Enabling the booking of Teams meetings in Outlook on Mac

This issue had me scratching my head for a while: With the latest version of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams installed on my Mac running Catalina, I couldn’t enable the booking of Teams meetings from Outlook.

The solution turned out to be to remove the regular Office programs and replace them with Office 365. The official instructions for how to do that said to log on to https://www.office.com or to https://aka.ms/office-install. Well, tough luck: There was no way to find a download link there.

Instead the correct way seems to be to download Microsoft 365 from the App Store. There was no obvious way to connect the Office suite to my work account, so I started Outlook and tried adding an account. This triggered a dialog about the possibility to activate a trial or connect to an existing subscription, with the perhaps ill-chosen options Activate and Cancel. Turns out if you press Activate you get to choose whether you actually want to activate the trial or activate Microsoft 365 with an existing account.

While the gods of good UX and the Law of Least Astonishment cry alone in a cave, I now do have a button to schedule a Teams meeting in Outlook. If I only could get the Calendar and Datadog apps installed in Teams, my life would be complete…

Oh, and speaking of great user experience: Incoming calls in Teams on the Mac do not quite steal focus – thanks for that, at least – but they hog cmd+shift+D so that attempting to send a mail from Mail.app will decline the incoming call. That’s not a great design choice, Microsoft. Now why would anybody want to use Mail.app instead of Outlook? Simple: Snappiness and good search. I can accept jumping through some hoops for things I rarely do, if my day-to-day tasks aren’t nerfed by software that feels slow and bloated.