Skype for Business, UGH.

The worst app of 2018?  Maybe not.  But an app with an Achilles heel?  Definitely.

Skype for Business does not allow asynchronous Collaboration. That means that unless both parties are online, the messages don’t really get delivered. Some organizations set it up so the conversation gets archived in MS Outlook, but that seems to be a pretty basic feature that ought to be available in the app.

I once told the guys that chose the tech that it was the worst app of 2018.  That was a mistake, because I learned that a good reason why I thought the app was bad was based on my ignorance.  So, I won’t label it the worst app, but I will share that it’s an app with an Achilles heel that’s more than once frustrated my work as a project manager.

  • Lack of persistent history in the app means you can’t see the conversation. So if you closed the window and open it again you don’t have any context to the conversation in the app
  • Unable to rename groups
  • When I try to share files any interruption in the network causes the file transfer to fail
  • If I want to create unique meeting IDs I have to do it in Outlook
  • I can’t have it on more than one device at a time
    • Messages going to the phone don’t show up on the computer
    • Messages going to the computer don’t show up on the phone
    • Two computers logged into the same account only display which ever one comes in first
  • The MacOS version is significantly better and does address some of these issues, but why is a Microsoft product a second class citizen when using a Microsoft operating system?

It feels so basic that in 2019 it’s just painful to use.

What’s also hard is it bares the same name as an app that has all these features, Skype. Yes, the personal version of Skype doesn’t have these issues, but the business version that costs several thousands of dollars for licensing does….

Most people in our building sit in one spot, work only on the company issued laptop and keep reasonably steady hours.  I’m not one of those users.  As a PM my schedule is flexible, my work location is flexible, and the way I work is dynamic.  Skype For Business just doesn’t seem to be able to keep up. It might be the ideal app at the corporate level, but not for those with a more agile workflow.

Microsoft to their credit has pretty much acknowledged all of these. Change is coming and I like where they’re going, but for right now. UGH!