Microsoft is allegedly out to stifle fair competition in the antivirus software market by exploiting its market dominance to promote its own product, the Windows Defender. Leading to a scenario where users are deprived of their right to choose the best available security software due to underhand tactics by the Redmond Company.
These are the type of accusations being leveled against Microsoft by security companies like ESET and Kaspersky since last year. It is no secret that Microsoft has become more proactive in promoting its (now-natively built into Windows 10) security application Windows Defender.
Kaspersky for one filed a lawsuit with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) last year. It has also been threatening to do the same with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office.
Well, Kaspersky has made good its threat and filed an antitrust complaint with the said institutions. The Kaspersky CEO, Eugene Kaspersky in a blog post accuses Microsoft of “fiercely” promoting Windows Defender by abusing its “dominant position” in the market. In the post, Eugene says:
“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.”
In Windows 10, Microsoft has started notifying users when their Kaspersky subscriptions end and automatically turns on Windows Defender. A move some might argue will make the user more complacent in purchasing a new subscription from Kaspersky.
Eugene claims Microsoft has resorted to underhand tactics to promote its inferior antivirus, after years of failure to get users to choose it willingly. He further argues that sometimes Kaspersky app disappears from the PC and Windows Defender turns on automatically. When it does that, the user is informed by way of notification that the Kaspersky antivirus “doesn’t work on this version of Windows.” You can read more on these allegations Kaspersky is leveling against Microsoft at Eugene’s post.
“Thus, it looks like, after years with no success (in competing with other antiviruses), Microsoft has resorted to the use of alternative, OS-empowered (in our view – underhand) tactics.”