Microsoft Forms feature request still not sorted after SEVEN years

Request for time input field was added to project backlog – where it remains

Back in 2016, a member of the Microsoft community asked the Windows giant to add a time input field its Forms product, and received word from an employee that the feature request had been put on the to-do list.

Seven years, two months and 22 days later, that request has yet to be fulfilled.

"In Office 365 Forms, I am attempting to create an event request form," wrote an individual posting under the name William Mattison back in the halcyon pre-pandemic era of last decade. "I do not appear to be able to add a question for TIME of Day. I see a template for DATE but not TIME."

Google Forms, Mattison observed, offers a time input option. A senior product manager for Microsoft Forms responded that same day, September 20, 2016, to thank Mattison for the suggestion and to note: "We have added this feature to our backlog."

A year passed, and several people revisited the Microsoft Tech Community discussion thread to check on the progress of the feature request. But there was no word from Microsoft.

The following year, more people asked about the status of Mattison's request, with some skeptical enough about Microsoft's follow-through to advise switching to Google Forms.

By 2020, the initial Microsoft Forms senior project manager had moved to work on Microsoft Teams. A new senior program manager joined the conversation about Forms to ask Mattison, "could you please elaborate more in what cases the time input is really important for you? What kinds of [questions] will need time input and what follow-up actions [require] the time? "

Mattison patiently responded that he coordinates events at a university and hoped to integrate form response with the creation of Calendar events. To which the reply was, "Thanks for the sharing, We will put [a] time input template in our backlog."

A year later, Microsoft had twice promised to develop the feature – but no sign of progress was evident.

A thread participant wrote: "Wow … almost five years & STILL no result. This is why we are in the process of moving to Google for all our office applications."

That was September 1, 2021.

In theory, adding a time input element to Microsoft Forms should not be a Herculean coding challenge. C# includes a DateTime class. Web pages and JavaScript can also handle time values. Forms pages include references to hours, minutes, and seconds in their code. But for whatever reason, tweaking Forms to accept time input has still not happened.

Bug fixes – which tend to be prioritized over feature requests – sometimes take similar spans of time to solve. Earlier in 2023, for example, Microsoft fixed a five-year-old bug in Defender. In 2014, it fixed a 19-year-old bug. Two years ago, concerns were raised about an eight-year-old bug in Visual Basic for Applications. And Mozilla has repaired bugs that have endured for a decade or more.

In March, Mattison revisited his thread with an update.

"Had I known six and a half years ago that getting time added to a Microsoft Form would become a life-long odyssey I might have chosen to pursue something more ambitious," he wrote.

"Thank you all for joining me on the pilgrimage. This blog post is becoming one of my greatest accomplishments in its absurdity. I've grown quite proud of it. It does make [me] wonder what else has been added to the Microsoft 'backlog' … game system to replace the XBox One? Changing the color of the Blue Screen of Death? Still it's heartwarming to know I was such a visionary, so far ahead of my 'time.'"

The Register feels duty bound to point out that Mattison's frustrations pale in comparison to those felt by Atlassian customers, who have told The Register of two feature requests that remain unfulfilled after 11 and 16 years.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment. ®

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