First, let me try to explain the title: I have never tried to hide the fact that I am a huge Microsoft fan. Generally speaking, I like all their consumer and server operating systems, software and services. I belong to that small minority of users who never had any issues with Vista and loved Windows 8. I like Office 365 and Microsoft 365, SharePoint, Azure, Azure AD, about everything they do, and am especially in love with Windows 10.
I am known to be a hardcore purist when it comes to maintaining and administrating Windows. For instance I have not and will never use any third party applications and tools, if one from Microsoft or a native Windows command or tool can do the same. The last time I used any third party tool to tweak, clean or optimize Windows was almost 20 years ago when I was still on Windows XP.
So, last week my Win10.guru partner Ed wrote about a change in Office 365: Microsoft Search Extends Its Reach to Chrome (and Firefox). Reading between the lines, I thought this was one of those really rare occasions where he and I have opposite, totally different opinions, and left a comment to say that I like the change.
Something really strange happened. After Ed’s story, and my comment, I was almost paralyzed, wondering for the first time ever if I am blind to anything negative Microsoft does. Came the weekend, I noticed I was thinking about it all the time. Thus, it’s time for self-analysis and -criticism.
Am I blind?
I do not think so, to be honest. My criticisms about the Windows Insider program and its then leader caused me to lose my Windows Insider MVP award (full story here). I do not like using a Microsoft Account as a Windows sign-in account (my approach here). I do not like, and have openly criticized several details and unnecessary features in Windows. Take Microsoft’s naming policy: assisting other users, I just hate when they tell about “issues with Outlook“, and before being able to help, I need to clarify if they mean Outlook as an Office application, or as an outlook.com email address.
In this case, I love the idea of setting Bing as the default search engine in all browsers, how it makes it easy to search not only external content from the Internet, but also internal content organization-wide (SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Teams etc.). Yet, at the same time I find it problematic; no software or service provider should have right to change default settings in software or service from another company or provider. This is clearly wrong. In a Teams chat with Ed, I even predicted that Microsoft will have to back down:
In brief, I very much like the idea how the change makes it so extremely easy to include an Intranet in searches, just typing a document name into the browser’s addressbar will show it in search results. But, Microsoft should not force this onto users and organizations. And in fact, those same users and organizations would be complaining all over the Internet if Google tried to force the Edge browser to use their search engine as its default, too.
Does this make me less of a Microsoft fanboy? No. I still love Windows 10, I love Azure and Azure AD. I couldn’t cope without OneDrive, and an Office 365 Enterprise E3 tenant still makes running Win10.guru easy.
I will continue down the same path. I am still a great Microsoft fan in general and for Windows 10 in particular a fanboy, and I’m not ashamed of that. But, being a fan does not automatically mean I accept everything. Regarding this forced Bing in Chrome and Firefox matter, I clearly understand that although I personally like the change, I also understand that many users and organizations will oppose it. That same principle applies to everything; I can like something other users do not like. It does not make my opinion more important than theirs, but also their opinions do not mean I am wrong.
That’s it this time.
Author: Kari Finn
A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.