In a lengthy rant posted on his company blog late last week, Eugene Kaspersky, founder of the Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs, said Microsoft has been gradually making it harder for competing anti-virus programs to run on customer computers with Windows 10.
Kaspersky (pictured above) said his company is asking regulators in the European Union, Russia and elsewhere to “oblige Microsoft to cease its violation of anti-competitive legislation.” Microsoft could do that by giving independent developers adequate time to ensure their software is compatible with updated versions of Windows, he said.
Microsoft should also inform its customers when a competing anti-virus product becomes incompatible with Windows and recommend that they install a compatible version, according to Kaspersky. He added that Microsoft should also always explicitly ask customers whether they would prefer to install its own anti-virus program, Windows Defender.
‘I’ve Had Enough’
In a blog post Thursday titled “That’s It. I’ve Had Enough!,” Kaspersky noted that Microsoft “was once a security leader,” but added that the company’s approach has changed in recent years with the overhaul of its Windows platform.
“Ostensibly this was in the name of better ease of usage, security, performance and so on,” Kaspersky said. “Behind the scenes what Microsoft was up to was elegantly seizing niche markets: squeezing independent developers out of them, taking their place, and offering users their own products, which in many cases were in no way better.”
When it launched Windows 10 in July 2015, Microsoft said the operating system would be “the last Windows” because future updates would be rolled out over the cloud, rather than as separate and discrete versions that had to be downloaded by users. Consumers who upgraded to Windows 10 were required to agree to future updates that were automatic, ongoing and “without any additional notice.”