Few weeks ago, many Windows 10 users started noticing Office web apps appearing installed on their systems without their permission or knowledge. These are progressive web apps, also known as PWAs, that were installed through Microsoft Edge, emulating how a standard app works.
The problem, in this situation, is that the apps appeared on the devices by surprise, without notifying the user. Until now, it was not known whether this was a bug or a new feature. However, Microsoft confirmed to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that the story has a bit of both sides.
Office PWA Pre-Installation, Bug, and Feature
When Office web apps were preinstalled on Windows 10, their settings were still managed by Microsoft Edge. Therefore, it was not possible to uninstall them from the Start menu or the new Settings app. Users of the operating system have seen Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook appear intrusively pinned to their Start menu.
Self-installation of Microsoft Office web applications is on the one hand intentional and on the other hand a mistake. Meanwhile, the folks at Redmond have put the rollout of the feature on hold until they can handle it properly. Therefore, users should stop watching the apps self-install on the system.
With the arrival of Windows 10, Microsoft started pinning Office web app tiles to the Start menu, but only when desktop apps weren’t installed. However, with the latest update to Microsoft Edge, all pinned websites are now managed by the browser, including Office web apps.
With the latest update to Microsoft Edge, the ability to install any site as an app, including PWAs, seems to have brought in a bug that caused icons to point us to the app, at location of the pinned site. So instead of opening the web app in a tab, it opened as a separate app.