Microsoft Office PWAs permit you to access the online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from the desktop, all powered by a browser of your liking on Windows 10.
However, the way PWAs happen to be designed requires the user to manually access an internet site offering such an app and then manually request the installation. In other words, if you would like the Office PWAs to show up on your Windows 10 desktop, you have to connect to the internet form of the productivity suite with a browser that supports PWAs, for example Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, after which manually choose to install the apps.
Nevertheless, something strange happened recently on the number of Windows 10 devices, according to BornCity.
Specifically, the Microsoft Office PWAs wound up installed on Windows 10 computers for no clear reason, even without users specifically requesting everything.
How you could do nobody knows for sure, but through the looks of things, all PWAs were installed on October 10 on these Windows 10 computers. Dedicated entries for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook were created within the Start menu, and all sorts of apps appeared underneath the recently installed section too.
Obviously, those who don’t want the PWAs on their devices can easily remove them, but however, Microsoft installing them without first asking users is one thing that could generate more criticism against the Redmond-based software giant.
The organization hasn’t offered an explanation for what exactly happened, so I reached to the organization to inquire about more details and can update the post if an answer is offered.
At this point, it’s still unclear who got the Office PWAs and who didn’t. I checked my Windows 10 devices and none of them received these unwanted apps, though I actually do come with an Office 365 subscription, so apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint already are installed on my computers.
As the aforementioned source notes, this unexpected installation of Office apps on Windows 10 devices could be in some way related to the Office add-on for Microsoft Edge.
Through the looks of products, all PWAs that were installed quietly on Windows 10 originated from Microsoft Edge, the brand new browser that the company configured because the default option on its operating system. So theoretically, the PWAs were served through Edge, though at this time, we still don’t know if this also happened on computers where Microsoft’s browser isn’t set as default.
BornCity suggests that the Office add-on for Edge may be the culprit, though judging from the information published on its official page, the last update was shipped on October 12, whereas all PWAs were installed on Windows 10 on October 10, 2 days earlier.
However, providing access to Office apps is the reason for the advantage add-on.
“Office browser extension puts an icon around the Microsoft Edge toolbar that gives you direct access to your Office files, whether they are stored online or on your pc. Office web extension can open files stored in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. You get the characteristics of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Onenote, and Sway right in your browser without the need for Office installed,” Microsoft explains.
At this time, things are still super-vague, therefore it remains to be seen how the Office apps wound up on Windows 10 computers out of the blue. For the moment, the good news is that it requires only a few clicks to get rid of them all, though it is obvious this isn’t necessarily convenient since nobody asked for the installation of the apps to begin with.