Microsoft says it disables third-party antivirus for compatibility reasons

James Marshall
June 23, 2017

The clarification from a Microsoft executive follows security company Kaspersky filing an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission in June.

All of this was confirmed by Microsoft as it battles the case against Kaspersky in EU, Germany and Russian Federation.

The country's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said the way Windows 10 handled third-party security products could "lead to unreasonable advantages for Microsoft on the software market".

This is done through the Microsoft Virus Initiative (MVI), which has over 80 participating security vendors, Lefferts said.

On Tuesday, Microsoft published a lengthy blog post defending how it approached the Windows 10 Creators update, a feature-oriented refresh released in April.

Microsoft is testing a host of new features for its Microsoft Edge browser as part of its latest round of preview builds for Windows 10.

Microsoft added that its goal with Windows Defender has been to ensure that all Windows customers have antivirus protection at all times, whether they've purchased or downloaded another security solution or not. That action, Kaspersky said, limited the number of anti-virus offerings on a PC, and urged customers to replace third-party solutions with Windows Defender, among other claims.

Kaspersky argued the switch happens during major Windows updates if a third-party AV product is incompatible with the latest version of Windows.

Lefferts shared that Microsoft's Windows Defender just does its job and looks out for threats that can harm its clients. For a start, Microsoft says it "briefly" turns off third party AV.

But what about the 5 percent that weren't compatible in Microsoft's eyes?

However, Lefferts said Microsoft believes staying current is the most important thing in keeping customers safe and secure. Kaspersky claimed Windows removes its product's drivers without the user's concept, rendering the product useless.

"Only when an AV subscription expires, and the AV application decides to stop providing protection to the customer, will Windows Defender Antivirus begin providing protection".

Erin Chapple, general manager of Windows Server at the Redmond, Wash. software maker, announced the change in a blog post, saying the move will align with the existing, twice-yearly feature releases that the company issues for its Office line of productivity apps, and of course, Windows desktop operating system.

The concerns from Kaspersky come as Microsoft builds on its security portfolio, including making acquisitions and rolling out "enterprise-level security" changes to its new Windows 10 operating system.

At time of writing, Microsoft hadn't published any details of what's included in build 15226, but we'll update this article when, or if, the company updates that information.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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