Kasper­sky takes Mi­crosoft to court for re­mov­ing its an­tivirus

Computer Active (UK) - - News -

Kasper­sky has filed a le­gal com­plaint against Mi­crosoft for abus­ing its dom­i­nant po­si­tion by rec­om­mend­ing its “in­fe­rior” Win­dows De­fender an­tivirus.

The Rus­sian com­pany al­leges that Mi­crosoft re­moves third-party an­tivirus soft­ware from PCS when users up­grade to Win­dows 10, push­ing them to­wards De­fender in­stead.

It has filed an an­ti­com­pe­ti­tion law­suit with the Euro­pean Union, claim­ing that Mi­crosoft’s pro­mo­tion of De­fender uses “ques­tion­able meth­ods”.

In a scathing blog post ( www.snipca.com/24596) Kasper­sky’s boss and founder Eu­gene Kasper­sky lashed out at Mi­crosoft, ac­cus­ing it of de­lib­er­ately con­fus­ing users by cast­ing doubt on the ef­fec­tive­ness of run­ning third-party an­tivirus.

He crit­i­cised Win­dows for re­peat­edly ask­ing users ‘Do you want to run this pro­gram?’ when they try to run an­tivirus soft­ware, and for show­ing the warn­ing ‘You should only run pro­grams that come from pub­lish­ers you trust’ (see screen­shot).

Kasper­sky said that these mes­sages make users feel they “are about to com­mit a wrong­ful ac­tion that vi­o­lates the de­fault set­tings from Mi­crosoft”.

He also said it’s un­fair that for three days af­ter a user’s an­tivirus li­cence ex­pires, Kasper­sky can’t use its no­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem to en­cour­age them to re­new it. He com­plained that “we’re obliged to use Mi­crosoft’s own no­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem – now called ‘Ac­tion Cen­ter’ – to which many users pay lit­tle at­ten­tion”.

In re­sponse Mi­crosoft said: “We are con­fi­dent that the se­cu­rity fea­tures of Win­dows 10 com­ply with com­pe­ti­tion laws”. But that won’t sat­isfy Eu­gene Kasper­sky, who says it’s “plain as day” that Mi­crosoft de­lib­er­ately im­pedes users from mak­ing “in­formed de­ci­sions” about which se­cu­rity soft­ware to use.

He even claimed that Mi­crosoft’s French sup­port team had told a Kasper­sky user that Win­dows 10 is in­com­pat­i­ble with third-party an­tivirus soft­ware.

Kasper­sky’s soft­ware, highly re­garded in the se­cu­rity in­dus­try, has won Com­put­er­ac­tive’s past eight an­tivirus group tests. By con­trast, De­fender of­ten came last, in­clud­ing in our most re­cent test in Jan­uary.

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