Microsoft clears the air on recent Office PWA outcry
Microsoft recently pushed a Windows 10 update that covertly installed PWAs (progressive web apps) of Microsoft Office apps without asking users for permission. The update installed Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook PWAs, which are essentially shortcuts to the web versions of these office apps that open up in a browser window. Due to the manner in which the update was pushed, several disgruntled users took to social media to call out Microsoft on its poor practices. As a result, the company has now paused the rollout.
In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft said that the idea behind the update was to convert pinned websites in the Start Menu to more visible tiles and a ‘bug’ resulted in the update adding Microsoft Edge PWAs of Office apps to the Start Menu in the process. The company further revealed that it’s pausing the “migration” that brought web apps to the Start Menu. However, the statement fails to answer a pressing question about the manner in which the update was pushed.
Windows 10 typically alerts users whenever a new update is ready and gives them the option to install the update during off-hours unless it includes a fix for a critical issue. Since the aforementioned update wasn’t critical in nature, it doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to force restart systems during active hours. Not only does this practice of forcing updates detract from the user experience, but it also gives us a clear look at Microsoft’s high-handedness when it comes to Windows updates. As The Verge points out, the move is another “proof that it (Microsoft) doesn’t respect your ownership of your own PC.”
In case you’re one of the several users who received the update before Microsoft paused the rollout, there is some good news. You can easily uninstall the Microsoft Office PWAs from your system by following a few simple steps. To do so, head over to the Apps & Features page in the Settings app, locate the PWAs in the list of installed apps and then click on Uninstall to remove them from your system.