I truly need a stress-relief squishy ball every time I try using Microsoft Teams (albeit on something else than Windows). This is not even a call for help. This is just some venting about products that are not reliable enough. Zoom works out of the box on every system I throw it at.
If you read some of the conversations you find on Microsoft support boards between customers and people who are not even Mircosoft employees / agents (as their signatures state) but giving pre-formatted answers, you hair will stand on end. Last resort is “disable your antivirus software”.
Should not be here venting, I know - and I’m sorry. Here’s to founding some sort of an emotional support group.
I’ve come through the moment after having found one installation of Teams (rather, the web version) that worked.
The following will conflate much and might not do complete justice - but then again, it is a rant:
I think the central source of frustration with Microsoft products - at least for me - is disappointment: technically, the company may very well be capable of creating stellar software and excellent customer experiences. Instead, none of their products truly offers that. Not because they are incapable (I suppose) but because they choose not to. Throwing every possible half-baked function against the twenty year old wall and watch what sticks simply seems to be more profitable. They overload themselves with heritages and complexities they then find themselves or their customers hard to manage. Complexities that really no one asked them to attempt except for the goals in their business plan - ok, and possibly their industrial customers. But as a customer, I really could not care less. Then become an SAP or an ORACLE that simply does not serve the end consumer. Leave the end consumer market, then. Leave it to Apple.
Just do a consistent, well-designed, secure, elegant, and light operating system - won’t do it.
Just do a light weight, reliable, and high performance collaboration software - won’t do it.
Office I have the least gripes with - at least, that software is solid. It’s truly the backbone to the Microsoft experience. But that’s also the most expensive.
Just make something awesome again, Microsoft. Take the next big step by cutting all the clutter and introduce a new OS, built from ground up. Build it onto an open chassis so you don’t even have to come up with most of it yourself. Bolt a great experience onto the consumer variant of Mariner and throw your weight behind open development for subsystems. For heaven’s sake: build it for the consumer market, let us test it and help you fix the flaws before you do the heavy lifting by transposing it to industrial customers. I know this will hurt. But it’s high time.
I’d really love for Microsoft to be a desirable brand, not a sadly unavoidable one. It would be awesome to have someone to give Apple a run for their money, experience and innovation wise. And I am not talking rounded corners, but true competition. Instead, open-sourced, small, and sometimes even hobbyist projects go above and beyond what Microsoft has to offer. It’s a sad state in which such a highly profitable brand does in many instances not reach the same level of quality (albeit, in dimensions interesting to me, not the industry) as hobbyists or more or less young start-ups.
In one line: I truly wish Microsoft would be more inspiring. Not just in terms of what Nadella says about ethics on a stage. You’re a software company. Make great software, damnit. Don’t try and make great ethics. You’re neither an non-profit social organisation nor a church. You could be - but you aren’t!
hello I must confess I agree with your rant. I also must confess I left Microsoft about a decade ago and went to the fruit company for the very same reasons you present. Microsoft doesn’t try anymore and they haven’t for a while. The last time they were innovative was with Windows XP. (I loved XP) Honorable mention would be Widows 7 which was a wonderful operation system. Office used to be innovative but has fallen to the waste side. With the invention of open source word processing word was no longer needed. Then the final nail in Microsoft’s office coffin was Google docs. Many business are using google docs for their businesses and have left the hassle of licensing office behind. Besides when they went tot a subscription based payment system many were turned off to not be able to purchase the program and not have to pay over and over again. In full disclosure I use Apple works, pages and such. When I went back to college late in life I had a subscription to office on the Mac and it was ok. The college I went too demanded word documents uploaded. Once my subscription ran out this past year I decided not to renew it. Why should I. My oldest daughter told me the virtues of google docs that she uses in her business. I had no need for office. I prefer Pages because I am not a fan of Google but that my friend is another rant.
We must have been very lucky, we have been using teams for just over a year and we haven’t had any problems with connecting or using teams. We have it rolled out to nearly 200 users and not a single one had problems with hardware.
Although it pushed my core i5 laptop to its limits! I had a 4 way conference last week and I had to close all other applications, because it was using 90% RAM and 70% CPU.
It is a dreadful hardware hog, and I wish they would actually take the time to write a client for Windows.
I am trying to get there. After trying to get used to LibreOffice - which worked alright for me but just has some weird but proudly upheld UI choices (can’t scroll through slides with your mouse wheel in Impress?) - I have now run into OnlyOffice. This seems to work pretty well for me. It’s mostly a clone of Word, PPTx and Excel, with about 1/3 of the functions, but 99% of the same UI. This could be it. I don’t need much, but I need not to un- and relearn arbitrary interaction conventions.
By all means, this does not have to be the Microsoft-only rant section. Lay it out if you feel like it.
In 2017 I undertook a digital platform experiment. The mission was “try to quit every platform you think you need”. Option a: if you can quit/replace it without issue, you did not need that. Option b: if you cannot quit/replace without issue, you really need to quit that. I was able to quit Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Dropbox, and Gmail. I tried but failed to quit Google Search. I don’t get my head around iPhones and other search engines did not perform as well. At least I never got on the Google Docs bandwagon even though it has some enticing functionality when collaborating. Also: Amazon. Sad to report that being an Amazon customer works for me.
What’s your beef with Google?
I don’t think you have been lucky, but instead you have two things going for you: a) you’re a company and b) your company has you.
In my perspective, a) means that it makes sense to have a corporate account and that most people will use Teams most of the time within the tenant. Which works great. It does not so much across tenants. If you’re a single-user tenant (freelance), it’s really not for you (me); b) means that your company has a dedicated and excellent IT team. Configuring Office 365 including all of the different configuration portals takes much training and experience. I can bring myself to learn configuring and using linux with pleasure. I cannot bring myself to jump through the hoops Microsoft came up with to configure their software for corporations. Office 365 has taught me how obscure a GUI can be if you need to think yourself into the perspective and naming conventions of the company offering - to me, much more than thinking yourself into some command line flags.
Of course, all of this unmasks the true source of my frustration: that I’d really like to be addressed by Mircosoft through Teams, but that I’m simply not the audience they are trying to talk to. It’s like complaining to Nokia that they don’t offer any 5G towers for end users and that I’ve always found it difficult to operate mine. In the end, it all makes some sort of a malicious sense. Or just “sense”. Still frustrating.
In essence (and in variation of what @Leo commonly says): I should not be running Teams if I don’t have an IT department configuring it for me.
I admire that you could quite Facebook and Instagram. I want too so bad but it is one of the only ways I can keep up with extended family in different areas… but I hate myself for it. LibreOffice takes some getting use to it. I used in exclusively when I was running under Linux Mint. I miss Linux Thanks for the tip on Only office. Drat no Mac version…oh well. Google and Facebook both don’t give a damn about security and privacy. Google also starts programs like google play and then when you are all in they stop the program and drop it to where you are scrambling to find something else. Oh I could go on but I won’t . For a search engine I have been using duck duck go for the past three years and have been very happy with their services. You might want to give them try.
Yeah, Facebook wasn’t that easy. Several very remote connections (e.g., old school friends, etc.) got severed this way. Especially through stopping to use WhatsApp. You just fall of the radar in many cases. Which is not that bad - lasting connections find a way to come back - but I can see that this feels uncomfortable.
Don’t. The alternative is disconnecting from friends which can make you unhappy with yourself as well - at least from my perspective. So both paths have ups and downs. Staying connected is a worthy cause.
Ah - gotcha. Sure. Google cannot really be trusted to keep anything up that’s not really core to their mission.
Duck duck go is a good idea. I have tried it a few times in the past but back then, it was not useful enough.
There is one very surveillance-state function by Google that I truly rely on: tracking my location. And for the weirdest reason: for my tax statements. I mostly work from Germany, but sometimes cross over to Switzerland. Taxation is not the easiest among both countries and having a record of where I was when appears to be acceptable documentation for tax purposes. I am really happy that retaining my location (or the location of my phone) is something apparently useful to Google (and to me).
I’d love to see one of those linux phone initiatives really take off. However, that’s less than likely. Having two big players (iOS and android) is simply not enough competition in my perspective.
The “answers” on those Microsoft boards are so infuriating! I’d rather they not respond at all than offer some of the boneheaded replies you get there. I find it kind of insulting.
Don’t get me started on Teams. It’s the epitome of the problems we’ve traded up to in terms of leaving native applications behind in favor of web applications. VMware leads in a very close second with their insane journey through Flash and onto HTML5. Four years later and not even close to feature parity to the old C client.
But back to Teams… I swear, Electron is the Unreal Engine of business software. Both the home of developers with huge ideas and poor practical application. As with both, there are standout successes (Discord on Electron, Valorant on the Unreal side) but it’s truly a sea of inefficient applications with questionable strategic direction.
Indeed. It’s impressive to see how far big tech brands want to keep their customers away from themselves after having closed a sale. There are so many layers of outsourced customer service crumple zone that the only thing that actually passes through to them is cash, but not customers.
Even though I’m really out of my depth when trying to understand programming frameworks, I can tell that Teams is horribly inefficient. A newly installed and started and not at all used instance of it went up to “very high” power consumption and over a gig of ram used by just sitting there. It’s almost comical if not so many (corporate) users intended to use it as second nature.
I’ve been using DDG for over 2 years now, on desktop and mobile. It is fine. I think I’ve called up Google maybe half a dozen times and Bing a couple of times, because DDG didn’t get anywhere - interestingly, Google and Bing weren’t any better in those cases either.
This is really great to hear! And it made me think why I still stick to Google. Turns out, I believe I even like having sort of an externalised memory of what I searched and where I went (location history). I need to think about if I’d really like to let that go.
I suppose it would be nice to have something like Nextcloud for search history and location history.
But then again, it’s interesting to find that I’m not necessarily that privacy focused that I’d mind Google knowing what I search for or where I was. Wonder if I am being to convenient there or if it’s good to know and reassuring that a healthy degree of privacy attitude might have its limits, too.
But then again, I might not be that privacy-focused after all - with a little Amazon Echo in every room. However, I do rationalise this by finding that, to my knowledge, Amazon never tried to do anything else than sell me stuff. And they do that quite well. (Granted, covering my ears to overhear some of the workers’ allegations.)
… so you … simply … remember where you were and what you searched for?
I feel like a side character in Idiocracy. I should really get off of Google.
But seriously: I don’t suppose you have any use for the geo tracking and the search history, right? I mean: the google geo tracking has, by now, turned into a veritable little treasure chest of travel memories for me. I’ve been tracked since 2014…