Apr 20

Microsoft Teams is a jail

Microsoft Teams is a jail

With the quarantine due to COVID-19, my universities had to switch to online teaching. One uses Google Classroom, the other Microsoft Teams. I have something to compare and I am enraged with the Teams. I wanted to post this review on the Internet but could not find a good place. All sites are blowing their trumpets to Microsoft:




Firstly, judging by their terminology, Teams has been developed for enterprises. I have been using it for one month and I still don't know what a channel means. Is it a communication channel? If yes, why don't you call it email or chat? Is it a combination of activities, like a class? Then why not name it a class?

The first time you look for it, they suggest you to download Teams. If you do, it will constantly load on Windows startup without even asking you. Hell, I don't use it every day and I don't want it to take up my computer's resources. Then I learned that there is a browser version of Teams. Even then there are features I don't like. With Google, you log into your email account. Then every Google app that you want to use knows that it is you and the apps you need are constantly open. With Teams, you have to sign into Teams first and then use everything else. I want to use the Teams app (for seeing team membership), OneDrive (for reading what I have uploaded) and Assignments app at the same time. But the damn program periodically logs me out.

The learning curve is steep. On the toolbar there is a chat button. To start a message, you need to type @ first. If my colleague didn't tell me that, I would to have to read the online intro. Sorry, don't have time for that. There is a profusion of apps you can use with Teams. Each time you have to try before you understand what it is good for. Descriptions are short, just one sentence. Again, don't have time for that.

All of this is just minor growl. Here is the main problem. Teams takes control of my computer! Next time I start it, I see a prompt to log in! This is my home computer, there are no secrets and I hate typing a password and even a pin. So I log in, then look on the Internet for ways to get rid of the login prompt. Most of those advices are outdated and the ones that work require me to dance around a lot. The menu in Windows 10 settings has changed, many options have been removed or renamed.

Moreover, Teams thinks that my computer belongs to my school! I am working typing something and all of a sudden my computer shuts down and restarts. The message I see is that my computer was restarted following the policies set by my school!

Of course, none of this happens with Google Classroom. This is where I am now. I want to remove the Microsoft account from my computer and I want to use it only in the browser, like with Google. One site says I have to find it in the settings and press the Remove button. There is no such a button! There is the Manage button which takes you to the Internet. There you can say Remove but then all your tabs in the browser related to Teams log you out. I deeply regret the day I started Teams. It behaves like one of those invasive species that wreak havoc around the world.

Update. I posted the above in April 2020. Hoping that by August 2020 it has become better I installed Teams again. Same story: Teams turned my home computer into a corporate one. The interface is as crazy as it was. I want to get a list of my team members in the Excel format on my computer. Seemingly Microsoft has powerful means to give me such an opportunity: Office 365 and OneNote. But no, you have to install PowerShell and work with scripts. I am an advanced user but I am horrified by the description of the procedure.

Update on August 11, 2022. I wanted to schedule a meeting in personal Teams. The meeting link does not work. The advice on the Internet suggests to delete Teams cache located somewhere in the folder AppData. There is no teams folder! Well, maybe they moved the cache location, so I just reinstalled the program to avoid searching for it. Again, the meeting link does not work! Goodbye Teams, hello Google Meet!

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