Kaspersky Labs and Microsoft have had issues in the past, but it’s perhaps about to get nastier. Previously, Eugene Kaspersky from the Russian multinational cyber security and anti-virus provider went to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service to complain about Microsoft pushing its own antivirus over third party software in Windows. Kaspersky is now filing new antitrust complaints against Microsoft in the European Union and in Germany (via The Verge.)
In a blog post, Eugene Kaspersky, the Russian co-founder of the anti-virus company, Kaspersky Labs, once again lashes out at Microsoft. He complains that “Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own – inferior – security software (Windows Defender.)”
He also claims that Windows Defender is impossible to turn off completely and delete for home users and that in an upgrade process to Windows 10, Microsoft will delete any installed anti-virus program such as those from Kaspersky.
Windows does this without the explicit consent of users, and also with barely any warning: the notification displays on the screen literally for just a few seconds. Moreover, while this notification states in bold ‘We turned on Windows Defender’, the fact that your existing security solution was removed is in small, non-bold print… All in all, the Disappearing Act was designed so that users don’t return to their independent AV, and stay in blissful ignorance as to what’s actually happened.
Kaspersky goes on a full out rant and goes so far to highlight how Microsoft’s Windows Defender detects fewer real threats than his own products. Even with this so, he does point out one key point, that Microsoft’s Windows Defender can be turned off on Corporate versions of Windows 10, and deleted on server versions. He has a few demands from the Redmond 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.
Microsoft, nonetheless, also issued a statement about competition laws and Windows Defender, with a Microsoft spokesperson telling The Verge:
“Microsoft’s primary objective is to keep customers protected… We are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. And we will answer any questions regulators may have.”
To be fair, Microsoft has made several improvements to Windows Defender in the past few years, all of which are aimed at protecting Windows users from growing threats. In fact, a Google Chrome engineer recently said that Windows Defender is so good that it is “the only well behaved AV.” Eugene Kaspersky himself also highlighted Microsoft’s changes to Windows Defender, saying that his original concerns were “slowly but surely being addressed.”