back to article Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft

Users who install or update Office 365 Pro Plus, part of the Office 365 subscription for larger businesses, will find their browser search engine automatically set to Bing, according to Microsoft documentation. "Starting with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus, an extension for Microsoft Search in Bing will be installed that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me, must have a re-read of H.G. Wells's "The Shape Of Things To Come"

    1. steelpillow Silver badge

      "The Shape of Bings to Come", shirley?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >The Shape of Bings to Come", shirley?

        Well done Sir, we need a doff of hat icon but I'm not filling in a nosey survey to get that recommendation to the powesr that be at the Reg.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And don't call me Shirley!

  2. gobaskof


    It seems Microsoft will never stop being a company that abuse their monopoly to promote their other "services".

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Antitrust

      And there was me thinking they'd turned into the good guys now!

      Instead, they are just behaving like wannabe "Ask jeeves" (remember that?)

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Antitrust

        Ah, Ask Jeeves. Yes I remember it.

        And you’ve given me an excuse to link to the classic Interview With A Search Engine.

        1. quxinot

          Re: Antitrust

          Immediate flashback to the Ask Toolbar trying to get installed with...well... damn near everything downloadable for install.

          Not all that different from Gator.

          That being said, there's a number of monkeys that could use punched, and we'd all win...

          1. 0laf

            Re: Antitrust

            Bloody hell you've given me some flashbacks with those two names

            1. Groove-Cat

              Re: Antitrust

              How about Bonzi buddy app that liked the reset your homepage to, WITHOUT permission....

              I say app, i mean adware, spyware piece of crap. :D


              1. 0laf

                Re: Antitrust

                Please stop. I've only just managed to forget the hours and hours I spent removing these things from the computers of parent, relative, friends, customers, friends and parents of customers....


                1. Fading

                  Re: Antitrust

                  Spybot search and destroy used to be one of the programs (not app) on my 128 MB (yes MB) USB stick I permanently carried around. This was used to clear off many a toolbar, browser highjacker and homepage redirect from friends and family's machines circa 16 years ago. Stick also had a useful read-only switch.

                  So many hours wasted making a machine usable enough to copy off what was needed (back-ups? who had back-ups) before nuking from orbit.

                  1. tin 2

                    Re: Antitrust

                    an upvote just for mentioning Spybot S&D

                  2. el_oscuro

                    Re: Antitrust

                    I had to fix a friends XP computer which had so much crap installed that it took 1/2 hour to boot.

                    With a Unix background I used the "rm -rf" method. I told them I would be deleting every app that wasn't something like office or photoshop. So it went something like this:

                    1. Attempt to remove it with control panel which would probably fail

                    2: c:\> rd /s "c:\program files\crap"

                    3: c:\> reg delete "hklm\software\crap"

                    4. regseeker and ccleaner (back when those were good)

                    5. Lather, rinse, reboot, and repeat

                    6. Install firefox, a decent free AV, delete IE icons, set browser defaults, etc

                    They were like "oh my god, this is a like a new computer". I wonder how long it lasted.

                2. Baldrickk

                  Re: Antitrust

                  RealPlayer was useful back in the day.

                  It's less the time spent removing all this cruft - it's when they come to you with problems, and yet get annoyed because you've removed the toolbars because "they're useful" despite them not knowing what it actually is, how it got there, and never actually using it either.

                  Most annoying one for me was one that called itself "mywebsearch" I still don't know what it was that installed it, but that one toolbar seemed to appear on the family PC every single week.

                  1. Fading

                    Re: Antitrust

                    Just mentioning that one sent a shiver down my spine....

                3. Mike007

                  Re: Antitrust

                  But at least those hours were made more pleasant by the aboslutely hilarious cursor!

              2. NanoMeter

                Re: Antitrust

                In the good old days we didn't call programs for apps, we said programs or software.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Antitrust

                  I believe there's an application for that.

            2. PeteA

              Re: Antitrust


        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Antitrust


          And you’ve given me an excuse to link to the classic Interview With A Search Engine.

          LOL, thanks! That made me giggle far more than a grown man should!

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Antitrust

            You're welcome. It's an oldie - circa 1998 I believe, which makes it prehistoric in Internet terms - but very funny., in it's prime, was a more cerebral and surreal version of The Onion.

            The site's story about Afghanistan's "Sou'Wester Alliance" (riffing on the genuine "Northern Alliance" which was a faction during the first US Afghan war) is also hilarious.

            "...Though the land's topographic deficiencies would discourage a lesser people, the tribes of the Alliance are, like their very poor fathers, and their very poor fathers before them, seafaring fishermen. Lacking an ocean, they ply the brackish, ankle-deep waters of the Gaud-i-Zirreh marshes in a valiant — some would say desperate, others would simply say 'odd' and let it go at that — search for the cod, the haddock, and the prized Atlantic swordfish..."

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Antitrust

        me thinking they'd turned into the good guys now!

        No - they've just learnt how to hid it better. And lost some of the "We're Microsoft - we can do what the hell we like and you peons just have to put up with it" attitude.

        I propose the COCM Rule - no IT company with global reach can ever afford to have good morals or ethics - and smaller companies inevitably lose them as they get bigger.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Antitrust

          Yeah, I guess you're right.

          As for "... with global reach can ever afford.....", isn't that letting them off too lightly? I think they could easily become very ethical and moral without it costing them too much.. It's basically down to the greed of the CEOs and shareholders.

          After a lot of pressure, Amazon raised the minimum wage of their US employees to $15 an hour. .. Bazos doesn't seem to be suffering as a result!

        2. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: Antitrust

          "no IT company with global reach can ever afford to have good morals or ethics"

          I have always assumed that no company will (do what is necessary to) gain global reach if it has any morals or ethics in the first place.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Antitrust

      Well, it's just copying from Google playbook again - remember how Google deployed Chrome on most machines?

      And now MS knows well how to modify Chromium-based browsers!

      It's now a battle among two idiots who couldn't care less about users - they have only eyes for ads money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Antitrust

        remember how Google deployed Chrome on most machines?

        Actually, I'm not sure that I do, unless it was through the cunning strategy of releasing a new browser and suggesting that people might want to download it?

        1. poohbear

          Re: Antitrust

          For some version of "suggest"... certainly not "nag you to death".

        2. baud

          Re: Antitrust

          A lot of chrome installation were bundled with other software installer, with a tiny checkbox (checked by default) saying 'Install chrome and make it my browser by default'. Google was paying M$ for free software developers to add this to their installers. And I think website that publish repackaged installers, like add chrome to the installers they are proposing.

          1. Baldrickk

            Re: Antitrust

            That and every time someone went to Google "YOUR BROWSER IS SO SLOW YOU SHOULD USE CHROME!"

            1. Giovani Tapini

              Re: Antitrust


              Quote <That and every time someone went to Google "YOUR BROWSER IS SO SLOW YOU SHOULD USE CHROME!"?

              That and every time someone went to Microsoft"YOUR BROWSER IS SO SLOW YOU SHOULD USE EDGE!"

              1. Baldrickk

                Re: Antitrust

                Yeah, but who went to Bing?

          2. Doug 3

            Re: Antitrust

            Yes, it was so hard to see that check box to install Chrome right there on the dialog box above all other dialog boxes. Nothing like how easy it is to find the check box buried in the Microsoft Windows Registry or in the admin tools folder with thousands of other options.

            How dare Google have that option put right there in the installation process instead of buried in some other software settings page of another tool. Soooo evil!

            1. Kiwi

              Re: Antitrust

              How dare Google have that option put right there in the installation process instead of buried in some other software settings page of another tool. Soooo evil!

              Correct. Most people don't really grasp what those things are, and years of MSI etc have trained people to double-click the file in /downloads, then click on 'install" without looking at anything else. The defaults are fine and who needs to read them?

              While this wasn't always google directly (other maliciious sites like cnet also did this - though I suspect they were 'encouraged' by Google), it was basically a hijacking of the machine and installing malicious software on it (yes, changing MY choice of software without explicitly asking IS malicious, especially when the option is tucked away in a place relatively few people ever look. ISTR some had a button for 'click here for other software you may like" but nothing to indicate that software was already selected for installation.

          3. Kiwi

            Re: Antitrust

            A lot of chrome installation were bundled with other software installer, with a tiny checkbox (checked by default) saying 'Install chrome and make it my browser by default'.

            Worse, many had that tucked away in the "custom" or "advanced" installer pages, where few people would normally bother to go (I mean that's where the geeks change the path and other generally minor/irrelevant things, why would I look there? Hmm, Firefox looks a bit different today, wonder why that is?)

            Would love for these companies to go for a skate under 'computer misuse" acts!

        3. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Antitrust

          Sure, you look to forget how many software were paid by Google to install Chrome by default without asking the user - Flash, many antivirus, etc. etc.

          How many people found that their browser suddenly changed without them ever trying to install one? And moreover installing without Administration rights into folders executables should not installed into, for obvious security risks?

        4. Franco Silver badge

          Re: Antitrust

          "Actually, I'm not sure that I do, unless it was through the cunning strategy of releasing a new browser and suggesting that people might want to download it?"

          Google are notorious for drive-by downloads. For a long time every installation of an Adobe product came bundled by default with Chrome, and given that Adobe Reader and Flash were amongst the most popular apps in the world and needed patched approximately every 14 seconds that's an awful lot of Chrome installs from people who don't read the options as they install things.

          Similar tactics employed by Apple for a while bundling Safari as a "recommended" update to iTunes.

          Neither of these is suggestion, it's taking advantage of user apathy to increase your market share.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Antitrust

        Google deployed Chrome

        And how many bits of 'helper software' (aka malware) that it came with? (And still does..)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Antitrust

      Another example of

      Do it our way or not at all.

      Just the start people, just the start.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Franco Silver badge

    I just got an email notification that this was happenning and had an immediate WTF moment. This is not going to endear Microsoft to anyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Email has already gone out to my team to disable it... if the email is allowed through of course...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No!

        Email has already gone out to my team to disable it..

        It seems you're trying to disable the Bing extension. Would you like some help with that?

        -- Clippy

        1. whitepines

          Re: No!

          It seems you're trying to disable the Bing extension.

          More like "It seems you're trying to disable the Bing extension. Would you like some help signing up to Microsoft subscription apps?", innit?

          -- Clippy "The New Microsoft" McClipface

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ "This is not going to endear Microsoft to anyone"

      MS know their customers very well, more specifically they know their short hairs though years of intimate contact.

      Since MS have gotten away with this so many times in the past what exactly is to stop them continuing? that's right nothing and whilst your mouth is still full of pillow from the last time they bent you over they can't actually hear what you are saying anymore, so enjoy.

      As to google doing anything to prevent them then this just doesn't happen in nonce rings, so stop bitching they own you good

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I found this part to be the most insidious:

      Once this feature has rolled out, your end users can change their search engine preferences only via the toggle in the extension; they cannot modify the default search engine in browser preferences.

      They've deliberately decided to make it more difficult for the average user to revert to a preferred configuration. Arseholes!

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Or even...

        For above average users who still can't change this back due to corporate IT policy preventing access to the settings (without admin rights), the joys...

        Thankful that I have a dev machine free of this influence, though I do wonder if this is for Windows only boxen or does Macs get hit as well?

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        This is stupid of Microsoft because it leaves them open to a suit from Google the developer of Chrome. Presumably, Google will now disable the extension, which it has the right to do.

  4. rcxb

    This is the real danger of software subscription or cloud services. They can change the deal at any time, and you can't opt to keep using the old version without the invasive changes.

    Switching to standardized formats is the best long-term solution. Even if funding and development of LibreOffice stops tomorrow, people will keep it running on modern systems for years to come. And there will be absolutely perfect conversion plugins for any other Office suite out there which wishes to do so.

    I've made slow, gradual progress at my company getting more and more systems switched to Linux when hardware upgrade time arrives. The cost is minimal... A very low-end PC upgraded to SSDs runs Linux incredibly well, and avoids the cost of Windows, Office, and a bevy of others. They've required 1/10th as much maintenance and support. And most of it is just that an Office document here and there doesn't convert perfectly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think proprietary software in general can have shortcomings when it comes to longevity and ensuring backups are always accessible.

      I use Thunderbird to backup all my university and personal e-mail, calendar and contacts.

      That way I will always have my e-mail, calendar and contact data accessible.

    2. WallMeerkat

      Last few companies I've worked at have used Google GSuite, no real issues with Office compatibility for the most part.

      And while google is another evilcorp, a browser cloud application shouldn't try to hijack a browser.

      Plus it can be used on Mac, Linux, Windows, mobile/tablet etc.

  5. JohnFen


    As someone who is unfortunately required to use O365 at work, this makes me glad (once again) that I don't use Chrome!

    1. LosD

      Re: Phew!

      And how is Chrome related to this, besides that being the current target? Firefox will come later, and so will probably any browser with a marketshare over 1%

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Phew!

        LosD and so will probably any browser with a marketshare over 1%

        So, ironically, not Internet Explorer or Edge then.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Phew!

          Edge is irrelevant for this change as the default search engine in Edge already happens to be Bing.

          1. The Mole

            Re: Phew!

            Yes it is, it is afterall possible to change your default search engine in Edge to something that works.

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Phew!

              Sure, but do you know anybody, who actually uses Edge for something different than downloading another browser, leave alone change the default search engine?

      2. JohnFen

        Re: Phew!

        Chrome comes into this because that's the browser singled out for first deployment. Yes, they'll be adding the modern Firefox and (probably) any browser that has more than 1% adoption -- but I don't use the modern Firefox or a browser that has that much adoption, so I should be good.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Phew!

        But is it actually Chrome, or just MS simply updating the user specified Windows default browser which in the majority of cases will be Chrome?

        So it probably auto updates All Chromium based browsers when set as a user's default browser, obviously similar will apply in February when Firefox is also supported (although no mention of Webkit browsers/Safari...

        The really worrying thing, is that user's may simply reset their default search provider - and then complain that O365 search no longer works correctly.

        It does seem that O365 needs to be able to specify its own default for internal organisational search.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Firefox "supported" next! Do they hear themselves??

          I think I remember that current Microsoft products, including Windows 10, have a licence that grants Microsoft the right to delete illegal software from the device. Presumably a web browser that doesn't let them override the search service to be Bing may be considered illegal?

      4. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: Phew!

        If my Links2 starts showing Bing then I'll turn the lights off on my way out.

        1. WallMeerkat

          Re: Phew!

          For a second I thought you meant that they were putting Bing into the old golf game they bought years ago.

          1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

            Re: Phew!

            No, but there were plans to add Clippy at a time to Flight Simulator.

            I think it was called Microsoft Clippy Assistant System (or something like that) and its function was mostly to ensure that the plane wouldn't stall...

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Phew!

              You evil nasty person! :-)

            2. el_oscuro

              Re: Phew!

              No additional comment required

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator


      Re: Search from the Address Bar?


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search from the Address Bar?

      How is "search from address bar" any less secure than "search from web page search box"?

  7. vtcodger Silver badge

    This should be entertaining

    Let me see if I have this straight. Microsoft has just attacked the world's largest search engine by hijacking their search clients using a browser developed and maintained by said search engine's maker? And Microsoft's management thinks there will be no consequences.

    Man-o-Man. I tried to tell them that legalizing marijuana might have some ... ahem .. interesting ... side effects. But did they listen?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: This should be entertaining

      Maybe it's a delayed response to "Swap to Chrome" every time you visited any Google response.

      Still a dumb idea.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: This should be entertaining

      I feel like I can already hear the sound of lawyers sharpening their teeth...

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    “support for the Firefox web browser is planned for a later date"

    No need to rush, take your time.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: “support for the Firefox web browser is planned for a later date"

      Hope Firefox will have time to implement a block in response....

      1. MrWibble

        Re: “support for the Firefox web browser is planned for a later date"

        i thought firefox had blocked this kind of shit already, but I only found this where they will "try" to stop it:

        I suspect Microsoft will be allowed, though...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I suspect Microsoft will be allowed

          Do MS support a Linux Browser?

          Looks like I'll be moving more of my own personal computing to Fedora very, very soon.

          Nothing like driving your customers away!

  9. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Slurp -

    Slurp should prepare to open its wallet for some massive fines and damages. First you have fines for anti-trust behavior worldwide and someone will nail them for a sizable donation to the treasury. Chocolate Factory probably has a torturous interference lawsuit for this as the users are not choosing the change but are being forced to accept it. Again another very sizable donation.

    This confirms too many that Slurp's is at least as evil as the Chocolate Factory if not more. But one can avoid the Chocolate Factory with some effort and definitely minimize what the Chocolate Factory is used for. Slurp, being an OS vendor as well as an office suite vendor, is much harder to avoid and their antics are harder to defend against as it is part of an 'update' (or more accurately downgrade).

    1. zb42

      Re: Slurp -

      I believe the legal term is "tortious interference".

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Slurp -

        legal term is "tortious interference"

        No - I think the original "torturous interference" is probably more accurate.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's good to be king

    Enough said.

  11. ecofeco Silver badge


    MS still playing their old games.

  12. Neoc

    Cue the German Government asking their courts to bring Microsoft to heel for GDPR (and multiple other) violations in 3... 2...

  13. Aussie Doc Bronze badge


    Not wishing to seem offensive but why does this seem to surprise anybody?

    Meanwhile, I'll grab some popcorn and await MS vs Google and/or MS vs whatever body in Europe gets miffed at this sort of behaviour. Sorry can't remember details - am drugged to the eyeballs (legally lol)

    I need to keep warm ----->

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Oh

      Only surprised it took them so long to shoot themselves in the foot again.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward






  15. Belperite

    They've been naughty boys, haven't they Mr Flibble?


    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: They've been naughty boys, haven't they Mr Flibble?

      Ooh, can we give the Marketing smeghead who thought this one up two hours W.O.O?

      (With Out Oxygen)

  16. RyokuMas

    Hey look, we can still do evil too!!!

    Oh dear. This is so unacceptable that it makes Lemongrab look mildly peeved... stupidity of a new order of magnitude.

    This reminds me of the bad old days when you used to download a bit of software you needed, and it would piggy-back various browser "tool bars" (read: crapware) at the same time.

  17. R3sistance


    Ironically on this page... I see Microsoft Office 2019 Pro adverts...

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Adverts

      Try installing Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin into your browser.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Adverts


        It's funny, but, when people say things about the adverts on El Reg pages, I do a "what adverts?" thing before I remember I'm protected against that sort of filth. Sometimes I fire up a non-protected browser just to see what all the fuss is about. Then I shudder and go back to my cozy advert-less world.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adverts

          Yes, you use an adblocker, we get it..... We ALL get it..

          Smug "i use adblocker" posts are about as useful as "I'm a vegan" comments, and I say that as a vegan

          1. holmegm

            Re: Adverts

            It's a reasonable response when people *will* go on about the various dark alleys they insist on wandering into.

            -"Doctor, it hurts when I do this"

            -"Then don't do that."

      2. R3sistance

        Re: Adverts

        I have ad blockers at home! This just wasn't posted from my home computer ;).

      3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Adverts

        Try installing Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin into your browser.

        And while you are at it, get yourself a Pi-Hole.

  18. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Computer Misuse Act

    If you give permission during an update (MS in this case) to update their OS or their applications, I would believe that such granted permission would allow the OS/Applications to change their own defaults which may impact the use of third party applications as you have accepted modification of the system. However you have not extended permission to changing the internal data of any third party application.

    As a logical extension, MS could, using their same thought process, move your Thunderbird mail data to a Cloud based MS Outlook account "because it's easier for the OS to search..." or change all your Thunderbird server settings to MS accounts "because they are easier for the OS to administer and you wouldn't want to use non MS mail servers" or disable access to Adobe servers because MS Paint is very good ...

    If a user has Chrome installed on an MS system it's because they've taken the decision to do so, it's not an OS default. Therefore the application must be regarded as 'personal' data for that user and the particular settings within it are certainly personal data.

    The UK Computer Misuse Act makes modifying computer data without the owners express permission illegal. By admitting to fiddling with third party data for their own ends I believe what MS are doing constitutes a very fine tightrope which I would hope will break very soon ...

    1. Dave K

      Re: Computer Misuse Act

      It'll also be interesting to see if the likes of Google/Mozilla try and get more involved to block this. It's not just the users that are affected. Google may lose search business - which affects them financially, also Mozilla get revenue by striking deals with the likes of Google to direct search traffic to them. Hence hijacks like this risk affecting Mozilla's revenue as well.

      I get the feeling this one will drag on as Google/Mozilla either implement blocks to prevent this - or possibly even consider legal action against MS.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT alerted, we're looking to see if we can block this in Group Policy.

    It'll cause mayhem in the schools who generally rely on Chrome these days and aren't really up to changing settings. They also rely on some consistency of search results when they are teaching.

    But if nothing else, MS just fuck off. If I wanted Bing I'd have it set as Bing. If it's not set as Bing it means I don't want Bing. Geddit?

    1. Spiz

      Just applied it myself ahead of time. Bastards.

  20. Bunker_MonkeyUK

    "I am altering the deal, pray that I dont alter it any further"....

    ......Darth Nadella

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Re: "I am altering the deal, pray that I dont alter it any further"....

      I read that as Darth Nutella initially.

      Icon - I need new glasses.

      1. R3sistance

        Re: "I am altering the deal, pray that I dont alter it any further"....

        To be fair, Darth Nutella sounds way better!

      2. Kiwi

        Re: "I am altering the deal, pray that I dont alter it any further"....

        I read that as Darth Nutella initially.


        TBH, it's probably quite accurate.. I mean there's lots of nuts, and some smelly brown stuff as well.

  21. canlit

    Hope all anti-malware will see it as an unwanted system intrusion and block this nonsense. Perhaps Chrome and Firefox can start building in "self defence" ability to stop this too.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      unwanted system intrusion

      I read that as "unwanted systemd intrusion" and mentally nodded..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Google search was the default.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, we had several users say how much better their search results were and that all the SEO crap and adverts were gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't say much about your abilities that you left the systems using the previous "crap" search..

  23. David Austin


    Why does EVERYONE Think combining local desktop and internet search is a useful or desired feature?

    Most people (I'd say all, but I've met users...) know if they're looking on data on the local computer or network, or the internet: All mixing the two up is slow and frustrate the results, meaning extra clicks and data to sort through.

    Aside from that? Yeah, that sounds like scummy early 00's Toolbar and search hijacks. Anyone still got a copy of Spybot Search & Destroy to hand?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why.

      "Anyone still got a copy of Spybot Search & Destroy to hand?"

      Yes ..... I still use it (with other newer s/w) :)

    2. Carpet Deal 'em

      Re: Why.

      I can see the attraction of putting them in the same box, but only with an option to switch between the two(such as separate search buttons).

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: Why.

        The GPO solution was already linked to above by Spiz (Thank you!), but here it is again:

  24. matt 83

    How does this play with...

    GPOs that require chrome extensions be whitelisted?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I still have the greatest confidence in the mission, Dave"

    "Admins can enhance this search functionality by connecting to external content with Graph Connectors, customizing the search page, and creating bookmarks." - Oh they can, can they? What happens if they don't want to 'enhance' their (or their Users') experience by connecting their entire network to the Internet, sorry 'external content' via Micro$haft Graph? And I assume that Graph won't be logging any of that information regarding who looked at what, when and in what order and context and sending to to Micro$haft for "analytics", will it. Will it?

    "All results are subject to the user having appropriate permissions" - Phew, that's a relief, the network/domain admins still have a measure of control. Thankfully there's no way to give individual processes/programs enhanced access to allow things to run or install without letting the User have 'permanent' rights do any real damage to the system or install anything themselves.

    "...and Microsoft says both privacy and security are respected. So that's all right then." Indeed.

  26. JohnSheeran

    Feels like a joke we play on each other at work.....

    ...and this one is actually pretty funny. Next they will pull the old trick of taking a screenshot of your desktop with the icons, removing all of the icons and making the screenshot the wallpaper.

    1. Groove-Cat

      Re: Feels like a joke we play on each other at work.....

      go 8 minutes in. or enjoy the whole clip. old skool, but still funny.

  27. IT's getting kinda boring

    So the Microsoft version of Cillit Bang?

    In their best Barry Scott voice:

    BING and the search engine's gone!!!!

  28. adam payne

    That is the pitch: but is it reasonable to change browser search defaults without specific user consent?

    It wasn't OK in the past, it's not OK now and it's still not going to be OK in the future.

  29. Terje

    There's a basic issue here that I fail to grasp.

    If I open a browser and search for something I want the response from the search engine of choice be it bing, google, duckduckgo or something entirely different!

    If I seach local files or a fileshare files I don't want to be told that amazon sells some tat for $X mixed in.

    Why would anyone want things mixed up, sure there's a case for mixing local and fileshare but apart from that if you have no fing clue what you want you should probably not have access to it...

  30. Christian Berger

    Now if they'd only have any semi decent search

    For example the search function in Outlook can only search for whole words. So if you have a composite nown (as common in Germany) "Ticket" won't match "Carrierticket". Of course in the age of multi megabyte RAM in PCs doing a full text search of the subject still seems something hard for Microsoft.

  31. Saff

    Surely this is defeated by a Chrome extension blacklist in Group Policy?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Much better achieved with a chrome blacklist policy.

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Well, GPOs come from MS, so one can expect exceptions?

  32. BGatez

    enjoy the big pos

    Yes it's crap and relentlessly violates your privacy BUT it is "popular"

  33. IGnatius T Foobar !

    They both need to lose.

    Microsoft and Google are both BigBadCo at this point. Anyone who cares even a little should be searching with DuckDuckGo.

  34. Squeensnex


    Now I have this jingle stuck in my head.

  35. Jay Lenovo

    Just the tip please

    What's the issue with letting Microsoft make a few involuntary hijacks behind the scenes?

    I've got better things to do...

    Like figuring out how to get this camel out of my tent.

  36. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Hijack that browser

    Yeah, Microsoft, hijack that browser!

    Well, Firefox has gotten some warning (since this is just for Chrome and planned to come out for Firefox in February), so perhaps they can prepare to block this browser hijack. That is, after all, what it is, whether Microsoft thinks there's a good reason for it or not.

  37. danmpark

    Give us options so we can choose the best search engine experience for our company.

    We use Teams and the built in Microsoft search is terrible. We just can't easily find what we need to do our job. We're considering using Elastic Enterprise Search for that along with using it to index content in SharePoint and OneDrive. Microsoft is right, search is critically important, they just don't have the tools for it. Wish they would focus on fixing issues like why does Teams not index my wiki's?

  38. Colin Bain

    My Company

    My company is transitioning us all to 365. Most of us have not yet been transitioned and unusually in the grand tradition of IT not telling users useful info as to what is happening until it actually has happened, they informed us of this change to Bing and even more unusually informed us of how to get Google back! My respect for our IT has soared. However, I haven't actually been told when my transition is going to happen, but I am thinking that Sod's law will ensure that I will be on vacation at the time!

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