Office 365 installing bing as default search engine from Feb 2020

This is one of the entries that kinda needs a “so bad its kinda funny” category.

Microsoft, due to their unique understanding of customer needs, will be setting the default search engine in chrome to bing when you update to Office 365 version 2002.

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/office-365-blog/introducing-and-managing-microsoft-search-in-bing-through-office/ba-p/1110974

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

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/microsoft-search-bing#how-to-exclude-the-extension-for-microsoft-search-in-bing-from-being-installed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_hijacking#Microsoft_Office_365_ProPlus

The best bit of the 1st article has to be the comments section, with universal love and praise of Microsoft for making this wise decision.

fortunately for the users in enterprise environments, it just a simple on/off toggle – the fact that many users in enterprise environments struggle with absolutely any dialogue box doesn’t seem to phase the decision makers.

 

Anyway, if i can delve back into reality for a second…. for enterprise admins out there that don’t want to generate a bucketload of support calls due to this bafflingly bad decision, you have a couple of options

  • Grab the Office admx templates from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49030 (must be version 4996.1000 or later)
  • Set Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2016 (Machine)\Updates\ Don’t install extension for Microsoft Search in Bing that makes Bing the default the search engine = Enabled
  • Utilise the config.xml at deployment time, with the line
    • <ExcludeApp ID=“Bing” />
  • If the extension has already been installed, utilise “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\DefaultPackMSI\MainBootStrap.exe” uninstallAll 

 

As at time of writing, i have not tested any of these – but when the update is rolled out – scheduled for middle of February 2020 – i will update this article with any additional info at that time.

 

Seems to be in the same vein as the  “SCCM will effectively stop working if it detects 3rd party MDM on a device“…. an equally bad decision, but one that effects far fewer people than this moronic BS.