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Friday, 11 August 2017 05:41

Kaspersky, Microsoft make peace; anti-trust motions dropped Featured

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Cyber security vendor Kaspersky Lab has dropped its anti-trust actions against Microsoft after the latter agreed to make changes to address the concerns the former had raised in its plaints to Russian, German and European Commission authorities.

In a statement on Thursday, Kaspersky Lab said Microsoft had announced that it was making changes to address the concerns it had raised.

"These changes will include Microsoft providing cyber security developers more time to prepare for upcoming Windows updates as well as receive the final Windows builds earlier," the company said.

Kaspersky's complaint to Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service was made last year, and on 22 June the FAS gave Microsoft a month to fall in line.

The complaints to German and EU authorities were made in June. The gist of the complaints was that after Windows 10 was released, Microsoft began creating obstacles to the manufacturers of other security solution and devised new methods to force users to forgo third-party software in favour of Windows Defender.

Two weeks after the German and EU complaints were filed, Microsoft admitted publicly that it had been disabling some anti-virus software in Windows 10.

Thursday's Kaspersky statement said that the changes being made by Microsoft meant that there would be no switching off of third-party anti-virus solutions due to incompatibility issues.

"If you’ve paid for a security solution, you can expect it to be updated on time, so that it can work smoothly with all the OS updates you install," it said.

Additionally, in Windows 10, cyber security companies would be allowed henceforth to show their own notifications to users to aid in the renewal of licences. Users would also receive unambiguous communication as to what security application they were turning on and the consequences of that action.

Microsoft said in a separate statement that it would do the following:

  • "We will work more closely with AV vendors to help them with compatibility reviews in advance of each feature update becoming available to customers. This means customers can expect we will have worked through compatibility issues with AV providers before offering the update to customers running that AV.
  • "We will give AV partners better visibility and certainty around release schedules for feature updates. This includes increasing the amount of time AV partners will have to review final builds before the next Windows 10 feature update is rolled out to customers.
  • "We will enable AV providers to use their own alerts and notifications to renew antivirus products before and after they have expired.
  • "We have modified how Windows will inform users when their antivirus application has expired and is no longer protecting them. Instead of providing an initial toast notification that users could ignore, the new notification will persist on the screen until the user either elects to renew the existing solution or chooses to rely on Windows Defender or another solution provider."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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