The Microsoft 365 browser extension is officially being put into retirement, despite the add-on being downloaded at least 10 million times throughout its eight-year lifespan.
Microsoft is planning to discontinue support for the web extension in January 2024, and will also be removing it from Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome web stores at this time.
The software provider hasn't revealed why it's putting the free extension, which gives users access to Microsoft 365 documents on the web, but here's what its untimely departure will mean for users.
Microsoft 365 Web Extension to Retire in January
Microsoft is ending support for its well-loved 365 web extension on 15 January 2024, despite the tool boasting six million downloads on Google Chrome and four million on Microsoft Edge.
The extension gives users quick access to Microsoft apps like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Teams on the web, and has been a popular function among users since it was first launched in 2015.
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“The Microsoft 365 browser extension will also be removed from Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome web stores as an extension add-on,” – Microsoft announced
As outlined in a recently released support document, Microsoft recommends removing the extension by selecting the Microsoft 365 browser extension icon next to the address bar in your browser, clicking on settings, and selecting ‘Remove from Microsoft Edge.' You can also uninstall the add-on under ‘Manage extensions.'
What Does This Mean for Microsoft 365 Web Users?
Once the January 15th deadline has passed, users will still be able to use Microsoft's 365 browser extension, but the tool will no longer receive security updates, general updates, technical support, or vulnerability fixes.
This, unfortunately, will make the extension more prone to errors and lags, and will also make it a ticking time bomb for cyber breaches as threats detected on the platform won't be able to get resolved.
With the extension also disappearing from the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge stores, new users will also be unable to download the function after its cut off date.
The Microsoft Edge 365 sidebar. Source: supportmicrosoft.com
Instead of accessing Microsoft's suite of apps through the extension, however, users are able to use the apps for free at www.microsoft365.com. For greater ease of use, you can also access the tools and app within your current tab using the Microsoft Edge sidebar (pictured above).