Microsoft takes advantage of Outlook to surprise install Bing on Android

If you've decided to use Outlook on your Android device, beware of the surprise that Microsoft has in store for you: you'll end up with Bing as your search bar

Usersersersers who install Outlook on their Android device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, may find themselves with a decidedly unexpected surprise. Microsoft has used the app to promote its Bing search system, but without informing users.

This is not the first time Microsoft has promoted its services through its apps. This time when you download Outlook and use it to check your email, or sync your calendar, you'll find a new option that you may not have realized the effects of. If you hold down on a word or text, a "Bing search" item will also appear in the long-press menu, using it as a search engine while browsing the web. It's a useful feature, allowing you to search for the selected word, but if not required it could be unpleasant.

Outlook forces you to use Bing on Android

Users have found that by downloading Microsoft's email management app, they find themselves using the Bing search engine when selecting text or even just a word. The feature can prove useful, because by clicking on the "Bing search" item, the search engine opens and returns results related to the selected text. To get rid of the "Bing search" option, you need to uninstall Outlook and sometimes, reinstalling it, it disappears.

Microsoft and the unsolicited features in its apps

This is not the first time Microsoft has included "surprise" features in its Android apps, but especially this strategy seems clear in relation to the company's desire to grow Bing as a search engine. Bill Gates' company has long been looking for a way to promote its Bing search in apps and on the web, but many users may not appreciate the new feature, despite its potential usefulness in making search tasks easier.

The company has long been experimenting with features like this to boost Bing's popularity. In fact, if Microsoft's search engine stands at 2.8 percent of user usage share, according to StatCounter's June 2020 data, for Google the share goes as high as 91.75 percent. Microsoft wants to challenge Google in the search engine market, it definitely still has a long way to go, but we'll have to wait and see if the strategy used with Outlook has brought benefits or not.