently to breath outside their carefully cultivated, locked in Microsoft garden. So there you are, all multiplatform considerate, Zoomed up and ready to go. And then you get that nice Teams invite. Again. For the 642 time. "OK, if it has to be Teams... Can you give me a phone number so I can call in?" "Noooooo, that won't work! Impossible! It has to be Teams, otherwise we can't go through the documents and presentations. Get Teams because that is the only way. Otherwise just buy a Windows computer!"

      Me thinks: 'Gosh, what have we been doing since 1987 in all those conf calls before this thumb typer was born?"

      In the end I lost confidence in humanity, ordered another, admitted defeat and installed the repolished Skype turd Slack rip off quick Electron Sunday afternoon botch *nix version of Teams. After jumping through one million hoops, burning through 6 email addresses and forced to give up 3 phone numbers "so we can send you a security code for your convenience since you don't seem to have an account with us!". So much for the much lauded productivity...

      But, must admit reluctantly that it does work. Sort of. No white board, no specific window choice for sharing (so watch what you have on your Desktop), no PiP when screen sharing, no quick additional cam plug in to show something close up, not even simple address book entries for "your contacts". But hey, the MS users seem impressed...

      Now they started on "you have to get on SharePoint".

      Only 3439 days to go...

      1. ovation1357

        Re: trust Microsoft?

        I've been through all of this too.

        Teams ticks the multiplatform box by being built on Electron. The UI sucks but I also find it very buggy on all platforms - it still can't handle simple things like maintaining the correct state icon of the mute button. On Windows and worse on Android it gets badly out of sync.

        I use the Teams for Linux beta which ironically performs better on my old ThinkPad than it does on my modern mid-spec corporate Windows machine. But I much prefer Zoom. The UI is pretty nice and not only based on Qt which is fairly good at multiplatform native code but also they seem to make Linux a first class citizen.

        The problem I encounter now is that within my client's main corporate environment all the laptops are locked down with a terrible Windows 10 build and only Teams is permitted. It's really short-sighted but means that external participants have to resort to using Teams because it really _is_ the only way. Nobody can join a zoom meeting because someone decided to completely block it and many others.

        Oh and whilst it is possible to get telephone access set up to Teams meetings they seem to make it very difficult to get it set up, and I believe it's a chargeable extra feature.

        The whole thing is a bit pile of fetid dingo's kidneys.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Muppet Mode

    Love that. Snappier than "Celebrity Squares" or "University Challenge" mode.

  3. DrG

    "[...]only applies to group chats with two or more participants."

    Group chats with a single participant need not apply...?

    1. Sgt_Oddball

      Well you could...

      If only I hadn't stopped listing to myself a few months back. I keep talking to myself but I just won't listen.

      It's really frustrating being ignored like that especially when I put the effort to arrange a call to myself as well...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Thank-you for listening.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Entschuldigung, bitte

    But why in 2020 is all this not just an interoperable standard?

    Reading the article:

    > As well as kicking off a personal chatemail or group chatemail with up to 250 people, 24-hour audio or video calls withsending attachments to up to 300 people will arrive in the coming months.

    We shouldn't even be thinking who might be our video conference provider, or that of the other person.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Entschuldigung, bitte

      100% this. Video calls and muppet shows should be like SMSes. You should be able to use any app. It's 2020 for fuck's sake.

    2. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: Entschuldigung, bitte

      Because everybody wants to keep users in their own walled garden, and there is no regulation forcing them to play nice with each other. Even something as simple as text messaging is hopelessly fragmented between iMessages, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Teams, RCS, Signal, Telegram, WeChat... How can you expect video calls to be interoperable, when video is a lot more technical, and a lot less likely to be powered by compatible systems?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Entschuldigung, bitte

        Yeah let's not talk about instant messaging. I've been using XMPP since 2000, changed accounts once in 2008, and that's the only messaging system that I have ever used. I don't see the point in jumping from barge to barge depending on what's popular today.

        1. Dinanziame Silver badge

          Re: Entschuldigung, bitte

          The point of instant messaging is to chat with other people... and for that, you need other people using the same system.

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