BingSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Office 365 ProPlus users will have Bing become their default search engine in Chrome soon.
  • Microsoft will forcibly install the Microsoft Search in Bing extension on any system with Office 365 ProPlus that doesn't have Bing set as the default search engine.
  • People on Reddit and GitHub expressed frustration with what they call browser hijacking by Microsoft.

Office 365 ProPlus customers will soon have the Microsoft Search in Bing extension forcibly installed in the Chrome browser (via ZDNet). The extension will be installed beginning with Office 365 ProPlus version 2002, which is set to start rolling out in February. The extension will roll out first to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but other countries will receive it over time. A Microsoft document outlines the upcoming change and further explains Microsoft Search in Bing.

The extension allows people to access enterprise search powered by Microsoft Search, including viewing SharePoint suites, OneDrive content, and Microsoft Teams and Yammer conversations. The extension also makes Bing the default search engine for the browser you install the extension on.

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While the features provided by Microsoft Search in Bing may be nice in some cases, many people expressed frustration online over the forced switch. A Reddit thread included hundreds of comments on the topic, many of which are negative. People on GitHub expressed similar frustrations. A common phrase people use in these threads is browser hijacking, claiming that Microsoft is trying to force people to use its services by hijacking Google Chrome.

People's main concern seems to be the forced nature of the switch. There are ways to exclude the extension from being installed with either the Office Deployment Tool or a Group Policy, but these aren't the same as making it a simple option. ZDNet points out that you can uninstall the extension after its forced installation.

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