Microsoft Adds the Ability to Perform Bing Search in Microsoft Outlook for Android to Promote the Bing App

Microsoft has created some truly great Android application, however, the company is also notorious for tactics to get its products in the hands of users, whether users want to use its products or not. Now, the company has quietly added a Bing search option on the long-press context menu of Android, even if a user has never installed any Microsoft application for Android other than the Microsoft Outlook app.

Despite the company is losing the search war to Google, it seems that Microsoft keeps pushing its Bing search engine. The company added the ability to perform Bing search in Outlook on Android to promote its search engine, Bing. Although the company has separate applications such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, and many more, it is actually selling a suite, or rather an ecosystem.

Microsoft’s products connect to each other in some way, however, users probably do not expect one Microsoft application to install the features of another application unless they installed the latter explicitly. This is the reason why people were surprised to see the mysterious appearance of the Bing search option in Android’s long-press menu when they never installed the Bing app on their devices.

The company is not making any security hack and the Bing app is not actually installed on your device behind your back. Instead, Microsoft utilizes an Android feature that enables application developers to insert their custom actions into the popup long-press menu to offer extra services provided by their application.

The new option works in a simple way. If a person is using the Microsoft Outlook app on their Android device, they will need to open an email that was sent to them, and then they will have to select the text that they need more information about by performing a long-press on that text. Now, you will see the Bing search option at the top of the Android’s long-press menu.

XDA Developer did a brief analysis of the Microsoft Outlook application to confirm whether the behavior originates from the Outlook app or not. But it seems that users also need to have the Edge browser installed on their Android smartphones to trigger this behavior. However, some users also stated that this was not the case. There is an intent-filter in Outlook’s Manifest file that enables the app to display the Bing search option in Android’s long-press menu. This behavior might be a bug or an oversight that the company can easily fix.

Read next: Microsoft Collaborates with Google to Bring More Progressive Web Applications to Play Store
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