Microsoft has announced last week that it will change the default search engine of Google Chrome to Bing – The Microsoft’s own search service – on computers running Office 365 ProPlus, the productivity applications that serve as the heart of the enterprise-grade subscriptions.
The change of search defaults within Chrome will begin next month and it will finish in July, this will depend on when corporate IT administrators process the updates of Office365.
“Starting with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus, an extension for Microsoft Search in Bing will be installed that makes Bing the default search engine for the Google Chrome web browser,” Microsoft said in the support document announcing the switcheroo. “This extension will be installed with new installations of Office 365 ProPlus or when existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus are updated.”
Microsoft also is planning to do the same with Mozilla’s Firefox at “a later date” but was not more specific than that. “We will keep you informed about support for Firefox through the Microsoft 365 Admin Center and this article,” the support document stated.
User’s reaction through social media
The feedbacks from users started to appear all over the social media regarding of what Microsoft is planning. Users are against this initiative from Microsoft. Most of the people don’t really like that a software change their computer’s settings without asking them permission to do so.
“Are you out of your mind?” A user asked in a comment appended to the Microsoft support document used to announce the change. “Who greenlit this? This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. And I say that as a Bing daily user. Nobody wants an app to change the default search engine. Remove this ‘feature’ or you might find a lot of people suddenly switching to Google Docs.”
“Browser hijacking like in the 90s. Are you nuts?” another user commented. “Words fail me. When will [Microsoft] stop shoving unwanted ‘features’ down our throats? The Old Microsoft is back it seems. Please don’t go through with this.”
Other users used phrases like “insanely stupid,” “keep smoking that good stuff, Microsoft,” and “sick joke” in their comments.
Users started posting critics on reddit.com as did IT administrators on the PatchManagement.org mailing list. An item on Microsoft’s Office Deployment Insiders user voice – where testers can up-vote feedback or feature requests – also gained momentum Wednesday, doubling the vote tally in less than a couple of hours. As of 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, the “Do not force push Bing as the default search engine” item had collected 160 votes, accompanied by nearly three-dozen comments.
“This is a malware-esque change, Microsoft,” wrote someone identified only as Michael.
“Dumbest, most hostile thing Microsoft has done in years,” said Anonymous.