In January of this year, Microsoft announced that Office 365 ProPlus users will soon have a peculiar “surprise”: the company planned to force the Microsoft Search in Bing extension into their Chrome browsers. Because of this, Bing actually had to become the default search engine in Chrome.
Forced installation of the extension was planned along with the release of Office 365 ProPlus version 2002. in February 2020, and an expanded deployment was planned for March of this year.
Immediately after the announcement, this news, for obvious reasons, caused a flurry of criticism from system administrators. On social networks, on Reddit and github (1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5) people strongly disagreed with Microsoft’s decision and demanded that the company reconsider their plans.
“Absolutely unacceptable. Such a function MUST NOT be enabled by default and the like is completely unacceptable in a business environment. Even if Bing was a good search engine, that would be bad, but Bing is simply not that, no matter how many users you force to switch to your platform, ” wrote then the indignant user.
“What were you thinking? Is this a return to IE browser warriors or something like that? This is an amazing abuse that should NOT be done under any circumstances, ” wrote another user on github.
Now, having undergone such a flurry of criticism, the company still decided to give in to users and agreed to revise its plans. The Microsoft Search in Bing extension will not be automatically deployed with Office 365 ProPlus updates to version 2002 and new installations as previously planned.
“Most importantly, we heard that our customers do not want Office 365 ProPlus to change the default search settings without their consent, and they need a way to manage these changes on unmanaged devices,” report Microsoft representatives and promise to revise their approach.
Thus, administrators will be able to refuse to install the search extension together with Office 365 ProPlus in the Microsoft 365 admin center. In addition, the company will continue to allow end users who have agreed to install the Bing Search extension to choose their own search engine.