back to article Microsoft adds Breakout functionality to Teams that Zoom has had for ages – and people still don't like it

Microsoft's Teams continues to play catch-up to Zoom with the long-overdue implementation of Breakout rooms. Finally hitting General Availability, the implementation deals with problematically large meetings by allowing the organiser to create up to 50 breakout rooms and either manually or automatically assign participants to …

  1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Microsoft adds Breakout functionality to Teams

    > Microsoft adds Breakout functionality to Teams

    The word 'breakout' always makes me think of that game - I can imagine playing a version where the attendees pictures are turned into bricks and you have to zap them. Would certainly liven up a boring meeting or three.

    1. JDPower Bronze badge

      Re: Microsoft adds Breakout functionality to Teams

      That's what I immediately thought of. The actual story was a let down lol

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's ability to stay upright

    Microsoft's ability to stay upright is lacking based on the UK EDU outage on Friday 11th that made Teams and Sharepoint seem very patchy for much of the afternoon if you were an EDU customer in the UK. Still, Google lost it today, so swings and roundabouts I guess.

  3. Kevin Johnston

    Breakout rooms?

    If you have so many people in the meeting that some need to go off into their own room, DON'T INVITE SO MANY!!!

    That allows those who actually have work piling up to avoid the meeting and get on with all the stuff they got allocated in the meeting that just finished so they are ready to report on it in the next meeting which starts in an hour or so

    1. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: Breakout rooms?

      That was my thought also. A meeting should only contain a number of people that could fit around a small table - if you want to be productive.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Breakout rooms?

      The functionality is actually not for meetings, it's to allow virtual seminars. Like that you can have keynote with everyone watching, choice of different talks in multiple rooms, smaller workgroup sessions etc.

      The idea is that it's easier to control through a single 'meeting' with 'submeetings' than having an individual meeting set up for each session.

      And yes, not allowing hosts to pre-assign submeeting membership is terrible

      1. I am the liquor

        Re: Breakout rooms?

        Or slightly less boring, a virtual pub quiz where everyone listens to the questions, then breaks out into their teams to discuss the answers.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Breakout rooms?

      I agree, in general. But...

      We are implementing a new ERP system and our user workshops are being held in Teams. The main part of the training is in the group, then the users are pushed off into groups to carry out specific tasks, to ensure they have understood what they have been shown.

      Having breakout rooms would have been useful for that. The trainer could then switch between groups and ensure they understand what they are supposed to be doing, instead of everybody leaving the meeting and making 2 or 3 way calls for 20 minutes, then re-joining the meeting.

      It should certainly simplify the next round of training.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once upon a time...

    There was a very funny video (like on tape, so that old) called 'Meetings Bloody Meetings' starring John Cleese.

    I think that a good number of managers who demand staff attend endless Teams and Zoom meetings need to watch it and learn.

    I told my boss that all the time, I'm on a zoom call with 30+ others is time that I'm not doing anything productive. He still demanded that I attend three 1hr long calls a day. I sign in and turn the video off just so that I can get on with doing some real work. In all the meetings last week, I made a total of three comments. All the items being discussed were to do with other projects. Presenteeism is back with a vengance and with bells and whistles on it.

    1. benjya

      Re: Once upon a time...

      Heh I remember that John Cleese video, watched it at school!

  5. Chairman of the Bored

    Of course I don't bloody like it

    Fact is, like many people I'm stuck in group gropes involving several dozen people for hours at a time. So, I run these on my tablet and turn down the volume to a level just sufficient to hear my name being called, and fix my attention on my large monitors so I can catch up on email. Meetings become a blessing because nobody calls me on the phone ... I've got the perfect excuse for not answering every ping: I'm "in" a meeting.

    But it you put me in a breakout room with a handful of people, I'm forced to participate while the emails stack up...

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Of course I don't bloody like it

      If a meeting is held and everybody turns down the volume, did the meeting really happen?

  6. I am the liquor

    Visual Studio Code 1.52

    I haven't been following Visual Studio Code version numbers... is 1.52 just a natural increment, or is it a knowing nod to the classic Visual C++ version that some of us grey-beards remember from the Windows 3.1 days?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teams is awful

    I don't care what MS adds to it, Teams is and always will be utterly awful: the most uncollaborative (both in bloat, resource usage and functionality) collaboration tool I have ever used. Yes, I have used Lotus Notes; and yes, I hate Teams more.

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    Building on a Raspbery Pi

    As someone who develops for small devices including the Pi, believe me that building on the device itself is a last resort. It might make sense to do for a school computer lab decked out with Pi keyboards or whatever. But usually it's better to have a PC with a cross compiler and VS Code or something like it with rsh to do your development on - it's way faster, the editor is faster, your files are on the PC and you can still do stuff like debugging.

    As an aside one of the cool things added to VS Code recently is the ability to run VS Code from Windows and build / debug stuff within the Windows Linux subsystem. It's actually really easy to develop Linux code from Windows now.

  9. Trixr

    "Sharepoint" users?

    So how many of those "cloud Sharepoint" users are actually Teams and OneDrive users inheriting a SharePoint presence via those products?

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