MICROSOFT HAS SPOKEN OUT following the news that Kaspersky has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Union over the firm's Windows 10 operating system.
After first filing a complaint with Russian regulators from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), Kaspersky this week turned its fire on European regulators, including the European Commission and German Federal Cartel Office.
The news comes less than a week after Google came under fire from EU chiefs who are planning to swipe up to $9bn from their kitty for uncompetitive behaviour.
In a sensational claim, Kaspersky says that a customer in France was told by a Microsoft representative that "Windows 10 is incompatible with third-party antivirus. It's a shame that you've spent money on a Kaspersky Lab product, but you can't reinstall it without running the risk of the appearance of new bugs."
They also point to some promotional blurb for Windows 8 which says: "If you use Windows 8, you do not need to pay for antivirus software".
You do. You absolutely do.
Founder Eugene Kaspersky explains in a blog post: "We have users - hundreds of millions thereof all around the world. These folks trust us and depend on us to protect their data. They expect only the highest level of protection - that's why they chose us (and even if they chose different independent antivirus software, they're still affected by all this). And it's namely the right of these folks to choose exactly what they want that we're trying to protect.
"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."
The issue surrounds Microsoft's use of its own Microsoft Defender antivirus system which provides basic protection for Windows 10 users. Kaspersky believes that the fact it cannot be turned off completely makes it a menace.
In some cases, Kaspersky alleges, Windows will turn Kaspersky off in favour of Defender, or flag up warnings about whether Kaspersky is safe to install.
It's something that Microsoft has been terrible about in other areas such as the nagware to upgrade to Windows 10 and its stubborn defiance if you change web browsers from Edge.
Kaspersky argues that Windows Defender is sold as being a competent alternative to paid-for antivirus software and that it is putting users in danger by denying them the advanced features of other packages.
Microsoft has responded to Kaspersky's claims and, naturally, has denied that it's doing anything wrong.
"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 firm said.
"We're always interested in feedback from other companies and we engage deeply with antimalware vendors and have taken a number of steps to address their feedback.
"We reached out directly to Kaspersky a number of months ago offering to meet directly at an executive level to better understand their concerns, but that meeting has not yet taken place." µ
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