Microsoft Backtracks on Plans to Force Bing on Office 365 Pro Plus Users

Posted on February 12, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365 with 9 Comments

As expected, Microsoft has backtracked on its plan to force Office 365 Pro Plus users to use Bing as their search engine in Chrome.

“We’ve heard concerns about the way we were planning to roll this value out,” a new post to the Microsoft Tech Community forums explains. “Most importantly, we heard that customers don’t want Office 365 ProPlus to change search defaults without an opt-in, and they need a way to govern these changes on unmanaged devices. Based on your feedback, we are making a few changes to our plan.”

Microsoft will no longer install the Microsoft Search in Bing browser extension for Chrome automatically, a change that would have resulted in that browser’s default search engine changing to Chrome. Instead, administrators will be able to opt-in to deploy the browser extension to their Office 365 ProPlus users, as God intended. And for now, deployment of the browser extension will only occur via AD-joined PCs, but Microsoft will add a control that will let admins roll it out to non-managed devices in the future. And “we will continue to provide end users who receive the extension with control over their search engine preference,” Microsoft says.

Because of this change, the Microsoft Search in Bing extension will no longer ship with Office 365 ProPlus version 2002 as expected. Microsoft says it will announce an updated release timeline soon.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Microsoft Backtracks on Plans to Force Bing on Office 365 Pro Plus Users”

  1. skolvikings

    Yep I saw this yesterday. Glad they chose to listen to customer feedback.

  2. anoldamigauser

    For a company that makes its living with the Enterprise, it is surprising that this plan ever made it out of the first meeting it was mentioned in.

    Clueless and tone deaf. Thankfully, there was an adult somewhere to walk this one back.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      there was an adult somewhere to walk this one back

      Those adults probably were a few of MSFT's larger enterprise customers who said they'd drop Office 365 Pro Plus and revert to Office 2016 perpetual licenses. MSFT tends to back down only when there's a 10-figure downside to persisting.

  3. bluvg

    Thank goodness, sanity prevails. And they are listening to feedback.

  4. Chris Payne

    "...a change that would have resulted in that browser’s default search engine changing to Chrome."

    You mean Bing? Or Google?

  5. bmcdonald

    I love the way they phrase it as "we were planning to roll this value out"

    Note to MS - I will let you know if (or when) there any value in your lame search engine.

    Meantime - stay in your lane.


  6. kdjones74

    My favorite part of the post was this: "Since then, we’ve heard from many customers who are excited about the value Microsoft Search provides through Bing and the simplicity of deploying that value through Office 365 ProPlus."

    Who are these customers??

  7. ianhead

    I wonder sometimes if these project budgets list 'customer goodwill' as a resource that's allocated and tracked along with dollars.

    "Dollars are running low for marketing, but we're still in the green for goodwill points, so let's force it down a few throats for a couple days, my apology's already scheduled to post on the 12th"

  8. wright_is

    I'm still leaving the group policy forbidding this in place...