Kaspersky has filed anti-trust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. The anti-virus company has already done the same in the end of 2016 with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service. The reason for these measures? According to Kaspersky, Microsoft is relying on unfair means to force users to use Windows Defender, the default protection in Windows 10.
Kaspersky vs. Microsoft’s Windows Defender
Kaspersky has accused Microsoft of unfair behavior in a blog post, claiming that:
We see clearly – and are ready to prove – that Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own – inferior – security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution. Such promotion is conducted using questionable methods, and we want to bring these methods to the attention of the anti-competition authorities.
As claimed by Kaspersky, Windows Defender is “hardwired into all versions of Windows 10 for home users”. This makes it impossible for users to turn it off completely and also impossible to delete. Microsoft did not even ask users whether they need it or not until recently. Not only this but also Windows Defender would run periodical scans even if the user was running a different AV solution.
The Russian also believes that Microsoft is pushing Windows Defender to users because it has previously failed to sustain competitiveness. In addition, third-party anti-virus products are more powerful and thus Microsoft is abusing its position against antivirus products.
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.
Microsoft removes third-party AV programs from the operating system when the upgrade is done. Also, the company is not allowing vendors to timely prepare their products for the newer versions of Windows. This leads to the programs being blocked, Kaspersky said.
“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.
What Has Microsoft Said?
The company has released a statement claiming that it doesn’t infringe competition, emphasizing that existing Windows 10 security features don’t violate competition rules, Softpedia noted.