back to article Microsoft forges One Teams App To Rule Them All

Microsoft is on the cusp of addressing a major frustration caused by its Teams app by introducing a version capable of simultaneously logging in to multiple personae. Today, Teams users who have multiple work accounts – or a work account and a personal account – can't use a single app to access them all at once. Microsoft …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    "with separate icons on the taskbar"

    So still really still two Teams instances then.

    1. Mr Humbug

      Re: "with separate icons on the taskbar"

      But hopefully it will get past the nonsense of two separate icons on the start menu and all the subsequentt 'why is Teams suddenly asking me to login and why does it say my account is invalid?'

      Edit: or three icons if you have Teams, Teams (work or school) and Teams Classic (work or school)

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: "with separate icons on the taskbar"

        At least New Teams for MacOS stopped regularly disabling my network connection.

        1. Stu J

          Re: "with separate icons on the taskbar"

          It still regularly kills my webcam though.

          Google Meet, Slack Huddles, and Zoom have *never* killed my webcam.

          What the actual hell is Teams trying to do to it that requires it to be replugged for it to come back to life?

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: "with separate icons on the taskbar"

            I almost never use my camera and I usually disable incoming video feeds, but I'm sure it would probably crash that as well. This for two reasons: the fan starts whirring very quickly on my MacBook but I also find talking heads extremely distracting: I spend most of my time watching them rather than what is being discussed.

    2. Mike007 Bronze badge

      I am assuming this also means 2 work accounts with different organisations both signed in and online at the same time?

      "You can now launch personal and work accounts simultaneously with separate icons on the taskbar,"

      This is how it currently works... new teams has worked better for the scenario I mention than "teams classic" in that account switching is better, but I don't see anything in the article that isn't already supported?

      My current gripe with Teams is external users - Why do they have to "switch account" to access a team on my tenant instead of it being seamlessly integrated as an extra tab? And don't get me started on how bloody useless chat is if you have a guest account on a clients tenant... They will NEVER message the "external" account that you are actually signed in to.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        If I have to use Teams I am just using it in the browser.

        I would have separate browser profile for different accounts.

        I am yet to hear a case for installing the app.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Use case: It's a lot more convenient to kill the fucking thing when it's running in its own process.

          Also I don't need to pollute my browser with Teams, thanks.

      2. 43300 Silver badge

        "This is how it currently works... new teams has worked better for the scenario I mention than "teams classic" in that account switching is better, but I don't see anything in the article that isn't already supported?"

        The W11 Fake-Teams, which has disappeared in 23H2, only allowed you to log into a personal account. As I understand it, they are introducing a single client which works irrespective of the type of account, so although it may have separate icons for separate signed-in instances, it is the same program. This will get rid of the confusion where users try to sign into something called 'Teams' with their work account, and it refuses to allow it as it's actually Fake-Teams (which had a very simialr icon to real Teams).

  2. ChoHag Silver badge

    This is the best they have to offer, with all that AI floating around? Tabbed browsing?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      What, you too don't think the biggest issue with the piece of crap is the ability to switch between accounts?

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        I've been spared the use of this particular incarnation of a telephone. It's from Microsoft though so I can make my own assumptions.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Well, I don't, since the only reason I'd ever use Teams is because I absolutely have to, and fortunately I only absolutely have to work, where I have a single account.

        For me, there are any number of bigger problems with Teams. The lack of a setting to stop it from converting text to fucking emoji, for example. Its horrible inability to format anything well is another. The crap search facility.

        Of course, adding anything "AI" to it would make it enormously worse, so OP's question really doesn't make sense.

  3. Tim 11

    Too little too late

    The only people still using Teams are those in big corporates and government bureaucracies that only have one account anyway

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too little too late

      That's odd. I wonder why every single video job interview I've done no matter what the size of company has mostly been teams and nearly all jobs I've worked at have used teams where a good few of them I've had to web and app teams because it's two different companies I'm working for.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Too little too late

        I have to switch between accounts for work as well. But I'd never use Teams for personal use as it's really the worst messenger / chat client I've come across.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too little too late

          Does anyone use teams for personal use? I don't think I know a single person that does, maybe a long time ago I think a former boss of mine did.

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            Re: Too little too late

            I've never come across anyone using it with a personal account - the closes has been people joining a business presentation / meeting as a guest.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Too little too late

        You don't need a Teams client or account to join a call, you can use the meeting ID from the e-mail and web Teams, so that's job interviews at big soul destroying corporates sorted.

  4. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    who knows why?

    How did the use case for teams being "One user, one account, one tennant" ever crawl off the requirements cutting room floor and into the application itself?

    It's what lead to the totally stupid situation where every user on a machine had their own Teams install.... which, when you have shared PCs, gets to be a trifle annoying from both a management and a disk space perspective.

    It was, I presume, also the reason for the eventual emergence of the "all users" installer which basically checked to see if the current user profile had Teams installed and then installed a copy automatically (handy for when local users aren't local admins - a fact that still seems to evade Microsoft to this day)

    People here legitimately have two tennants they belong to - both of which use Teams etc. extensively. Incognito mode and separate browsers get used a lot becasue the cross tennant/one user many accounts aspect of Microsoft 365, is fundamentally, still broken.

    1. andy_plugh

      Re: who knows why?

      I'd always attributed that to it being the minimum viable product, at which the dev team gets their bonus or whatever. Anything beyond that now requires someone to understand the entire codebase and modify currently-working parts, which suddenly seems very difficult as the original Devs never thought anyone would have to read what they wrote.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    [Teams] version capable of simultaneously logging in to multiple personae

    What a wonderful way to support leakage of confidential information! Split tunnelling was bad enough, but this really takes the biscuit. I get the impression that M$ has for quite some time thought of itself as a glorified toy shop rather than a creator of robust business tools. And these are the guys who presume to remotely manage our "security".

  6. t245t Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Enterprise grade security to protect your data :o

    Enterprise grade security to protect your data”. How have we've ever managed without online meetings. How would Teams deal with an Aspie manager who only communicated by email, even when he was sitting next to you.

    Office Space TPS Reports

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Enterprise grade security to protect your data :o

      Don't worry, it's just that he doesn't trust you one inch and is covering his arse with a paper trail.

  7. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Unhappy

    So basically the idea is your boss can always instant message you, so long as you're on a Windows PC or have a copy of Teams anywhere near you? Yes, I can see how many corporations are going to love that.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      People in my org often wonder why I am, apparently unavailable *all* of the time.

      It's because the Teams app is running in one VM, but I'm actually working in another.

      Just send an email.

      -A.

  8. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    Nice one

    Now that they have done away with the twin-abomination of Teams for Work and School and Teams for the Rest by introducing the New Teams; micros~1 regales us with a Unified Teams which will definitely live side by side with the New Teams (for a while?).

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Nice one

      If I've understood the Microsoft communications correctly, this is effectively just an update for New Teams.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS never got the memo

    that more than one user or process might want to use the same machine. It's why they are inherently pants.

    They can shove as much AI into that as they like, it will just be pants AI.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Teams will invariably go the XKCD standards route - https://xkcd.com/927/

    Gone will be the days of "Ahh, yeah, you installed Teams, but you actually needed to install Teams", to be replaced by "Oh no, you don't want to use Teams or Teams... Teams if much better!".

  11. Inachu

    The worst offering ever by Microsoft.

    So at work I am working as well as within Teams and then a popup is offered to sign in using my personal account.

    No! NO! NO! Work is for work. I do not play at work. If it is not work related then I do not need it.

    Having this choice or not allowed to have volume lic holders to have a registry hack to deny personal accounts in Teams is disturbing in the extreme.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The worst offering ever by Microsoft.

      There is a way to disable personal logins, if your company hasn't done this then your BOFH isn't on the ball.

  12. captain veg Silver badge

    multiple personae

    "Microsoft is on the cusp of addressing a major frustration caused by its Teams app by introducing a version capable of simultaneously logging in to multiple personae."

    You/they really think that's a major frustration?

    Have you ever tried to use Teams?

    The best that I can say about it is that it's not quite as hair-tearingly awful as Lync.

    -A.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: multiple personae

      It is full screen chat when we were used to out of the way instant messaging. Used and abused for everything when an email would do. A video chat when a simple instant message would be sufficient. It is a 4 hour work week marketing kind of tool. When you are regularly in a shell troubleshooting a system the distraction of notifications are not what you need. It 'will' have your attention! It is a step backward in many ways.

    2. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: multiple personae

      "The best that I can say about it is that it's not quite as hair-tearingly awful as Lync."

      Ah yes, Lync which became Skype for Business. Not to be confused with Skype, which was a completely different product which Microsoft bought.

      Presumably there is a division of their marketing department whose role it is to come up with confusing names which apply to multiple things (see also 'Outlook', as well as Teams and Skype).

  13. Someone Else Silver badge

    Say what?!?

    From the article:

    [...] until you get your hands on Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26080 which, as Microsoft today announced, includes "a preview experience of the new, unified Microsoft Teams experience on Windows."

    Oh-comma-goodie! We're being offered a preliminary experience of an experience! Or stated another way, a recursive experience. Now hooda thunk that the Micros~1 marketing geniuses even knew what recursion was, much less how to slam several snippets of gibberish together to implement it? Maybe they just got lucky (or, more likely, they managed to cajole Clippy the AI Paperclip to generate it for them).

    In either case, this will not end well.

    To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion. Good luck wi' dat, Micros~1!

  14. Smartypantz

    That Franken-app of a Cluster F*** just needs to die

    EOM

  15. paatisooth

    An extension of the mess that is MS Identity

    You'd expect that a giant like Microsoft would at least be able to come up with a consistent approach to identity, but this split personality "microsoft account" vs "work or school account" is about the stupidest and most infuriating solution you could every hope to see. I can't begin to describe the frustration of trying to login to a service using my Microsoft 365 account and being told "that microsoft account does not exist". *I* know that's because my 365 account is actually an Azure AD, sorry, Entra AD account, and a Microsoft Account is actually a Windows Live account, but try explaining that to someone non-technical. The Identity team at Microsoft should be ashamed that this mess is the best they could come up with.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: An extension of the mess that is MS Identity

      And did you know what you can't sign into the Microsoft store to buy a physical item with a work account? Nor will it let you complete the purchase without signing in. I needed to do this a couple of months ago and ended up having to set up a dummy 'personal' account then get finance to enter the company credit card details when making the purchase. Fantastic piece of design there!

      And on the subject of accounts, don't forget the joys of dealing with hybrid accounts which exist both on the local AD and Azure AD / Entra. Even more "fun" to be had there!

  16. Semper Phoenix
    Stop

    "New" Teams = New Coke

    The "New" versions of Microsoft applications are backwards steps. They reduce the levels of functionality from the "old" / "classic" versions. For example, New Outlook looks and feels like Outlook Web. New Teams makes me re-pin things every single day, and won't let me see two areas within the same organisation in the same navigation pane. No, I have to select which one I want and stick with it. Micro$quash (pace Berkeley Breathed) are mushrooming its user base, whom it clearly regards as infants.

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