Microsoft Search in Bing and Office 365 ProPlus

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Frequent Visitor

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/DeployOffice/microsoft-search-bing

Guys... you just can't do this. It's fine if you want to develop a browser extension, but it needs to be an "opt-in." Most admins, myself included, would consider hijacking people's search provider within a third-party browser to be malicious behavior.

7 Replies
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I sent a message to Google through Chrome's feedback mechanism advising of this issue and suggesting they block the automatic installation of this extension. I'd suggest anyone reading this do the same for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and any other browsers which support third-party extensions.

 

It is considered a bad practice to push software (extensions are software) into a a production environment which a) you have not tested the software in, and b) you have not obtained prior approval to install software in. For a company as large as Microsoft to do this is ludicrous and I hope the various notices sent out about this were meant for April 1st.

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@jrapine 

They are essentially turning Office 365 ProPlus into malware, which is so sad to see☹

Here are some ways I have come up with to take part in engaging with Microsoft on the issue to see if they will change their incredibly bad “plan”:

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@jrapine 

 

There is definitely weirdness in and around Bing these days. It is a good option to allow enterprise search from Bing, but in practical terms few people work that way to mix external and internal searching. Maybe inside microsoft they do? I'd be interested to hear.

 

In O365 Admin panel, under Search, there is a prominent panel for Search terms that people are searching on. Great! I thought. It was always blank for me, kind of right in my face about it. Finally i opened a ticket -- turns out that is only search results of people search from BING if they have enterprise integration with Bing turned on! Fail!

 

Then I saw in Search the features for spelling out Acronyms and adding frequent questions. Cool, maybe a precursor to Cortex I am thinking, so I put some in.  It turns out Acronyms ONLY show up in Bing search and not inside sharepoint. Crazy! Frequent Questions show up both in Bing and internal to Sharepoint. Very inconsistently implemented. There is some small print on one documentation page that says the internal availability "is coming in 2020".

 

My point in posting this (besides general knowledge) is that I think there is a lot of Bing and O365 integration going on, but Microsoft is not telling us the vision for that.

 

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@jrapineI totally agree. Why is MS starting to "hide" stuff under the umbrella of Office 365 ProPlus. What is the connection between Office 365 ProPlus and any browser, in that special case Chrome. If I install Office in a company, I want Office features and not misuse Office to implement something totally different on the cross. For me it already started with Teams, which is now more or less a "must have" installation even during a normal upgrade.

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I agree fully. This is offensive to me as a systems admin, and irritating to me personally.

 

If I don't take steps to block this for my site, I am CERTAIN that my IT support team will be flooded with support requests about how "hackers" changed their search engine.

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@jrapine 

Forcing the use of Bing as the default search engine, in any browser, is an over-reach of the social trust that Microsoft presents to users.  Microsoft is exercising its position in the market place to to create an environment where Microsoft is the defacto software service.  This is a move more often seen with less scrupulous companies. 

 

Search engine software is invasive enough without having a large and powerful company, one who's position in the market place was 79.24% last year, making a grab for more. 

 

I am surprised that Google Chrome is allowing this code to preempt their client's Search engine choice. 

 

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Microsoft, you disappoint me. This type of behaviour is unbecoming, and smacks of some extremely bad decision making.