Microsoft this week revised the schedule for rolling out a Chrome browser extension to Office 365 customers, which at one point would have forced users to switch to the company’s own Bing search engine.

Rather than deliver the Chrome add-on to version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus between February and July, the Redmond, Wash. developer will instead begin adding it to Google’s browser this month as part of version 2005, with a finish date yet to be determined.

Microsoft did not offer a reason for the new schedule – unlike for other instances where it has cited the coronavirus pandemic for calendar changes – but it certainly needed more time after it had reversed itself in February.

Critics pressured Microsoft to drop forced search change of Chrome

At the top of the year, Microsoft quietly announced that it would change the default search engine of Google’s Chrome to Bing – Microsoft’s own search service – on PCs running Office 365 ProPlus, the productivity applications that serve as the heart of enterprise-grade Office 365 subscriptions.

(As of April 21, Office 365 ProPlus was re-branded Microsoft 365 Apps, part of a larger renaming effort.)

The change of Chrome’s default search was required to implement Microsoft Search, which when tied to an Office 365 account lets users look up company information – internal documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, for example – from the browser’s address bar. That functionality had already been baked into Microsoft’s own Edge browser, which not surprisingly also tapped Bing as its search default.

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