Kaspersky Lab is stepping back on its threat to report Microsoft to competition regulators, at least temporarily. The Russian cybersecurity company says Microsoft is abusing its market position to dominate anti-virus providers. Chief Executive Eugene Kaspersky says the company will instead continue dialogue with Microsoft.
The company has previously threatened to take its complaint to the European commission. While that remains an option, Kaspersky says he wants to see Microsoft’s response first:
“They are listening to us and they made a few changes. It’s an ongoing process,” he told Reuters at the Hannover Messe industrial trade fair. “Of course if Microsoft agrees to all our requests we will not file it.”
This is a new development considering Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab said in November it had wasted “months of fruitless discussions and multiple exhausting attempts to resolve the issue directly with Microsoft”.
Kaspersky’s problem with Microsoft steams from new implementations in Windows 10. The platform only gives third-party anti-virus companies six days to change their software to be compatible with new Windows builds.
Windows Defender Dominance
The company says this essentially means Microsoft can create a monopoly through early stages of build. Windows 10 would previously give companies two months to get their software prepared. Third parties also have the anti-virus disabled by default when a new Windows build is downloaded.
In November, Kaspersky Lab said:
“Those of us who’ve been in this industry decades know that Microsoft was once a security leader, as it made a concerted effort not to ship products with known vulnerabilities and started proactively working with the security researcher community early on…
When you upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft automatically and without any warning deactivates all ‘incompatible’ security software and in its place installs… you guessed it – its own Defender antivirus. But what did it expect when independent developers were given all of one week before the release of the new version of the OS to make their software compatible? Even if software did manage to be compatible according to the initial check before the upgrade, weird things tended to happen and Defender would still take over.”
Judging by Kaspersky’s admittedly brief update, Microsoft is now talking with companies for a solution. It will be interesting to see how this develops and whether any complain will be made to the EU.