Office PWA Installs Caused by Microsoft Edge Bug

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365, Office, Office 365 with 16 Comments

Microsoft says that a bug in its Edge web browser is causing Office web apps to be installed on users’ PCs and that a fix is on the way.

On Thursday, I wrote that Microsoft was testing automatically installing the Office web apps—which are now Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs—on PCs enrolled in the Windows Insider Program. But since then, reports have emerged that normal, non-Insider PCs were seeing these installs. And that, in many cases, this was happening on PCs that already had the more powerful native Office applications installed.

Well, it turns out this is all just a big mistake, and not an instance of Microsoft secretly trying to push its Office web apps on unsuspecting users. Instead, it’s caused by a bug in Microsoft Edge that will soon be fixed.

As you may know, Microsoft typically pins Office web app tiles to the Windows 10 Start menu, but only if the native apps aren’t installed. As part of the latest Microsoft Edge version upgrade, a bug migrated those shortcuts to PWAs that are managed by Edge. So Microsoft is pausing the upgrade release in order to fix the bug.

I first saw news of this mistake on Neowin and have since confirmed the news.

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