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December 1, 2020
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Microsoft Pauses Forced Installation of Office Web Apps on Windows 10 Devices, Calls it a Bug

Microsoft has confirmed that it has paused forced updates that brought Office web apps to the Start Menu without consent. The company has issued a statement saying that this behaviour of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) showing as tiles is a bug and it didn’t intend for that to happen. Microsoft wanted pinned websites to show up in the Start Menu as visible tiles for user to get a easier access to their favourite page, but the bug started showing PWAs into these tiles as well. Microsoft says that it is pausing the migration to fix the bug.

The Verge says Microsoft has confirmed that it is pausing the migration that brought web apps to the Start Menu in such a manner. The update that Microsoft was rolling out intended to turn pinned websites into visible tiles on the Start Menu for better accessibility. However, this change also turned existing Microsoft Office web shortcuts into PWAs as well. Microsoft is calling it a bug, and says that this change is something ‘you can normally do from inside the Edge browser, but not something that would happen by itself’. To fix this bug, Microsoft has paused the rollout of this update for now.

Some users even reportedly experienced restarts on their Windows 10 device without any prior permission taken. This action of not taking permission before performing any task on an individual’s device raises many concerns on Microsoft’s efforts toward user privacy and security.

The decision to halt the rollout came after Microsoft was found to be automatically installing PWA versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook on some Windows 10 devices without permission. Affected users can uninstall these apps through the Control Panel > Programs & Features or Settings App > Apps & Features page.


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