back to article Where are EU going with that Teams antitrust probe? Microsoft wants a word

Microsoft, already under the European Union's microscope for its $69 billion bid for game maker Activision Blizzard, reportedly wants to talk to regulators there to try to see off legal action against Teams based on an antitrust complaint levied two years ago by rival Slack. Slack, the workspace messaging app now owned by …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Microsoft Torture Suite

    Otherwise known as Teams, should be illegal.

    I don't know a single person that likes Teams. How do you know you are on Teams without looking?

    "I am sorry I am late, I couldn't connect"

    "I missed the meeting because Teams was just showing blank screen"

    "Shall we switch to Hangouts or Slack?"

    "What's that noise? Oh that my fans gone crazy, can we switch off cameras?"

    and so on and so forth...

    If it wasn't Microsoft, I would think that malware was released by Chinese government to sabotage Western businesses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

      Most of my clients use Microsoft Teams, although I also have some which use Google Meet (Google Workspace), Zoom, Slack or (good forbid) Webex, and I'm often forced to use the same software when dealing with them. And I really can't overstate how much I hate Teams compared to pretty much everything else I have to use, and that even includes Webex.

      Let's be clear, all video conferencing apps suck to some extend, but Teams is really something special, with an awful UI (obviously designed by someone who doesn't do "messaging"), horrible resource demands (thanks to being an Electron POS, although I heard MS is moving away from that) and a wide range of random and highly annoying bugs which even stand out with a vendor like Microsoft (who's notorious for seeing major showstopper bugs as inconsequential and who has brought us idiotic stuff like OMIGOD).

      But then, nothing Microsoft has ever messed up has ever deterred businesses from nurturing their complete dependence on a single platform from a single vendor, so at this stage they probably deserve what they get.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

        Some of my clients use Teams, some use Skype for Business. I also use Zoom quite a lot, and have had to use Webex and Google Meet. Both Meet and Webex seem to have random technical problems quite frequently. With Teams and Skype it seems to be dependent on some setup / configuration or high sensitivity to network conditions, as they work reasonably OK with some clients and not at all well with others.

        I don't really understand complaints about the interface. In pretty much all of them there's a main window in which you can see any participants (including yourself) who have video, or someone can present a screen, and there's various buttons to toggle participant lists, chat messages and attachments. Oh, and that very obvious mute/unmute button that's in a very prominent place but nobody seems to be able to find. They're all pretty much interchangeable.

        I haven't ever worked with Slack so I can't comment about that.

    2. b0llchit Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

      and so on and so forth...

      Have you read the TOS and privacy policy? They state in very polite legalese that they may record, store and analyse whatever you do, say or show.

      Did anyone receive that mail with "you have been mentioned in/by..."? That was a private conversation, wasn't it?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

      *** TOP CONFIDENTIAL CCP EYES ONLY***

      - Our Secret Plan to Destroy the West -

      1) doo doo doo

      2) dum dum

      3) hmm

      4) Keep sitting on hands

      5) Have they ground themselves to a stand-still yet?

    4. Danny 5

      Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

      That's pretty insane, because I hardly know a single person that doesn't like teams. It also sounds like you just have a shit setup, because the one I previously worked on (we're in the process of introducing it on my current project, I'll likely be involved with the rollout) rarely had any issues. In fact, I am yet to work on an environment where it didn't work near flawlessly.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

        Flawlessly? Nowhere near.

        Though it does mostly work, most of the time. As long as you've got a big pipe, plenty of RAM, and never have any need of history beyond the last 50 or so messages.

        And $deity help you if you ever need to search.

        If you only use it for videoconferencing, then again, it mostly works, most of the time.

        As a quick example, it cannot cope with mixed-DPI setups. The bugs change fairly regularly, but it's never actually worked properly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

          Message history is set by your IT department. Oh, you work in IT and didn't know that? Read the instructions. It's part of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

            Scroll back. See how far you get before there's nothing but grey boxes indicating that there might be text and images, once Sharepoint manages to serve them to Teams.

        2. iron Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

          > As a quick example, it cannot cope with mixed-DPI setups.

          It seems to cope just fine with my 1080p and 1440p monitors which not only have different DPI settings but different zoom levels as well.

      2. localzuk Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

        I think you were very lucky then. Microsoft themselves have acknowledged the Teams desktop app is problematic and are in the process of rewriting it, last I heard...

        We use Teams here with our staff, and we see issues all the time. Example, yesterday, I joined a meeting, had my usual camera and mic settings all sorted in the join screen. Clicked join, and suddenly it told me I didn't have my camera enabled, and had reset my audio to different devices. Nothing to do with any setup from our side, the software is just buggy and weird.

        This is repeated constantly across our staff. Random black screens. Cameras randomly not working. Random crashes and freezes. All in a day's work with Teams.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

          Other than insisting on copying everything to servers in a regime with no data protection (US), it's the incessant random problems with cameras just not working, screens freezing (sharing screen and un-sharing sometimes fixes this) and the usual dumb interface with randomly placed things that are not intuitive at all. When you know where to find something it's OK, but there's nothing whatsoever intuitive about any of it. Recently we've had USB devices stopping working in systems using teams for no reason whatsoever - unplug and plug them and they start working again immediately.

          Microsoft are said to be working on Teams 2.0... undoubtedly it'll break compatibility with systems used by those stupid enough to use dedicated "teams" hardware and probably with the current version of teams and knowing Microsoft they'll find some marketing bullshit excuse to claim that it's "Windows 11 only". However re-writing something this horrible from scratch isn't a bad thing therefore as it's grown as an organic mess over the years and just got slower and more resource hungry every time. Never a feature added that didn't promote further lock in of course.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

        Lucky you.

        I still can't disable outgoing video in the settings and have to disable incoming video to stop my 3-year old laptop going into overdrive. It's got better it's still pretty awful and that's even before we get into "you must use Azure" rules when trying to run on premise.

    5. AndersH

      Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

      I know being vaguely positive isn't popular on the Web but... MS Teams works alright at our company, and our laptops are nearly four years old. Video calls are not quite as good as Zoom, but it's easier to use than Webex. MS Teams has made collaborating easier, e.g. working on shared docs. I can't see why a company would introduce Teams if they already had something like Slack, without retiring the existing product. It'd be like saying, "we've got Exchange email, but let's also introduce Gmail".

      "Shall we switch to Hangouts or Slack?" said no one ever.

    6. iron Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft Torture Suite

      Can't say I've had a problem with Teams, unlike Zoom which always wants to update and then usually tells me I need a license whenever I try to join something hosted by someone else.

  2. localzuk Silver badge

    Not sure this would go anywhere?

    Microsoft are not the dominant supplier of productivity and collaboration software any more, with Google Workspace having a large market share as well. And they bundle a similar set of tools (though they're not as streamlined).

    How far do you go with complaints about bundling? Should each item in the office suite be forced to be sold separately, so that some other random spreadsheet maker can sell their alternative to Excel?

    In reality, Office is popular with enterprise *because* it is a unified suite of tools. It being a bundle is critical to its success.

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge
      Happy

      Long Live VisiCalc!

      "Forever changed how people use computers in business."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure this would go anywhere?

      Each DLL should be sold separately.

      You want to do a vlookup in excel? Sorry thats an addon, you want to read your text as well as type it, yeah that an add on too.

      You want to send AND received video in a call yeah those are licensed separately.

      Oh and all these "features" should be written with an open standard so everyone can have a pop at writing the functionality.

      Antitrust cases are mostly used these days because companies cant create a USP or do something better than the competition. Cant get market share because you product isnt visible, get a better marketing team.

  3. sabroni Silver badge
    Boffin

    Typical comment section really....

    Loads of mouthy MS haters claiming Teams is unusable and a few timid voices who use it and haven't had any problems with it so they must be stupid.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Typical comment section really....

      I'm pretty happy with Teams. There's a working Linux version, which counts for a lot to me, and is likely facilitated by the Electron foundations.

      Lync and Skype for (destroying your) Business were unusable piles of stinking doo-doo, and required Windows.

      I have been forced at various times to try Slack, Bluejeans, WebEx and various others. None seems notably superior in any way to Teams.

      -A.

  4. Marc 13
    Boffin

    Lots of hate for Teams... how many have done any investigation before slagging it off?

    I'd hazard a guess that there's a few mis-configs and 3rd parties spoiling the party...

    https://connectivity[.]office.com

    (n.b. you'll need .Net 6 installed, but no adm rights required to run the tool)

    My top frequent fliers for causing issues:

    1. Not split tunnelling the traffic: MSFT traffic -> direct to MSFT is the fix

    2. MitM inspection. (see above, why are you MitM your MSFT traffic back at HQ before it goes to MSFT?)

    3. DNS (obvs)

    bonus: My PiHole was blocking some M365 stuff too, allowed it and things improved.

    1. spireite Silver badge

      Can't help but think Boeing are building a high-altitude lawn dart...

      I'm on the fence, because a previous employer used both.

      Tech used Slack 99.9%, everyone else Teams...

      Slack has its issues with video calls (back then).

      To be fair Teams has improved, but it's still a massive sucker of resource,

  5. Binraider Silver badge

    MS Teams : Very resource hungry and causes inexplicable performance issues with Office applications when attempting to use both Teams and an Office app at the same time.

    I say inexplicable, actually it's quite the opposite. Bloatware and undocumented interconnection between stuff is absolutely the cause.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not surprised it's shit

    When outlook tells you it's blocked the teams add-in for being dodgy slow and crap, believe it.

    only time M$ have been honest!.

    1. joed

      Re: not surprised it's shit

      The funniest thing is that it's most s...t at MS' own platform.

      But definitely, their market position is such that effectively blocks any competing product once a business used any of MS Office products (it amazed me rhat anyone considered zoom an investment at the beginning of covid with Teams creeping onto corporate desktop). And now that Teams is bundled for 'free' with the rest of o365, no sane IT would bother with anything else. Also you get free Bing search bundle that nobody would pay for otherwise, hooray.

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