Microsoft may have used duplicitous methods to remove third-party antivirus programs on user PCs according to Kaspersky Labs.
The Russian antivirus company had aired its antitrust complaints over Windows 10 to the Redmond-based technology company. Kaspersky argued that was harming third-party antivirus programs by packaging Windows 10 with Windows Defender. Officials for the AV company claimed that it is almost impossible to entirely remove Windows Defender. What’s more, the complaint stated that there was a good chance that the upgrade to Windows 10 invalidates antivirus software and other security programs on user PCs by uninstalling drivers. That’s not all; Kaspersky says that Microsoft does not give AV companies enough time to ‘certify their products with new feature updates to Windows 10.’
It was noted that the switch to Windows’s native AV program, Windows Defender took place during major Windows updates if third part security programs are incompatible with the update.
Microsoft has since responded, arguing that it has been helping third-party antivirus companies.
However, Microsoft’s partner director of the Windows & Device Group, Security & Enterprise, Rob Lefferts did admit that Windows 10 Creators Update disabled such products, but ‘only for a short time.’
He wrote, “We built a feature just for AV apps that would prompt the customer to install a new version of their AV app right after the update completed. To do this, we first temporarily disabled some parts of the AV software when the update began.”
MS is confident that its actions are in line with competition laws. The company has also argued that the ransomware threats such as WannaCry outbreak has necessitated the call for measures such as ensuring that malware protection is always active.
“Only when an AV subscription expires, and the AV application decides to stop providing protection to the customer, will Windows Defender Antivirus begin providing protection,” said Lefferts.
Lastly, Kaspersky has claimed that Windows Defender is inferior to third party competitors, a claim that MS has refuted because Defender is allegedly on the same level with the likes of AVG and Avast, among others.