back to article Microsoft's Teams Essential tier seems designed to coax people on to Business Basic

Because not everyone is a Microsoft 365 customer, Microsoft has launched a Teams Essentials standalone product to try to nab those remaining holdouts. With the likes of Zoom squarely in its sights, the product is aimed at small businesses and raises the capabilities of the freebie version of Teams, starting at $4 (£3+VAT) per …

  1. John Young 1

    2GB File Size... Paltry? :)

    A paltry 2GB – fine for a basic documents, but less good for that high-resolution meme.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: 2GB File Size... Paltry? :)

      The Essential tier is 32-bit apparently.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teams is shit.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      That's a bit unfair. With proper fiber intake, shit can be quite reliable.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Global warning

    Everyone I know who uses Teams experiences extreme CPU load and battery drainage.

    Has anyone measured whether Teams use more power than Bitcoin?

    That technology should be banned for its contribution to global warning.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Global warning

      Yes, I was in a 5-way conference in Teams and I had to quit Outlook, Excel and close TeamViewer Manager and RDP manager, because Teams was taking all 8GB of RAM and over 80% CPU!

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Global warning


        You manage to run Teams and Windows on 8GB of RAM ?

    2. Screepy

      Re: Global warning

      It's not 'everyone' I'm afraid.

      However, we do have some clumps of users in our org where Teams seems to be CPU hungry, but certainly not all.

      We have approximately 4500 laptops in the org, none older than 5 years, and a mix of specs, from boggo standard i3's(poor users) to i7's to some fancy Mac book pros ("I'm a UX designer it MUST be a Mac"), and a sprinkling of Ryzens.

      There are a group of 'shouty' users that frequently report that their Teams is slowing down their ability to work - there are about 45 of these users from across the company. We've yet to bottom out why some are more affected than others. The users in question are from across the spectrum in terms of roles - from devs, to kitchen staff, to c-suite, to finance etc.

      There is also probably a good chunk of staff who just accept that Teams seems to slow their machine down a bit but just shrug and get on with life without logging a ticket with the help desk - so we lose out on those data points.

      Teams used to be total crap, now it seems to be slightly less crap (or people have just learned how to work with it better) but to say it smashes CPU on all devices is just wrong.

      For a bit of balance, Zoom issues generate more help desk calls than Teams in our org

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Global warning

        If Microsoft would, you know, just write a native Windows application for Teams. That might help with the bloat and CPU usage.

        Microsoft must have some developers who understand Windows somewhere...

        1. techulture

          Re: Global warning

          Nope, no Windows "native" version, but they are changing two things: Moving from Electron to WebView2 and rewriting the actual views from Angular to React.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Global warning

      I've noticed a tendency for Micros~1 applications to "spin" - i.e. 100% CPU utilization while waiting for stuff to happen, since the Win-10-nic beta. It seems to be most prominent when run in a VM. I think this has never been properly fixed. Worth noting, Win NT 4 in a VM spins at 100% continuously, and I think 2k does also, but XP and later do not.

      Aside from those observations, if the CPU utiliztion is pegged at 100% expect:

      a) no clock throttling to lower CPU power requirement

      b) lousy 'idle mode' processing

      c) background things not being scheduled often enough

      d) fan stays on or cycles on/off way too much

      conclusion; not good for battery capacity

      If I am right, some coder needs to fix his code to do more intelligent thread handling and NOT spin/poll on any shared object without inserting a time delay that guarantees the CPU will briefly enter an 'idle' state.

      'Teams' apparently falls in the same trap, if I read the tea leaves correctly.

      (good luck getting them to fix it)

  4. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    I have kicked my chatting addiction in '97

    In 1997, for a glorious three weeks, I had a twenty hour a day chatting addiction.

    Then, I had a long look at my life, and stopped chatting. Turned around, walked away, did not look back.

    Ever since then, when a workplace tried to force me to use instant messaging to drag out a five minute voice conversation into a ten hour chat session, I told them that I was a recovered addict, much better now thank you, and making me chat would be a health and saftey issue, best avoided.

    Funny, is it not, back in the 1950s two of the most powerful words were "Nuclear Weapons", but this century, some of us have managed to weaponise "Health & Safety" to a higher degree.

    Chatting is an incredible time waster, and it boggles the mind why corporates would allow it anywhere near the workplace.

    When I am supreme being, instant messaging programs will be first against the wall...

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I have kicked my chatting addiction in '97

      Yes, I had a narcissist girlfriend with Borderline. That cost me over 1,000€ in SMS over a 2 month period!

      I've also been wary of chat services and social media since then. It is a struggle sometimes.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: I have kicked my chatting addiction in '97

        Don't you mean it cost *her* over E1,000? Or is "me" one of the new thrid-person pronouns?

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: I have kicked my chatting addiction in '97

          No, my invoice was over 1,000€. The bullying and making me feel bad for not responding immediately to her messages...

          If you are in such a situation, it is difficult to see what is going on and even harder to get out of. I was lucky, I had very good family & friends who didn't abandon me and took me under their wing, even though she had tried to distance me from them.

    2. the.spike

      Re: I have kicked my chatting addiction in '97

      "Chat" is a good addition to the communications tool bag but I think the biggest problem is people use it wrong.

      If you've got a quick question you need to know the answer to now, then by all means ping me with it. If the answer is quick and simple I'll tell you. If it's not, then I'm going to call you and give you the answer. If you've got queries to my quick answer then you should phone me, not post reams of text into the chat, which then leads to the aforementioned 10 hour chat.

      If it's more involved than a quick question then call me. If you don't need to know then send me an email and I'll get round to it.

      I think with IP telephony (which is good) and many people now having no desk phone (or desk for that mater!), people forget they can just use their computer to call, and fall back on chat.

      And then people perpetually complain that they get too many emails and so ignore everything. Hence pushing people to chat to get a response.

      It's chat all the down..

      1. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: I have kicked my chatting addiction in

        It does have its uses, with people in different timezones, we can post an update at the end of the working day to all those on the project so they can see it when they log on.

        However when a chat between two people gets too long pick up the phone and sort it out directly. To quote BT adverts from years ago “it’s good to talk” (think that might be the Bob Hoskins ones)

  5. big_D Silver badge

    30 hours?

    30 hour meetings? My bum hurts after a couple of hours of sitting in a meeting and I have an 8 hour working day.

    Who on Earth has 30 hour meetings? I think they have an addiction problem and should seriously look for help!

  6. Tim99 Silver badge


    "The absence of Google Calendar integration, as an example, could be a deal-breaker"

    I’d pay a lot more NOT to have Google and MS… >>======>

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Groupwise is still a product, I do believe... ;)

  7. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    Step this way

    The real point of the Essential tier is to identify those users who have no idea of the value of money, so marketing can spam them with all kinds of special offers.

  8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    I was supposed to be watching an online presentation last night. I followed the link and it demanded to run in Teams.

    I selected the 'use my browser' option. After a couple of minutes it just came to a halt. So much of a halt that I had to reset the entire computer with extreme paperclip.

    So I downloaded the Teams Client - which is calls an 'app', what is it about people thinking everybody uses a smartphone?

    On running the installer Windows complained it wasn't a legitimate executable file.

    I've been holding meetings with Zoom for almost two years, even with the crap-fest that is Zoom. If Microsoft wants to steal that market they need to make their product actually work.

  9. Sub 20 Pilot

    Once again MS tries to force it's way into people's working life with absolutely nothing of any use. I use 5 different collaboration / meeting tools and all the other 4 running at the same time, would use a fraction of processor, disk and memory as teams. I can heat the room I am working in with my laptop if in a teams meeting for an hour.

    What the fuck have they got running in the background ?

    I have actually turned down work in the last 6 months because it would have involved 2 or 3 teams meetings per week. Life is too short to produce that much heat and waste power for a phone call with a fucking blurry stuttery video.

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