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Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams External Access Coming Soon (but now not in June)

Microsoft Teams External Access Coming Soon (but now not in June)

In April I blogged about external access coming to Microsoft Teams. At the time Microsoft committed to releasing this feature in June.

A few days ago Mehedi Hassan at MSPowerUser posted about a delay to this date. I went back to look at the original User Voice submission and there’s an update from Suphatra Rufo:

So, it looks like we might have to wait a little bit longer for this hugely popular feature.

Agile Delivery: Communications & Expectation

I want to take a moment to riff on this announcement and how it’s been received. I’m a software developer so I feel the pain of having to announce a delay to a feature and slip on a schedule.

There’s been some negativity (look in the UserVoice comments) in the reaction to this announcement. I want to say that I don’t think that this is justified. The flip side to open and transparent communication is that not everything will be set in stone. Microsoft have made huge steps in the past few years to being much more open in their communications with the community. Even having a UserVoice presence for a Microsoft product would have been unheard of 5 years ago. Taking requests from the community and iterating on them is really welcomed and will help make Teams (and all the other Microsoft products operating in this way) better. Providing much more information about what’s coming and what’s being worked on is also welcomed, and helps people prepare for the future. We’re now much closer to development team than we ever were before, and that’s  Good Thing.

And yes, unexpected things happen. That means that sometimes, features take longer than planned. Anyone who has had to provide estimates for a software project will understand this. This is just life. Previously this slippage might have been lost within a large, 2 year product cycle and we wouldn’t have notice. However, now that releases are many times a year, sometimes multiple times a month, we get visibility of them and get to be a part of that process.

We (the community) need to make sure we react in an appropriate way to these announcements. If we react badly, beat up Microsoft and spit our collective dummy out then we risk Microsoft deciding that they’re going to tell us less and go back to a smaller number of larger releases, in the name of better PR. Nobody wants that. We’re talking about a few weeks (my guess) delay, that’s all. The feature is still coming, and it’s going to be great.

None of us want Microsoft to rush this feature and have to pull it later. None of us want security holes or reliability problems. It’ll be ready when it’s ready: just be happy that you even know it’s being delayed – this is a huge improvement from the past.

Rant over. Go find your nearest product team and show them some love – estimating software is hard.


Written by Tom Morgan

Tom is a Microsoft Teams Platform developer and Microsoft MVP who has been blogging for over a decade. Find out more.
Buy the book: Building and Developing Apps & Bots for Microsoft Teams. Now available to purchase online with free updates.

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