back to article Microsoft dips Teams in the metaverse vat with avatars ahead

Microsoft Teams users are getting more ways to express themselves to other participants on those increasingly frequent video calls. Redmond is continuing to add features that enable users to change the look of their environments during video meetings, from blurring the background to putting shots of scenic vistas behind them …

  1. skotl

    If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

    Teams is the most bug-ridden piece of crap that I'm forced to use on my PC several times a day. The only app that I use more often is Outlook (which works flawlessly).

    And *this* is what the Teams product management gurus decide to spend their time on? The way it's supposed to work is that you look at what your customers want and deliver that, not throw all your efforts at trying to turn a business tool into a nursery-school app.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

      What precisely makes you think that 'Teams' was actually designed and not some intern's project that by mistake got released to the world?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

        >not some intern's project that by mistake got released to the world?

        Because any intern you hire today has been using a computer daily for 10-15years

        Whoever designed teams had a computer described to them by somebody who had only seen one in a 1950s SF movie

        (I was going to list all the things wrong with it, but there isn't enough space in this margin)

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

      You had me fooled and even nodding along with you until you said that Outlook "works flawlessly".

      Nice try, ChatGPT.

      1. JoeCool Silver badge

        Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

        BingGPT

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

      Teams is a god send. When there is a meeting you don't want to attend or it is getting too boring, you can just say that you had problems to get in and everyone is going to believe you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

        OK, now that is about the first positive thing ever of Teams.

        Now if I was the company releasing software like this I'd be embarrased, but that's because I have standards.

        We know Microsoft hates standards with a vengeance..

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: If I designed products this way, we'd go bust

          "We know Microsoft hates standards with a vengeance.."

          Not really. They just want the standards to be their own.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Meanwhile....

    https://slashdot.org/story/23/03/15/0542207/microsoft-lays-off-key-ai-ethics-team-report-says

    We are doomed to be replaced by AI systems going wild. Obeying the 3 Laws of Robotics are only for WOKE AI's.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Meanwhile....

      Oh, come on. It's not as if these "AI" systems would do anything devious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile....

        Started reading the article and then blocked by pay wall, so this comment could be way out of line as I only read the first paragraph or so....

        Disclaimer out the way - surely it was the human programmer that set up the AI as a blind person, so not the AI`s fault?

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile....

      Do they mean eThicks?

    3. fidodogbreath

      Re: Meanwhile....

      I saw somewhere that MS is also rolling out a ChatGPT-ish AI to LinkedIn to 'help you' write your bio and resume.

      In our brave new world, one AI writes your resume and sends it to another AI that decides whether you get an interview with an AI-powered HRbot.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile at my bigcorp

    Managers are lamenting that only 50% of people turn on their webcams in Teams meetings.

    Here's me, a humble developer, sharing my desktop with the terminal, editor, or debugger open. Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong. My productivity is low because I should forget that nonsense and look nice for the camera.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile at my bigcorp

      "Managers are lamenting that only 50% of people turn on their webcams in Teams meetings."

      Don't they realise the speakers aren't turned on either?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile at my bigcorp

      I have a desktop PC, so my reasons (excuses) is that I'm saving bandwidth, that I gave my camera away to a user that needed it more than I did and that I didn't want it stealing my soul.

  4. JoeCool Silver badge

    Oh look, another use for Clippy

    Personally, I would pay actual money for a Wile E. Coyote animation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh look, another use for Clippy

      Especially if it included a feature to drop an anvil on the other party. Automatically if it's Marketing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh look, another use for Clippy

      Cool!

      I'm want a grumpy curmudgeon avatar!

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    I want to make a teleprompter type set up ...

    ... with the camera directly behind the centre of my screen. Just to see if I can freak my colleagues out by staring directly into their eyes.

    But if they can come up with a 3D avatar, it can attend meetings on my behalf whilst I do some work.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I want to make a teleprompter type set up ...

      >Just to see if I can freak my colleagues out by staring directly into their eyes.

      There's an nvidia thing that does that, it detects your face and redraws your eyes looking directly at the camera - and yes it is creepy as fsck

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: I want to make a teleprompter type set up ...

        > redraws your eyes looking directly at the camera - and yes it is creepy as fsck

        That does sound incredibly creepy. Why do I have a mental image of Roger Rabbit's Judge Doom?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I want to make a teleprompter type set up ...

      I've done that by using glass from an old picture frame in a 45º frame and a cloth to keep the camera in the dark so the glass turns into a mirror (plexi just doesn't reflect that well IMHO).

      The only problem I had was that I had to pollute an iPad with Teams (and it only works for people meetings, reading anything in mirror script is hard). It worked, but it was just too much faff in the end and I now only have Teams on an old, empty iPhone so it cannot get its dirty mitts on any important data (our Wifi only connects you to a DMZ, and the VPN is not installed on the phone either). And yes, you can't read much on an iPhone either :).

      I don't use it much, though, only for outsiders. We have far more secure facilities for confidential work.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I want to make a teleprompter type set up ...

      "But if they can come up with a 3D avatar, it can attend meetings on my behalf whilst I do some work."

      Use it as your photo on your LinkedIn and job adverts. Then you it can "work" multiple jobs.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I want to make a teleprompter type set up ...

        You can make your own 3D avatar and use it with any camera for any meeting

  6. that one in the corner Silver badge

    You call that a personality? *This* is a personality!

    > Video filters allow users "to ... better express yourself by bringing your personality to each meeting."

    Gawd no, one of the better things about video calls is being out of reach of some particular "personalities".

    And you just know that is *those* people who will spend the time on this, making sure all the participants get "the full benefit of their presence in this meeting".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You call that a personality? *This* is a personality!

      I'm worried about if they start adding smell-o-vision to it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You call that a personality? *This* is a personality!

        Oh, let them. A bit of butyric acid will soon get that back offline, trust me.

        For those who don't know its smell, have a full platoon of soldiers do a 50 mile march with full backpacks, then sit them down and get downwind from them while they all remove their boots and socks simulteaneously.

        That, but so concentrated that merely briefly taking the stopper off a small bottle of it will render a corridor unusable for hours.

        As I "accidentally" discovered when at school..

        :)

  7. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Bling first, functionality later (never?)

    How nice of micros~1 to pamper us with 3D garbage, however, you can't even forward messages in the Teams chat (Desktop client).

    What word starts with "M" and ends with "orons"?

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