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Users demand threaded replies to Microsoft Teams messages

Microsoft users have taken to a forum to demand threaded replies to Teams messages. The feature for organizing group conversations is already possible on Slack and Webex Teams.

Microsoft Teams users are frustrated with the company's delay in providing a threaded reply feature that would help them focus on only message conversations that concern them.

The ability to reply to specific messages within a conversation in the form of threads has long been an option on Teams competitors WhatsApp, Slack and Webex Teams. It is also an option on the smartphone version of Teams.

More than 28,000 people on the Teams user feedback forum voted for the threads feature in the desktop version of Teams, while 2,600 users commented with their concerns. The Teams message chat feature has been on the backlog since 2016. 

"Simply put, I'm used to the feature in WhatsApp, Line and FB [Facebook] Messenger," said Vincent vom Kothen, digital animation consultant at Ricoh Australia. "It is very handy to highlight [that] you're replying to someone's specific comment in a group chat."

The amount of time that has passed since the feature was requested was a point of frustration for many users. Some, such as Syed Zaid bin Rashid, head of operations and business development for the Pakistan branch of VavaCars, called the Teams message function "crucial" to some business processes. Others said its absence led to misunderstandings.

The reply feature not being present in the desktop version [of Teams] does not make any sense.
Sebin BenjaminTechnical facilitator, Mission Ready HQ

"The reply feature not being present in the desktop version does not make any sense," said Sebin Benjamin, a technical facilitator at the technology training company Mission Ready HQ.

The Teams thread option is not the only feature users are waiting on. More than 25,000 users on the feedback forum want to access multiple accounts on Teams at once. According to Microsoft, the feature is currently being worked on.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is rolling out its Tasks integration in Teams, an amalgamation of three previously separate tools, throughout September. The rollout is part of a series of Teams-related announcements from the tech giant. They include access to the company's diagramming software, Visio, directly from a tab within Teams, and a sticky note feature for the collaboration hardware Microsoft Whiteboard.

Tasks in Teams will allow users to access their Planner and To Do applications in Microsoft Outlook without leaving Teams. It's another move that customers call long overdue, but one that was met with tepid praise. 

"I love the announcement, but I think that they need to fix the fundamentals of Office 365 first," said Tony Beretini, CEO of local delivery and services company Get Local Inc. "I tried to move my external contractors to Tasks so I can easily manage everything in one tool, but unfortunately, the setup and the system is not intuitive enough."

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