Kaspersky asks EU to Investigate Microsoft for Anti-Virus Monopoly




/ 2 years ago

Anti-virus software producer Kaspersky has asked the European Commission to investigate Microsoft over claims of monopolising the market. The complaint was initially filed with the Russian anti-monopoly service (Fas) however, this has since been escalated to the EU.

What is Kaspersky accusing Microsoft of?

Kaspersky has said that through the roll-out of Windows 10, Microsoft has been cynically pushing its own anti-virus (windows defender) too heavily. They go on to accuse Microsoft of doing this to the point of attempting to ‘monopolise’ the anti-virus market. The report via the BBC goes on to quote from a statement from Kaspersky: “These actions by Microsoft lead to a lower level of protection for users, a limitation on their right to choose, and financial losses both for users and security solution manufacturers.”

Kaspersky

Is there any truth to these allegations?

Difficult to say. While it can not be denied that Windows Defender is very much a part of Windows 10, as a user I never felt obliged to use it. I am aware that there are other anti-virus programs available and indeed even use a few specific to tackle areas in which I’d like the extra protection. I use Windows Defender because it’s not obtrusive and works well. In other words, it’s a decent program. A cynic would suggest that this is Kaspersky attempting to find an excuse for some surely upcoming poor figures. The company has perhaps suffered a significant drop in profits and maybe is even trying to gain ground based on the recent security flaws found in Windows Xp.

In response to this allegation, Microsoft has said that its security features “comply with competition laws and that it would “answer any questions regulators may have.”

The legal action does appear to have some legitimacy. Some reports have suggested a ‘suggestion’ tab on Windows 10 may open recommending you uninstall any 3rd party anti-virus in favour of their own. I can honestly say I’ve not seen this or heard of an instance myself.

Will anything come from this?

Likely not. I have always found Windows Defender a very capable anti-virus program which has steadily improved over the years. While not perfect, as a free service I am more than satisfied with it. Sure, it does have some limitations, however, dont they all?. For the general home PC user, Defender is more than adequate to deal with the vast majority of problems. For those of us who go into more risky areas, we know of 3rd party programs which can help provide better security. The bottom line is that no anti-virus software has ever been able to 100% protect a PC from a careless user, but at least Windows Defender provides a basic level of protection.

The cynic in me leans towards this being a precursor for some poor figures from Kaspersky. I’ve never used Kaspersky, never felt the need. Maybe they should consider that any failure in the product might be a failing in their advertising or business model. I’d perhaps have a little more sympathy with Kaspersky if Windows Defender was bad, but it simply isn’t. It’s good, it’s free and unfortunately, Kaspersky can’t offer both of these options.



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