Kaspersky Labs has dropped its antitrust complaints about Microsoft after the software giant agreed to change the way in which it delivers security updates to Windows users. The battle started over a year ago when Kaspersky accused Microsoft of making it difficult for third-party antivirus providers to serve Windows 10 users.
Kaspersky was unhappy with some of the changes made in Windows 10, specifically the way Microsoft distributed its own Defender antivirus feature. The Russian firm felt that Microsoft was abusing its dominance as the creator of Windows, and that the move was hurting third-party security software providers.
What’s more, company founder Eugene Kaspersky accused Microsoft of automatically removing Kaspersky software from Windows PCs when users upgraded to Windows 10 to encourage them to use Defender instead, which he described at the time as an “inferior” product. Microsoft denied that it was breaking any laws, and insisted it was focused on protecting its users.
However, on Wednesday, Microsoft published a blog post explaining that it would work more closely with security partners before rolling out new software updates to help them iron out compatibility issues and give them a better understanding of its changes. It has also agreed to allow AV providers to deliver their own alerts and notifications when their products expire.
“We work closely with AV partners like Kaspersky Lab, and at our Microsoft Virus Initiative forum last month, we made great progress in building upon our shared understanding of how we deliver Windows 10 updates and security experiences that help ensure the ongoing safety of Windows customers,” Microsoft says.
“I’m pleased to share these discussions have helped us clarify our roadmap and implementation plans.”
It will still be somewhat easier for users to choose Defender over a third-party product, however; Microsoft is changing AV notifications so that when a product expires, users will see a popup that cannot be ignored, as opposed to a toast notification that disappears. They will then be forced to choose whether to upgrade their existing AV product or switch to Defender.
Nevertheless, the changes have clearly pleased Kaspersky, which has agreed to drop its antitrust complaints filed in Europe last June. It said in a statement that it had enjoyed “fruitful discussions” with Microsoft about how “antivirus services should operate in the Windows ecosystem to help ensure a safe environment for Windows users.”