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Russia to investigate Microsoft, Kaspersky says Windows Defender is anti-competitive

By midian182 ยท 28 replies
Nov 14, 2016
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  1. Microsoft is facing investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices after Eugene Kaspersky filed complaints with Russian and EU watchdogs over Windows 10. The anti-virus developer claims the Defender security software that comes bundled with the OS tramples over similar third-party products.

    Kaspersky says his biggest issue with Microsoft is the fact that the company has cut the amount of time given to developers for Windows compatibility testing from two months to six days. Should Windows 10 detect incompatible security software, the operating system will shut it down and run Defender instead.

    In a lengthy blog post, titled “That’s it. I’ve had enough!,” Kaspersky wrote that this is a deliberate tactic on Microsoft’s part to stop people using third-party anti-malware programs. Microsoft, on the other hand, says the shorter time is due to it releasing more builds at an increased frequency.

    In his complaint, Kaspersky asks regulators to force Microsoft to "provide new versions and updates of Windows to independent developers in good time so they can maintain compatibility of their software to Windows."

    Kaspersky also wants Windows to inform users that their security software is incompatible and will be removed before an upgrade takes place, rather than after the upgrade is complete - which is the case now.

    Even when a program is compatible, warnings will appear informing users that Defender is off – along with a button to turn it back on. Once it is activated, third-party products are disabled. Kaspersky says that both developers and Windows users suffer because of this behavior.

    Anatoly Golomolzin, deputy head of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), said that Microsoft has "unjustified advantages" when it comes to pushing people toward Defender, and his agency will be investigating the matter. “Our task is to ensure equal conditions for all participants on this market,” he said.

    Microsoft said in a statement that it hasn’t yet received a notification from FAS. The company didn't comment on the EU complaint.

    Microsoft Russia and Kaspersky Lab. has a long history of cooperation in different areas. Microsoft is committed to work in full compliance with Russian law. The company hasn't received an official notification from [antitrust regulator] FAS. As soon as we get it, we will review it carefully.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I agree with this guy, Defender should have the option to be enabled or disabled. Not that I mind the AV but the damn thing nags me constantly to run a daily manual scan yet it won't do so automatically. It used to do it until a recent Windows update stuffed it all up... for me.
    drjekelmrhyde and dms96960 like this.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    90% of third party antivirus is utter garbage. Sounds like they need to get with the program tbh.

    If defender gets on the ball and doesnt suck, then its good for windows users. the less disgustingly resource heavy software the users have to install, the better.

    Maybe these antivirus people should make their own OS - can anyone fathom how miserable an experience that would be?
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  4. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,003   +1,537

    Microsoft should definetly **** up their OS even more by having less security so some shady anti-virus company can shill their product on me. Windows Defender might not be perfect but it's seamless and I'm happy with it.
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  5. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 396   +423

    The problem with Defender is that it does suck. AV-Test and AV-Comparitives consistently show that it performs at or near the bottom of the AV pack in effectiveness. It may be better than nothing, but it's worse than a superior product that has been disabled because Microsoft didn't bother to warn Windows users that their AV program wasn't yet compatible and offers to wait a couple more weeks before attempting an upgrade.
  6. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 918   +506

    After I first installed Win 10 and put my preferred anti virus (Avast) on it, my PC kept blue-screening. It was only when I removed my AV that it settled down. I then discovered that Defender is on by default and Windows couldn't handle having 2 AVs running at the same time.
    I actually kept Defender as it is less nagging than my previous AV but it has been giving more popups since the Anniversary update.

    Regarding this article, it does sound like he has a fair point. As it is bundled with Win10, MS should be more open about how it works and also inform customers so they have a choice in what product they use. Just like how MS was forced to do it with internet browsers. Most technophobes will go with the bundled software anyway.
    dms96960 likes this.
  7. Azshadi

    Azshadi TS Booster Posts: 48   +44

    What's with all this fuss. Windows Defender was there since Vista and people are crying wolf about it now? Like someone mentioned earlier 90%(and that's just very positive thinking) of the AV software is utter garbage. Thing is MS are starting to sandbox their OS which is a good thing for the business (see how well that turned out for Apple). However since they're the only ones that provide this service (and don't you dare bring Linux into the topic) they can do whatever the hell they want with it and you would still have no Plan B.
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  8. Das Pooch

    Das Pooch TS Rookie

    And Defender is included in that 90%. That's a part of the problem.
    Raoul Duke and Odium like this.
  9. ruggb

    ruggb TS Rookie

    Well, if you don't comprehend what you read, you end up posting ridiculous replies to these forums.
    1. It may be MS's intent to stifle 3rd party AV (they have history).....but you will never know for sure and this problem does not yet rise to that level. The cycle time for releases seems to be the issue and the poor user notifications can be attributed to uninformed developers who think they know the way it should be. I can name 1/2 dozen issues with W10 that are real user issues that MS declares as "design intent".
    2. Lumping Kaspersky into the cesspool of bad AV programs is something like comparing a Rolls Royce to a FiAT. Maybe one should read the reviews b4 they put their fingers in motion. Of the current top 10 paid versions only the top two I recommend paying for - Vipre and Kaspersky.
    3. I have been using Defender since I installed W10 just out of curiosity and can recommend it to SOME ppl in my computer club because they are too technically challenged to use much else. I also try to teach them to put their mind in motion b4 they open their browser or email. Otherwise, I recommend the above 2. Personally, I like Vipre, but it does take a little knowledge to run totally smooth and unobtrusively.

    My wife's computer is running Vipre and I have run into a few instances of it being off, but couldn't nail it to a Windows update. Because of the resetting of default programs issue, I can relate to this problem and IMHO this is probably a valid issue which should be addressed now. MS developers still have things to learn about the user experience.
    Odium and dms96960 like this.
  10. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    oh im not saying that its definitely great - im just saying theres VERY few decent anti virus software suites out there right now and id LOVE to see MS bring theirs up to par rather than have universities and offices force people to install these rediculously resource heavy AV on PCs - then, on top of the preinstalled bloatware most users dont know to uninstall, people wonder why their PC is slower than hell and switch to macs...
  11. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +72

    What is dumb here is that kaspersky is available at frys free anyway. Speaking of file security, I don't know why windows reinvented the wheel. Ibm mainframe file security, which was not included by default, would prevent/allow access to file via a specific program if desired. If you could set internet explorer and firefox file security like this to not change your files, perhaps have a subprogram that has access and downloads when you specifically want to download something for home users, most people would be set. Microsoft just doesn't think of business users anymore, and hardly did before. Not waiting for microsoft fanbois to post.
    Odium likes this.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,510   +5,074

    Kaspersky has a very good point with this.
    Odium likes this.
  13. dylannnnnn

    dylannnnnn TS Rookie Posts: 19   +14

    What a load of crap, I bet if Microsoft left your PC unprotected for 2 months before re-enabling Defender you would all be crying foul at Microsoft's lack of security and AV!

    Sometimes you just can't win!
  14. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    Choice ballot for MS products? yes. choose preferred AV, internet browser, etc...

    choice ballot for Android products? yes. I'll wait for the day when an android user can choose to use bloatware-free stock android vs 'custom-enhanced' UI of android device makers.
  15. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Evangelist Posts: 325   +113

    I wonder if any of his programmers are using the Windows Insider program to see if their shiat works
  16. Conner McGregor

    Conner McGregor TS Rookie

    Who the **** is that guy??

    "Anatoly Golomolzin, deputy head of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), said that Microsoft has "unjustified advantages" when it comes to pushing people toward Defender, and his agency will be investigating the matter."

    Until they do something about their corrupt Pootin regime and prove they are law-abiding, they'll get nootin from me
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,510   +5,074

    Unless you live under Putin, you have no grounds to call him corrupt.
  18. Conner McGregor

    Conner McGregor TS Rookie

  19. Odium

    Odium TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +23

    Seamless because it doesn't do anything at all?
  20. Odium

    Odium TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +23

    Maybe because issues showed up only after moving to Win10?
  21. Azshadi

    Azshadi TS Booster Posts: 48   +44

    I still remember that you get annoying pop-ups if you shut down Windows Defender. But it's their environment they can do whatever they want with it. And furthermore if it was somebody that can actually make a decent AV program that raised the issue I (and many others) might have overlooked. If MS would actually put more development into the Defender it would actually be a default choice seeing that it's lightweight, not annoying, doesn't inform you that your trial expired and in order to "clean" the threat or "deep scan" the computer you would need the "PRO" edition and probably the most important part it's bundled with the OS. From a business's point of view this is common practice just like LG/Samsung/Whathaveyou fills their devices with their own specific bloat. Deal with it.
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,510   +5,074

    No they can't. Haven't you ever heard "the customer is always right" phrase. Microsoft is no longer doing business by that phrase. Microsoft has grown large enough, they don't think they need to.

    We need to deal with the fact people have a voice for a reason, and stop trying to silence them.
    Odium likes this.
  23. robb213

    robb213 TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +114

    Thankfully I've never had to deal with this. With Pro/Enterprise, group policies can totally shut down Defender. Never saw the need for running a turd of an AV over another AV (the turd being Defender).
  24. ATLVM

    ATLVM TS Member Posts: 64   +7

    Well I have Windows 10 I have been using Windows since DOS days.. and I can tell you this has been a complaint for decades it never holds true.

    I have Bit defender and Norton installed depending on if its desktop or laptop, I try many products.. a GOOD product knows how to disable existing products (like Defender) and replace it with their own..

    So this claim is BOGUS. All you have to do is install a trial version of either of those and I can PROVE my point. Whey they are installed the FIRST thing that happens is defender gets disable or blocked, can even see in services immediately after install.. start up is disabled.

    The part that I find interesting EVERY time someone complains MS is anti-competitive we find out they simply have lousy products, Kaspersky is one of lowest rated anti-virus on the market.. not even in the top 10 on ANY review site.. so of COURSE they are going to scream unfair, because their products can't keep up..

    You have to read between the lines.. this is a ploy to gather support for themselves AND discredit MS at the same time, but it never works.. MS makes solid products and MS will simply pick on another 3rd party that DOESN'T have a problem like Norton, Bitdefender, Trend.. do you see ANY of those products jumping to help Kaspersky or complain MS is anti-competitive? NO!

    So that should tell you something right there..

    Also why are ALL of these cases in Europe? I find that odd, this is a clear case of GOVERNMENT trying to dictate to its users to STOP using a foreign product, that's ALL this is.. USA is the foreigner in Europe... so they are trying to protect their own interests...

    Don't let politics spoil the technical aspects of software, it doesn't belong. PERIOD
  25. ATLVM

    ATLVM TS Member Posts: 64   +7

    Kaspersky is hardly a GOOD product either.. so I view this as an attempt by that company to get money because they obviously do not know how to program in Windows.

    It's easier to claim the OS is unfair than to simply PROVE their product is good.. this is a common defense by MANY companies over the years vs Microsoft.. Netscape, AOL, Stacker, those are the ones I can remember.. it's ALL BS.. and none of them did anything other than attempt to extort money from MS.. that's ALL it is.

    What I find MOST disgusting is ALL of these companies complain about MS yet they KEEP developing for a product that is "disruptive" to their own products.. if that's TRUE then why do these companies persist in developing for the MS platform then huh?

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