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Demand grows for using multiple accounts in Microsoft Teams

The inability to log in to multiple accounts on desktop in Microsoft Teams is increasingly annoying users. The vendor has not said when the feature will launch.

Users of Microsoft Teams are growing increasingly frustrated that they can't log in to multiple accounts at the same time on desktop. Rival collaboration vendor Slack has supported the capability for years.

The coronavirus pandemic has made the long-sought feature even more essential because people are using Teams more frequently. But Microsoft hasn't provided an update on the issue for more than four months.

Arne Hulstein's life would be much easier if he didn't have to always switch between multiple Teams accounts to keep up with notifications. But instead of addressing the problem, Microsoft appears to be focused on adding gimmicky features like virtual backgrounds to keep pace with Zoom, he said.

"I think Microsoft just has different priorities," said Hulstein, owner of BusinessFabriek, a small consulting firm based in the Netherlands.

The need to toggle between accounts is a common headache for consultants, who are often invited to their client's Teams channels. IT adviser Sue Bayes currently belongs to five Teams accounts. Bayes has to use multiple computers to keep up with discussions in each account.

Bayes, who owns a small consulting firm in the United Kingdom, wishes Microsoft would at least develop a shortcut for alternating between non-guest accounts on desktop without reentering credentials.

Teams customers can already log in to multiple accounts at the same time on mobile. But hundreds of users commented on Microsoft's user feedback website over the past month to ask the company to support simultaneous logins on desktop. More than 19,000 Teams users have endorsed the idea since the first request in 2017.

Slack, a Teams competitor, has long given users a way to stitch together multiple accounts in its desktop app. Crucially, Slack's setup lets users monitor notifications across various accounts without the hassle of logging in and out.

Microsoft has pledged to support simultaneous logins on desktops eventually. In the meantime, it's rolling out a way to let users more quickly switch between accounts. The company also said it would improve cross-account notifications but did not provide specifics.

Microsoft hasn't updated users on the topic since December 2019 and declined to comment for this story.

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