• Microsoft 365: Year in review

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    MICROSOFT 365 By Peter Deegan Let’s take a minute to check the rearview mirror and review what’s happened this year with Microsoft Office. We’ll also
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    • #2511748

      I would like to know if the video call function of Teams Free, and Teams Community is any different than the Meet Now that I already have in win10?   Seems that MeetNow often works ok for maybe a half hour then the video starts having issues.  Also, I have had people trying to use is on Mac’s that can’t get audio working.  Also, MeetNow has almost no settings or controls.

      Is Teams Free or Teams Community able to invite people just by sending a link (like Meet Now) or do they have to download software and join a “Team”.

      If I am only interested in the  free video calling,  why use Teams Free or Teams Community rather than MeetNow?

      • #2511923

        I’m not 100% clear on the difference between “Meet Now” and the Teams video offering.  Microsoft appears eager to muddy the waters on this.

        “Meet Now” in Windows 10 was ported from Skype (the web links confirm that).

        However later “Meet Now” incarnations in Windows 11 and Teams are another matter.  They have certainly added a lot more video calling features, most likely off the Skype video code-base.

        To answer your first question — the two are certainly similar.  Better to use the Teams software since it’s probably more developed than the Win10 Meet Now.

        Your reports probably don’t have anything to do with the calling software generally.  It’s unlikely that a bug in Meet Now would cause troubles after 30 minutes.  I use Teams etc on a Mac with no trouble so I’m surprised to hear about audio troubles (audio/video is usually more stable on a Mac than Windows).

        People do NOT have to install software in most cases, through they will get ‘suggestions’ from Microsoft to do that.  There is a web / browser based option that doesn’t need any extra software.  That said, the software option usually has more features than the browser version.

        See https://www.askwoody.com/2022/use-free-teams-to-make-calls-like-zoom/

        It’s the old, old problem with computer-to-computer calling – trying to get the other person setup to accept calls — sigh.

        My partial solution is to have everything installed; Skype, Zoom, Teams, Facetime, carrier-pigeon, two cans with string etc.  Then use whichever software the other party is comfortable with.

        Hope this helps,

        Peter Deegan

        • #2512038

          I am going to try Teams and see how it goes.  I had the idea that Teams Free and Teams Community were two different programs. but web pages are giving the idea that Community is something one accesses from within Free.  Being MS i’ll find out what the truth is upon trying it.  I haven’t been to find out more info about time limits for group (community) calls other than what was in your article (supposedly 1 hr, but lasting for 4. Similar to zoom, who states a limit buts unexpectedly ignores it occasionally. )

          Re: the problem that i referenced after Meetnow call went on for a while: it may not be the software, per se, but the ms servers that throttle the connection. I guess that I don’t know if the calls go through a central server, like zoom, or are peer to peer, like others services.

          • #2512045

            I just now installed teams,

            -I can’t find (contrary to microsoft web site, any place to activate or setup a ‘community’)

            -under settings>plans and upgrades> it tells me that i have a 60 minute limit. and  can have up to 100 participants

            – I closed the notification icon, so that teams isn’t running in background.  bizarrely, win10 can’t find Teams when using win key>search.  I have to open the start window and scroll down to it.

            -I guess I can try it, but with a 60 minute limit, it isn’t significantly better than zoom, which everyone is already comfortable with.  For a short meeting with a group that can’t last over 60 min?

            – who knows what the terms will change to next week

            • #2512054

              To respond to some of your comments, in brief.

              Teams Community is an offshoot of Teams Free, using the same software.  I’ve also been looking for a Community option — I suspect Microsoft Hype has got ahead of reality — it would not be the first time <sigh>.

              Teams Free group calls (three or more people) have a 60 minute limit.

              But one-to-one calls have a 30 hour limit which should be enough for even the most enthusiastic chatterboxes <g>

              See https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/compare-microsoft-teams-options?activetab=pivot%3aprimaryr1

              It’s possible that video calls are throttled after 30 minutes but that’s not the common experience.  Skype calls are peer-to-peer so presumably that applies to Meet Now.

              Good luck,

              Peter Deegan

            • #2512059

              I did come across an article from a MS exec talking about teams community in reference to android and iphone apps.  indicating that it should be in desktop in 2023.  more ms bizarreness.  a feature like this in phone apps before desktops?  Really?

              I guess I expected that the 30 hour limit for 1:1 calls would be differentiated in the Teams app options page.  Sure sounded like it applied to all videos.

              Are there any expose’s on microsoft, explaining if Thinking is something that happens at that company, how decisions are made, or are they made?  Is anyone in charge?  Have they outlawed planning? How is it that anything coming out of microsoft works at all?

    • #2511755

      Peter, do you know if any current or future version of perpetual-license Outlook includes a feature to “reopen the last session” like many browsers do? My wife tends to leave a LOT of emails open at the same time, and when her PC crashes or Outlook spontaneously closes itself, the next time she opens the program she has to laboriously reopen every single email that had been opened–if she can even remember what all was open.

      • #2511766

        In Outlook 365, if it crashes, when it reopens you’ve given the option to open the windows when last saved.  Yes, it’s similar to the ‘Restore last session’ in browsers.

        Control it from File | Options | General | Startup options – the default is “Ask me if I want to restore previous items

        That was added to Outlook 365 in 2020 and the same option is in  Outlook 2021.

        Peter Deegan

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        • #2511896

          Thanks, Peter.

          So, just to make sure, it’s not possible to set Outlook 2016 or Outlook 2019 to restore the windows (emails) that were open when it crashed, is that right? She has 2016 and I have 2019 and I can’t find any option like that, but it’s entirely possible that I missed it if it’s there.

          • #2511921

            No – not in Outlook 2019 or earlier.

            As I mentioned, ‘Restore Windows’ didn’t reach Outlook 365 until 2020.  Outlook 2021 got the feature because came across /  ‘inherited’ it from Outlook 365’s code base.

            Peter Deegan

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    • #2511889

      The only certainty for Microsoft 365 customers is “change.” Microsoft continues to insist that “new” is an absolute good, with little consideration that customers might prefer stability instead of monthly revisions.

      What a timely and thoughtful article. I bought the “permanent” edition of Office 2016 a few years back. Microsoft constantly slipstreamed changes into that version to make it more closely resemble Office 365, which is precisely what I did not want. The “updates” to Office 2016 would often destroy macros and change settings back to defaults without notice. I want stability, not what some Gen Z programmer thinks is the latest “feature.”

      After a recent clean install of Win10 22H2, I reverted to Office 2010 (Oh no! Support ended for Office 2010 a couple of years ago!) The reason I did so was stability. Even then, a slew of updates were pushed following the installation and Microsoft was careful to insure my version of Office 2010 was activated. I view running an out-of-support, unpatched version of Office as a low-risk proposition in my case.

      I imaged the drive before installing Office 2010 and may give WordPerfect a spin, although I have been singularly unimpressed with the way Corel gutted Paint Shop Pro. I doubt they have improved WordPerfect. SAAS is a failure. I am going to stop the insanity one way or another.

      As an aside, have you noticed that the content of dialog boxes in both Office and Windows has been rewritten along the lines of “We are [doing whatever] for you”? The intent, I’m sure, is to emphasize that I am using Windows and Office at Microsoft’s sufferance. I am this close to switching over to Linux.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2514266

        Should you decide to make the switch to Linux, it’s a pretty painless process.  And…there are Linux forums here at AskWoody.  You can install Linux Mint on a flash drive, boot from that drive, and test drive Linux Mint on your existing machine if you want.

        I’ve been using LibreOffice in Linux Mint for quite some time.  It does everything that I need it to do, and it can read and write MS Office file formats.  Updates generally don’t break anything, but that’s usually been my experience for most things in Linux Mint.  I certainly have not had the same issues that Susan has been tracking with MS Office updates lately.  I am mainly still here because I support people that use Windows/Office.

        I am encouraged to see AskWoody branching out into other platforms and providing e.g. information about iOS and other Apple updates, forums for Linux, etc.

        Group "L": Linux Mint

        • #2514333

          I had seriously looked into switching to linux a few years ago, but decided not to because of issues with existing software.  I didn’t see how to move the info that I have in outlook (please, don’t suggest t’bird,), onenote desktop, and a couple of other less popular programs that hold notes and links.   I didn’t find similar software in the linux world, to which I could successfully move the data.

          I have heard of Wine, as a way to run windows software in linux, but have also heard that it is glitchy.

          all my info is a couple of years old.  Perhaps the situation has radically changed.

        • #2514410

          Should you decide to make the switch to Linux, it’s a pretty painless process.

          I enjoyed the irony of you saying that less than 15 minutes after posting …

          I agree with your assessment of the Linux upgrade process. Upgrading from LM 19 to LM 20 was a huge dumpster fire for me; I ended up doing a full backup and installing LM 20 from scratch, then restoring data files from backup.

          Upgrading from LM 20 to LM 21 took less time, and the published upgrade process worked for me. However, the Update Manager was then broken due to an apparent spat between Ubuntu and Mint over which version of libssl to use.

          Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1192 + Microsoft 365/Edge

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