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Microsoft

On January 22, 2020 we announced in advance that the Microsoft Search in Bing browser extension would be made available through Office 365 ProPlus on Windows devices starting at the end of February. 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. With Microsoft Search integrated, Bing becomes a single search engine for users to find what they need - both from inside their organization and the public web.  

 

But we’ve also heard concerns about the way we were planning to roll this value out. 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: 

  • The Microsoft Search in Bing browser extension will not be automatically deployed with Office 365 ProPlus.  
  • Through a new toggle in Microsoft 365 admin center, administrators will be able to opt in to deploy the browser extension to their organization through Office 365 ProPlus.  
  • In the near term, Office 365 ProPlus will only deploy the browser extension to AD-joined devices, even within organizations that have opted in. In the future we will add specific settings to govern the deployment of the extension to unmanaged devices. 
  • We will continue to provide end users who receive the extension with control over their search engine preference. 

Due to these changes, the Microsoft Search in Bing extension will not ship with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus. We will provide an updated timeline for this rollout over the next few weeksFor more detailed information about deploying Microsoft Search in Bing through Office 365 ProPlus, please refer to this support articleLearn more about rolling out Microsoft Search in Bing to your organization by reading this user adoption guide 

Thank you for your ongoing feedback. Please continue to share with us through UserVoice.

21 Comments
Occasional Contributor

@Office_365_Team wrote:

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.  


Where? Who? I have not seen one single positive comment about this change anywhere - not on twitter, not as comments on your own blog posts, not in magazines or blogs, not on reddit, not on other forums. Show us one.

 

This was just stupid. And enough to erase a LOT of goodwill you had been earning. 

New Contributor

I would be hard pressed to identify any more-hated proposed change in the history of Office.

 

Who on earth would think that browser hijacking is an acceptable policy?

Frequent Contributor

@Office_365_Team Great decision. Can you clarify "will only deploy the browser extension to AD-joined devices, even within organizations that have opted in." Maybe you mean you will only deploy ONLY within organizations that have opted in?

Senior Member

Consent is an important concept to understand and practice. Opt-in is the correct decision in this case. Thank you.

Occasional Contributor

Thanks for listening! 

Super Contributor

How about instead of telling us that you will do something on day x, asking users what they think about proposed change? You can save your face and also save us time in preparing for countermeasures.

Super Contributor

@Jonas Backthey meant that if you opt-in (via a toggle in admin center) it will only be installed on managed (AD-joined devices), but not on unmanaged (personal devices with ProPlus installed and logged in with work account, maybe school devices without AD/AAD). They plan to add this for unmanaged devices later.

Regular Visitor

"In the near term, Office 365 ProPlus will only deploy the browser extension to AD-joined devices, even within organizations that have opted in. In the future we will add specific settings to govern the deployment of the extension to unmanaged devices." -- well crafted.  Well, in many organizations all machines are AD-joined.  Does above statement mean that AD-joined devices with O365 will still get browser hijacking, just at a later time?

Super Contributor

No, this means that unmanaged devices will get an option to get this add-on installed later. Currently it will be supported only on AD-joined devices. These is specifically about unmanaged devices, which can be in some organizations (like schools maybe) that don't have AD/AAD. Or personal devices.

New Contributor

I'm concerned about this: 

 

"In the near term, Office 365 ProPlus will only deploy the browser extension to AD-joined devices, even within organizations that have opted in. In the future we will add specific settings to govern the deployment of the extension to unmanaged devices. "

 

Is this AzureAD, On-prem AD, or Intune? Can someone please clarify?

 

Also, if we opt-out, no devices will receive the browser hijack? ...ermmm, I mean "extension."

Super Contributor

Well, i thought everything is pretty clear in this article. There is no opt-out or forced install planned anymore. There will be an OPT-IN button in admin center. If you don't press it, it won't install on any devices.

 

If you press it, for now it will only be able to install it on AD-joined devices. That is, if you want this extension to be installed.

 

Not sure about the scope. I'm guessing before they changed their mind new add-on was included in the main setup and it would disable it from installing via GPO or XML tag, but as it now will be controlled via a toggle in admin center, it probably must have different publishing mechanism. Probably Intune on the backed. And for that to work you have to be managed. So they need to figure out how to deal with unmanaged devices if some customers would WANT this addon installed on unmanaged devices.

 

The main punchline is that they have BACKED OUT and it is now OPT-IN. Not forced or opt-out.

Established Member
"Since then, we’ve heard from many customers who are excited about the value Microsoft Search provides through Bing..." LIES!!! What is this a Chevy commercial?
Occasional Contributor

At least you finally listened. Now please extend this Opt-in and Consent feature to the admin portal for ALL changes so that IT Departments can choose when new features are deployed to their tenant. This should be for everything from proposed features like this, through to even UI changes such as the recent ribbon update.

Occasional Contributor

Why didn't MSFT learn from the inept handling of announcing end-users could license PowerBI themselves, then having to reverse on that?

Occasional Visitor

@Dmitri557 it will only be deployed to computer if the Opt-in is selected, period.  It will never be installed without consent. It will not be deployed to non-managed computer at all initially though, even if you have Opted-in for managed devices. 

Senior Member

@Office_365_Team wrote:

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.

I think this is a gross overstatement, misunderstanding, or outright lie. I will go out on a limb and suggest that you did not receive a single comment, or any other positive feedback, lauding the forced installation of a browser hijacker. If, indeed, you received any, they were drowned out by the thousands advocating against this move.

Established Member

How do we get clarification on this sentence?
In the near term, Office 365 ProPlus will only deploy the browser extension to AD-joined devices, even within organizations that have opted inIn the future we will add specific settings to govern the deployment of the extension to unmanaged devices. 

 

Do we still need to update the Office 365 configuration.xml to prevent Microsoft Search in Bing as the default search engine in Google Chrome with Office 365 ProPlus?

Super Contributor

You have emphasized the opted in part. Opt in means when you actively select something to turn on. I have tried to clarify it in a few comments above. Unless you need an additional statement from Microsoft. Then again, it is perfectly clear to me. It will be Opt in.

Occasional Visitor
So, in this community I can't like any of the posts (Brave, Android). Splendid! NO means NO (to browser hijacking)!
Occasional Visitor

In the near term, Office 365 ProPlus will only deploy the browser extension to AD-joined devices, even within organizations that have opted in. In the future we will add specific settings to govern the deployment of the extension to unmanaged devices.

 

I see a lot of other people asked this, but I think what this means is:

 

1. If we Opt-Out, when the feature is enabled it is not rolled out to us at all

2. If we Opt-In, it will only be rolled out to Domain Joined devices. IE, not personal machines using company 365 (which does happen)

 

I just wanted to make sure that was the correct understanding. 

Super Contributor

@kboykin only correction is that we don't have to opt-out. It is/will be disabled by default, so you would have to opt in for it to be installed.