Kaspersky files antitrust complaint against Microsoft over Windows 10 antivirus

Kaspersky logoEugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Russian security firm Kaspersky, has just announced that the company filed anti-trust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, after previously doing the same thing in late 2016 with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).

Kaspersky claims that Microsoft is turning to unfair tactics to force users to stick with Windows Defender, the default antivirus in Windows 10. In a blog post today, Kaspersky accuses the Redmond-based software giant of removing third-party antivirus when upgrading to Windows 10, using its dominant position to promote its own security product.

“Microsoft’s antivirus is hardwired into all versions of Windows 10 for home users: it’s impossible to turn it off completely, impossible to delete. Until recently no one asked you if you needed it or not. There was a time when, even if you used a different security solution, Microsoft’s own AV all the same periodically ran scans,” Kaspersky says.

Microsoft is mostly doing this because its antivirus has failed to remain competitive and because third-party security products are a lot more powerful, he continues, blaming the software giant for using its position only against antivirus products because this is a market where others are leading.

“Such restriction is applied only to antiviruses - with which Microsoft has been trying to compete (and not doing very well at) for years. But in previous (pre-10) versions of Windows there were no such special measures. Thus, it looks like, after years with no success (in competing with other antiviruses), Microsoft has resorted to the use of alternative, OS-empowered (in our view - underhand) tactics,” he adds.

Microsoft not only removes third-party antivirus products from Windows when the upgrade is performed but the company isn’t giving vendors enough time to prepare their security software for new versions of Windows. And this is one of the reasons they are eventually blocked when the upgrade is performed, he says.

Kaspersky ends his plea by calling for Microsoft to support fair and healthy competition, while also asking other security vendors to join this effort and file antitrust complaints against the software giant.

“We want Microsoft to stop misleading and misinforming our - and not only our - users. We want to see all security solutions being able to work on the Windows platform on a level playing field. And we want to see users being able to decide for themselves what they want and consider important to them,” Kaspersky added.

Microsoft has already released a statement, saying that it does not infringe competition rules and it’s willing to work with antitrust bodies on addressing all these claims.

UPDATE: Microsoft has provided us with an updated statement, explaining that it tried to reach out to Kaspersky to discuss the said concerns, but a meeting is yet to take place. Furthermore, the firm emphasized that existing Windows 10 security features do not violate any competition rules.

Source: Softpedia

Tags: Microsoft, OSes, Windows 10

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