Microsoft and Google’s relationship has been getting better over the years, but that could all change with the revelation that Microsoft has included its “Microsoft Search in Bing” Chrome extension in the latest version of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus which automatically changes Chrome’s default search engine to Bing.
This change affects Chrome users on Windows devices but does not have any impact on Chrome for Android.
As you can imagine, Microsoft has received a lot of complaints already. The software giant says that the switch to Bing search in Chrome is meant to allow users “to access relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar.”
Microsoft has provided instructions on who to exclude the Chrome extension when installing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, but the workaround shouldn’t be needed in the first place. Unlike most other software installations that ask you if you’d like to install additional bundles software, the installation process of Office 365 ProPlus makes no direct mention of the Bing Chrome extension when you walk through the basic setup process.
Uninstalling the Bing extension from Chrome is painless, but Microsoft’s behavior here is pretty shameful. Hijacking the Chrome browser isn’t a move we’d expect from a company with Microsoft’s reputation, especially since they’re planning to jump on the Android bandwagon later this year.