Am I losing it? Microsoft to install a Chrome extension to switch my default search engine to Bing?

I must be reading this wrong. I just got a change notification for my O365 tenant that a Chrome extension will be automatically installed into Chrome for all O365 ProPlus installations and updates. Seriously?

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I know what extension I’d turn off immediately.

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NONONONO!

Search engine hijacking in what junkware does, it isn’t what high quality software I pay for should be doing on my system.

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Almost did a spit-take when I heard about this on the show. I posted to their feedback forum and advise any other O365 customers to do the same.

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Sho nuff :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

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The big companies seem to think they can do all the tricks they learned from adware and malware authors, and it is OK because it is them doing it.
Like how Governments legitimise all the wrong things they do.

Microsoft are unfortunately at this time doing something that has become normalised, so will defend it as such.

Remember when AV started to detect and block adware and browser addons we didn’t install ?
Certain notable companies started using the same techniques many years ago.
Adobe and Oracle helped make it normal.
Get a Flash or Java installer and for years you run the risk of accidentally installing Chrome or those scareware scanners from Norton and Mcafee that trick people into buying the real AV.

Chrome got to dominate the worlds desktops not because people were choosing it, but because they didn’t realise they had installed it.
If you installed any other google product, it would also shovel chrome in at the same time.
I remember removing chrome and the google updater that came with google drive put it back next time it updated.

What is the difference between that and other adware that AV blocks ?
$ ?
ϟ ?

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I think the difference here is Microsoft is doing this with an enterprise-grade product that people pay to use. Those other companies run those sneaky installations because they have no revenue stream other than grabbing market share. I’d expect a certain level of good behavior when actually paying for software.

Also Microsoft doesn’t really have a track record of this kind of behavior. I see it as a bit of a betrayal, whereas I totally expect Oracle or Symantec to be installing all kinds of garbage anytime their installers get executed.

Very much disagree with this. People consciously choose Chrome because a) it’s not IE/Edge and b) it’s the most compatible with popular websites. Many of those websites will flat out tell you to download Chrome if you don’t have it. I’d wager that the majority of people using GSuite or any Google product that runs on a Windows desktop are already Chrome users.

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I never said it was common for microsoft, only that this behaviour has become normalised by big companies.

You are thinking about now and recent times during the period of dominance, not the before-time when a common support question I would get is “where did this browser come from ?, I don’t remember getting it.”
Back in a time when Chrome was not a household name.

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The problem is, you’d switch back to your default search engine.

Most normal users will fear they have caught a virus and call our help desk. I bet 99% of our users don’t even known what a “Bing” is… There is a reason why Google has over 95% market share in much of Europe, the other engines were so bad at non-English search that they never got a foothold, were the butts of jokes from the cognicenti and noone outside of tech has really heard of them. Yahoo! was the only non-Google search engine that had any real presence, here in Germany, and that mainly because people used it and Yahoo! Mail before Google was established, so it managed to cling onto a slim amount of market share.

With the current privacy situation, DuckDuckGo has more of a presence in the public mind in Germany than Bing, I would expect.

It depends, most of our users still use IE and have never heard of Chrome. A couple call up, because they have to use an external portal and the service provider has told them they have to use something called Chrome… A lot is the power of the default. If Chrome gets installed and makes itself the default, people will use it, but a lot of people don’t use IE, or Chrome or Safari, Opera, Firefox or whatever, they use “The Internet”. Ask the average, non-technical, user and they will probably only know that they use the Internet, but not which browser, show them the icons and they will be able to point out “which” Internet they use.

There are several ways to disable this, but it will probably be like Teams was.

We will probably use a mixture of Group Policy and blocking it on the Management Portal.

Teams was really bad. It was disabled in the manifest, it was disabled on the portal, it was disabled for each user, yet every time a user logs onto a machine, it tries to install and run! In the end, we set Kaspersky Endpoit Protection to blacklist the Teams setup and runtime executables from starting.

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While I do not support this type of hijacking, it puzzles me about how much hate Bing gets. I’ve been using it almost exclusively for several years and I find it comparable to Google 95% of the time, plus, I collect their awards which is probably 20$ or more a year. If I can’t find what I am looking for, I fire up Google and find that in almost all cases, not only are their results comparable, also I can’t find what I am looking for on either search engine.

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I’m in this camp, I don’t get the hate. I think it’s reached a pop-culture hate level, the same way people love to hate on the band Nickelback. I also use Bing as my primary, and have gotten several search-funded pizzas from it. Bing’s image and video search interface is much better than Google as well, IMHO.

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I didn’t realise it was hated in the US.

In Europe, it isn’t so much hated as it is just unknown. It never had a presence and for over a decade, it was next to useless at non-English searches, which probably makes up over 95% of searches in Europe, outside the UK.

In German at least, it has improved over the last couple of years, to be nearly as good as Google. But it has never really been marketed and most people either used it a decade ago and gave up or haven’t heard of it.

As with many things in tech, we tend to cling to and promote the things we use and like while actively criticizing the things we don’t. iOS vs Android, Mac vs PC, Google vs Bing, etc. Over time it’s just the norm to have a bias.

I don’t personally dislike Bing but when I try to use it I don’t find what I’m looking for. The same search on Google will surface useful results for me at the top. When I need to find Microsoft’s page for a specific Windows Update for example, I’ll pop the KB number into Bing and get totally irrelevant results. Same search in Google, the Microsoft KB article is the first result. I consider and appreciate that Bing doesn’t alter the search results and promote Microsoft sites, but it also doesn’t help me with my work.

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I have no issue with Bing. I have an issue with MS shoving an extension into Chrome without asking me.

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