Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs has accused Microsoft of deliberately making it difficult for independent 3rd party anti-virus companies to compete.
In a blog post entitled, “Enough is Enough,” Kaspersky says that Microsoft is abusing its dominant position in the market, and is using business practices to make products such as his company’s own, harder for users to use.
“Microsoft has created obstacles to third-party products and is acting against the interests of the anti-virus developers,” Kaspersky writes.
At the heart of the argument raised against Microsoft, Kaspersky says that Microsoft have been gradually making it harder for competing anti-virus programs to run on customer computers with Windows 10.
“Behind the scenes what Microsoft was up to was elegantly seizing niche markets: squeezing independent developers out of them, taking their place, and offering users their own products, which in many cases were in no way better.”
Kaspersky is so sure of his argument that he has asked regulators in Russia, the European Union, and across the globe to investigate Microsoft’s practices for possible antitrust actions, and therefore obliging “Microsoft to cease its violation of anti-competitive legislation.”
At present, due to the way in which Windows 10 updates are managed and installed, cyber-security firms typically have less than 7 days to update their own products before the new Windows updates are released.
Kaspersky has also added his voice to the complaints of many in the way that Microsoft updates change Windows 10 settings on users’ devices:
“Users of Windows 10 have been complaining that the system is changing settings, removing user-installed apps and replacing them with standard Microsoft ones. A similar thing’s been happening with security products.”
Microsoft Defender, the ant-virus software that now comes as standard with the release of Windows 10, is a key part of Kaspersky’s complaints.
Microsoft now limits the number of anti-virus programs that can exist on a PC to one, and Kaspersky makes what I consider to be a valid point about users not being provided with alternative options.
In most independent reviews, as well, Windows Defender doesn’t fare well in reviews or group tests against other anti-virus packages, routinely scoring “below average” in terms of effectiveness and features.
Kaspersky also said that he had spent “months of fruitless discussions and multiple exhausting attempts to resolve the issue directly with Microsoft.”
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