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After initially filing a complaint against Microsoft with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, the antivirus maker is now taking the fight to Europe where it has filed an antitrust complaint claiming the company is 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 claims that with the release of Windows 10, Microsoft started to create obstacles to competing manufacturers of security solutions, and introduce different ways of pushing users to forgo third-party software in favor of its own Windows Defender. Specifically, the company says that when users upgrade to Windows 10, its software is automatically disabled in favor of Windows Defender.
The reason given during the upgrade is that it’s incompatible with the version of Windows. The software still appears as installed on the machine but most of the files have been removed and it no longer runs.
In a detailed blog post, Eugene Kaspersky, the Russian co-founder of the anti-virus company explains that sometimes updates break compatibility with third party software. The company allegues Microsoft is only providing independent developers a couple of weeks to test the latest Windows 10 upgrades to ensure compatibility. If compatibility-breaking changes can't be fixed before Microsoft releases the update, the software is detected as incompatible and removed from users machines.
Microsoft is no stranger to antitrust battles in Europe as it’s already paid billions in cases related to browser choice and how streaming media technologies are integrated with Windows, among others.
In a statement sent to Bloomberg, Microsoft said its primary objective is to keep customers protected, that it remains "confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws,” and that its ready to answer any questions regulators might have about the Kaspersky complaint.
Update: Here's the complete statement sent to us, "Microsoft's primary objective is to keep customers protected and we are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. 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."