Could Microsoft be returning to old ways? While the tech giant has been able to drastically change its image over the past decade from big corporate bully to one that embraces open source technology and tries to work well with all of its competitors, it appears that some of their old behaviours might have snuck through the cracks.
A new Microsoft’s Office 365 ProPlus installer- which is used by businesses – will include a new Chrome extension next month that reportedly switches the default search engine to Bing. The extension will automatically direct the default Chrome search functionality to Bing instead of Google. The idea behind this extension is to allow IT Admins to open up the possibility of Bing search directly through Chrome but apparently sets Bing as the default option automatically. If Bing is already set as the default search engine in Chrome, then the extension never gets installed.
The move, which once it caught the attention of IT admins, has reportedly made a lot of people unhappy as ZDNet has revealed a thread on Reddit that has been dedicated to this issue with many admins calling on the feature to be optional and not enforce any default settings on the browser. Thankfully, admins will be able to block the Chrome extension install through Group Policy, and users will be able to remove it after it has been installed. Office users will also be able to disable Bing as the default search engine through the extension’s settings.
Microsoft is planning to roll this out in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and India next month. A rollout that will probably not have much success as I would expect it to be blocked by IT Admins in almost every country.
Last Updated: January 23, 2020