Microsoft Teams sucks

If you told me I was going to die in the next 24hs, asked me to guess what from, and it was a working day of the week, "MS-Teams-induced aneurysm" would definitely be in my top 5 guesses.

I know what you are thinking: "he's exaggerating - no software can be that bad". This reveals one of two possible scenarios: either you don't use Teams in your daily work, or you do use it but you only pretend to work. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. But just in case, please take a seat and let me tell you all about Teams.

First and foremost, Teams is where information goes to die. If I need a piece of information I know exists, I have to identify the Account (I have 2), the Team (around 25 and growing), the Channel (around 5 per team but only two in actual use) and the media type (was it in a chat? a wiki? a file? If so, in which folder?), all of which are just slow enough to make it frustrating but not slow enough for my office to ditch it (assuming they could and wanted to, which then can't and don't want to). And with a search function that works ~20 percent of the time, it's not unusual for me to just give up. "It's somewhere in our Teams channel" is what I tell people when I don't actually care about whether they find what they need or not. And if I'm looking for something said in a person-to-person Chat, this is different from a Channel chat and I need a different window altogether.

Chat brings us to notifications. Teams is the only tool I know that will display up to four notifications for a single event and leave more than one on. If someone sends a message during a meeting, Teams will display a box in the notification area, play a sound, add an indicator to the task bar, and a second indicator to the meeting windows. Your window will resemble a Christmas tree until you open the chat window, even if you already clicked on the very first notification box. As far as Teams is concerned, a single unread chat is the most important thing that has ever existed, and it will not rest until you've clicked on it.

The system requirements are also an issue, but all things considered they are a minor one. Sure, I cannot calculate the number of hours that I lost waiting for things to load, but I can at least estimate how much my employer had to pay to replace an otherwise perfectly good computer. And yet,if I only consider them a minor issue it's because they pale in comparison to the hours I wasted doing things the Teams way, a burden no hardware upgrade can relieve.

Teams empowers you to go through the motions of work without actually getting anything done. No project can start without yet-another useless channel, a bunch of documents you'll never find, a to-do list hidden at least four levels deep into the interface, and a collaborative editor that ruins your formatting until you open the desktop app. But it takes a strong company leader to stand to Microsoft, and those don't come easy nor cheap. Once your company has willingly chained itself to a Teams-based working environment, your fate is tied to that sinking ship.

And yet, the worst aspect of Teams had escaped me until today when a friend pointed it out: that we started using it because Microsoft imposed it on us right at the beginning of the pandemic. I guess some Microsoft salesman decided that the pandemic was not hard enough on us as it was, and that's why they decided to add a buggy, resource-hungry tool as the cherry on top of the pandemic dessert. I have not yet received my check for working as an alpha tester for a terrible tool I didn't want, and I am starting to believe that I might never get it.

Friends don't let friends implement MS Teams in their organizations. If you are going to choose a collaboration tool that sucks, you might as well choose one that's lighter on resources and less annoying. Even yelling at your coworkers down the hall is better, even if they are in another building.

Just say no to Teams.