Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft Of Pushing Windows Defender

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Kaspersky Lab has accused Microsoft of hurting third-party antivirus software vendors by adding more in-house security software such as Windows Defender into Windows 10. The Russian security company has filed anti-trust complaints with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office.

Windows 10 ditches Kaspersky for Windows Defender

After the initial complaint, Microsoft made a few changes, but the Russian vendor does not seem to be satisfied with them, notes The Verge. Company co-founder Eugene Kaspersky stated that Microsoft is taking advantage of its position in the computer OS market and is promoting its “inferior – security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution.”

The company also claimed that once users upgrade to Windows 10, the U.S. firm deletes the third-party antivirus software. After the upgrade, users are said to be left with only Windows Defender. Microsoft has also been accused of deleting the drivers of third-party antivirus software if they are not compatible. End-users get a notification that they are now being protected by Windows Defender instead of their third-party anti-malware software, notes Redmondmag.

Kaspersky stated that even Microsoft’s technical pages now advise users to ditch non-Microsoft anti-malware for Windows Defender. Kaspersky also accuses Microsoft of not giving enough time for its software to be tested on Windows 10 upgrades to see if it works. In a blog post, the co-founder said that vendors now get just a couple of weeks to address RTM releases before they are released to the public. This is not in line with the earlier practice, in which vendors got a couple of months to understand whether their software is compatible and if not, what the shortcomings are.

Microsoft rejects all accusations

Kaspersky says that it wants Microsoft to stop misleading customers and that all security solutions should be free to work on the Windows platform.

“And we want to see users being able to decide for themselves what they want and consider important to them,” the Russian company said.

Various other anti-malware software companies agree with Kaspersky’s accusations. Last year, Denis Mateev, head of ESET’s office in Russia and the CIS, stated that the issue concerns the whole antivirus software market. Microsoft takes advantage of its dominant position in the market, and therefore, users are left with no choice but to stick to Windows Defender, said Mateev.

Microsoft, on the other hand, claims that it has not violated any law. The company stated that its primary objective is to ensure the safety of customers.

“We are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. And we will answer any questions regulators may have,” the U.S. firm said in a statement to Reuters.

Further, the company stated that it had taken enough steps to resolve the issue that Kaspersky complained about and also offered to set up a meeting with executives of the company, but that meeting has not happened. The European Commission stated that it has received a complaint from Kaspersky, but it has yet to take action on it.

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