Microsoft is installing Office progressive web apps (PWA's) on to Windows 10 devices without seeking user permission, multiple reports suggest. These include PWA versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. These are showing up as dedicated entries in the Start Menu, and these apps also show up in the ‘Programs and Features' as recently installed. Some users report that Microsoft restarted their Windows 10 devices without permission to install these web apps through a software update. Initially, it was being reported that this was a test carried out for Insider members only, but the same forced update is being experienced by non-Insider members as well.
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are apps that open up through a browser and run without executables on your computer. The Verge and Windows Latest both report that PWA versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook were automatically installed on their Windows 10 devices without permission. Some users even experienced a force restart for installation of these web apps without any consent. BleepingComputer.com also reported that Microsoft was forcibly installing these PWAs into the new Edge for some users and registering them with Windows 10.
While Microsoft is known to send out rigorous reminders to update their Windows devices regularly, these force updates to pitch its own web apps raises several privacy red flags. In any event, users can uninstall these apps through the Control Panel > Programs & Features or Settings App > Apps & Features page.
Before this reported force installation of PWAs on Windows 10 devices begun, Microsoft offered Outlook as a PWA option that any user could choose. Even the installing of the Office app as a PWA was a user controlled option and wasn't pre-installed. These web-based apps are available for free for all users and can be accessed on the web through the links below:
Will Xbox Series S, PS5 Digital Edition fail in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.