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Microsoft Touts Customer Choice and Partnerships in Possible Response to Antitrust Allegations

A couple weeks ago, Kaspersky Labs filed antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Europe. The security company’s complaint focused on Microsoft disabling third party antivirus software in its latest Windows 10 Creators Update.

Today, Microsoft has unleashed a blog post to address the issue (without noting that it is addressing the issue) in a seeming effort to turn the tide of investigation, stating that it did, indeed, disable third party AV software – but only those components that were incompatible with its latest Windows 10 update and only through work directly with the AV partner.

For the small number of applications that still needed updating, 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. We did this work in partnership with the AV partner to specify which versions of their software are compatible and where to direct customers after updating.

Microsoft is no stranger to antitrust complaints. Filed in 1998 and decided in 2001, Microsoft’s last legal go-round ended in having to alter Windows due to web browser integration that was deemed anti-competitive and monopolistic.  To that end, today’s blog post iterated the company’s promise for customer choice…

Once a customer has installed an active and up to date antivirus program, it will run without notifications or interference from Windows. Microsoft’s own free, built-in Windows Defender Antivirus does not run periodic scans without explicit customer action or provide protection until the chosen third-party AV solution is no longer protecting the Windows 10 device due to expiration.


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