Kaspersky withdraws Microsoft antitrust complaint thanks to Windows 10 tweaks
Aug 10 2017 by Joanne Wise
Russian security software company Kaspersky Lab has dropped its antitrust complaint against Microsoft after the USA technology giant agreed with demands to give third-party antivirus (AV) software providers more time to prepare for Windows updates. Microsoft now says it "will work more closely with AV vendors to help them with compatibility reviews in advance of each feature update becoming available to customers". Originally, the Russian based anti-virus provider accused Microsoft of pushing its own antivirus over third party software in Windows. Microsoft later admitted that it does disable these programs but only for a short amount of time, prompting users to install a new version of the software once the Windows upgrade was complete. If Windows 10 detects incompatible security software, the OS will shut it down and run Defender instead. Windows will also change how it notifies users of expirations, moving from an alert that could be ignored to one that persists until the user takes action.
In a blog post Wednesday, the Redmond, Wash., software behemoth said it is making changes to its approach to antivirus software including enabling third-party developers to alert customers before and after a subscription expires and giving them a better window into when it will release updates. Now in a new development, the company has announced it would be dropping its complaint in all territories following changes Microsoft introduced in the Fall Creators Update to address their concerns.
"Months before a semi-annual update is delivered to customers, interested parties can get easy access to fully running and deployable versions of the release, stay current with updates as the release progresses and becomes feature complete, and provide timely feedback on issues and bugs", Windows & Devices Group partner director, Rob Lefferts, said.
Kaspersky has now agreed to drop the complaint, however, after the companies agreed on a series of changes to help mitigate Kaspersky's concerns.
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When an anti-virus programme expires, Windows will require users to either renew the existing software or choose another provider.
"Microsoft's primary objective is to keep customers protected and we are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws", the company said in a statement.
Kaspersky had told regulators in Europe and Russian Federation that Microsoft was preventing antivirus software makers from competing on an equal footing with Microsoft's products. The formal complaint to European Union and German antitrust regulators in June, said "hurdles" created by Microsoft limit consumer choice and drive up the cost of security software.
"Remember", Kaspersky wrote: "the only folks who gain unequivocally if there is a monopoly in the security products market are cybercriminals". "The more your security solution is compatible with your operating system, the less it affects performance and stability".