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Microsoft backtracks on plans to force Chrome default search to Bing

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Good news for IT admins

Microsoft is backtracking on its original plans to force the Chrome default search engine over to Bing using the company’s Office 365 installer. Microsoft was planning to include a new Chrome extension with its Office 365 ProPlus installer, used by businesses, that would switch Chrome’s default search engine to Bing. The software giant originally announced its plans last month, and IT admins weren’t happy.

“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,” explains a support note from Microsoft’s Office 365 team. Based on the feedback, Microsoft will no longer bundle its Microsoft Search Chrome extension with Office 365 ProPlus installs, and IT admins will instead be able to deploy it using a toggle in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Microsoft says these changes now mean that the Microsoft Search in Bing extension will not ship in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and India this month. “We will provide an updated timeline for this rollout over the next few weeks,” says the company.