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News broke last week that Microsoft is planning to deploy an automatically installed Bing extension to all Chrome browsers running on machines with their enterprise-level Office 365 ProPlus products. This extension will forcibly redirect searches from Chrome browsers to Bing instead of Google. It's expected to launch by the middle of next month. This could mean a major change in paid search traffic, especially for B2B companies. While it's possible that Google might take steps to block the change, maybe by blacklisting the extension, this seems like a topic we should all be watching very closely.
 

djbaxter

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There's already a growing outcry about this from Office 365 users. I expect Microsoft will back down. If not, they should expect to see Office 365 subscribers to drop sharply.
 
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I don't think that subscribers will drop off since Microsoft Office is such a fundamental part of many workplaces. Disentangling an enterprise-level business from Office would take an incredible effort and would likely grind many workplaces to a halt. Just looking at my own company, the level of dependence on the products is staggering.

If they do go forward with this, I wonder what shifts we might see in paid search numbers on Google versus Bing? Our Bing numbers have always been lower, obviously. We're preparing for the possibility by making sure that all of our ads have correct C2C numbers attributed to them and that our local listings on their map service are up to date. At the very least this is a nice opportunity to audit things on that end, since Google usually eats up the lion's share of my time.
 

Eric Rohrback

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If it's only Chrome being affected, then either people will switch to Firefox or it seems like you can manually switch the default browser search engine selection.

I can also see most people searching "Google.com" in Bing lol. There's a lot of people working in various enterprises that aren't tech savvy enough to switch the browser, so they might use Bing... just not the way Bing might want them to.
 

djbaxter

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It was Chrome and Edge-Chrome but Microsoft has already backtracked on this as of today.


 
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Good to see they managed to get a bit of common sense before doing something silly! (Still, bets aren't entirely off that they'll attempt this again after the hubbub dies down)
 
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