After filing a 2016 complaint against Microsoft with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly service, Kaspersky filed a similar complaint with Europe’s regulators in June. It claimed the company was using its dominant position with Windows “to fiercely promote its own – inferior – security software at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution.”
Kaspersky said those who upgrade to Windows 10 saw their third-party antivirus software disabled in favor of Windows Defender. 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.
There was also a question of compatibility. If Windows 10 detects incompatible security software, the OS will shut it down and run Defender instead. Kaspersky complained that Microsoft cut the amount of time given to developers for compatibility testing from two months to six days.
To placate Kaspersky, Microsoft will allow AV products to “use their own alerts and notifications to renew antivirus products before and after they have expired.” It’s also changing the way Windows 10 notifies users when an AV subscription is about to run out, with the alert persisting on screen until the user renews or opts to use Defender instead.
Additionally, Microsoft said it intends to work closely with AV vendors to help them with compatibility issues before future Windows updates are rolled out. It will also make the release schedules more visible and certain, allowing devs extra time for testing.
A Kaspersky spokesperson said: “The company is satisfied with the proposed approach by Microsoft to address the warnings issued by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), and its implementation roadmap.”
“Kaspersky Lab is also taking all steps necessary to withdraw its filings to the European Commission and to Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, stating that it has no more claims for Microsoft to address.”