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Kaspersky axes antitrust complaints against Microsoft after Windows giant vows to play nice

Builtin antivirus will make room for rival products

Kaspersky Labs is dropping its antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Russia and Europe.

The Russian antivirus biz had claimed the US software giant was unfairly promoting the use of Windows Defender over third-party security products.

In November last year, Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service probed a complaint by Kaspersky against Microsoft that had been filed in late 2015. The biz submitted two other formal gripes, to the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel office, in June 2017. All those complaints have now been dropped.

And, by sheer coincidence, according to Microsoft on Wednesday, the Windows goliath has agreed to let its antivirus partners, such as Kaspersky, keep their software on equal footing with Windows Defender. In particular, we're told, AV vendors will:

  • get additional time to test their software for any compatibility issues before new Windows releases,
  • be able to use their own alerts and notifications for product renewal
  • and there will be a persistent notification about product expiration until a choice between renewal or picking another solution is made (instead of an ignorable notification).

The changes will be implemented in the Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update, we're told. Redmond claims it made the changes following the Microsoft Virus Initiative forum last month, and "these discussions have helped us clarify our roadmap and implementation plans."

"We are absolutely satisfied with the changes that will be implemented in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update," VP of Kaspersky Consumer Products Andrei Mochola wrote in a blog post, "and we will be taking all necessary steps to withdraw our claims and inform all regulatory bodies that we no longer have any matters for Microsoft to address."

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment further, simply pointing us to the blog post. ®

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