Microsoft retreats from scheme to change Chrome's search engine

  • Microsoft retreats from scheme to change Chrome's search engine

Microsoft retreats from scheme to change Chrome's search engine

Microsoft Corp. today backflipped on its controversial decision to install Bing as the default search engine in Google Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users. The change would take place in organizations when version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus was either installed or updated. Microsoft has settled lawsuits in the past by promising not to force services and software on users, the most famous being the Internet Explorer settlement.

As a result of these changes, the Microsoft Search in Bing extension will not ship with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus.

Microsoft had initially meant to ship the Microsoft Search in Bing extension for Chrome with a forthcoming update for Microsoft Office 356 ProPlus (a version of the software suite designed for business users).

Through a new toggle in Microsoft 365 admin center, administrators will be able to opt in to deploy the browser extension to their organization through Office 365 ProPlus. In addition, Office 365 ProPlus will only deploy the extension on AD-joined devices, devices with Azure Active Directory support. A more vaguely worded complaint in the Office 365 user-voice forum got just 39 votes. For instance, Wikipedia's "Browser Hijacking" topic briefly included Office 365 ProPlus as a hijacking culprit.

The reason for the forced change to search, Microsoft said, was that Bing was required to implement Microsoft Search, which when tied to an Office 365 account let users look up internal information - documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, for example - from the browser's address bar.

Now, as The Verge reports, Microsoft has had a change of heart. "With Microsoft Search integrated, Bing becomes a single search engine for users to find what they need - both from inside their organization and the public web". "Show us one", demanded Michael Smith. As you might imagine, that angered a lot of people.