Kaspersky drops Microsoft antitrust complaint thanks to new Windows 10 changes

Kaspersky is withdrawing its European antitrust complaint against Microsoft today. The software giant has agreed to make changes to the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update that have appeased Kaspersky and help its anti-virus software provide notifications and alerts to renew virus definitions. Kaspersky originally filed its complaint back in June, claiming that Microsoft disabled its anti-virus software during Windows upgrades and that the software maker was using its dominance to “fiercely promote” its own Windows Defender software.

Microsoft admitted in late June that Windows 10 prompts to install a new version of anti-virus from third parties like Kaspersky after an update, but it disables the old version if it’s not compatible. Microsoft now says it “will work more closely with AV vendors to help them with compatibility reviews in advance of each feature update becoming available to customers.” The software maker will also provide better visibility of release schedules for Windows 10 updates, giving anti-virus vendors more time to test changes.

One of the key upcoming changes to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is a tweak to how alerts and notifications are handled for anti-virus software. Microsoft says it will allow anti-virus apps to “use their own alerts and notifications to renew antivirus products before and after they have expired.” Microsoft is also changing the way Windows 10 informs users when an antivirus application has expired. “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,” says Rob Lefferts, Microsoft’s director of program management for Windows enterprise and security.

All of these changes are enough to convince Kaspersky to withdraw its complaint. “The company is satisfied with the proposed approach by Microsoft to address the warnings issued by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), and its implementation roadmap,” says a Kaspersky spokesperson. “Kaspersky Lab is also taking all steps necessary to withdraw its filings to the European Commission and to Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, stating that it has no more claims for Microsoft to address.”

It’s a reasonable end to a dispute that looked like it would be decided by the European Commission, and both companies maintain a partnership for improving anti-virus software on Windows. “We appreciate the feedback and continued dialogue with our partners, and are pleased to have found common ground with Kaspersky Lab on the complaints raised in Russia and Europe,” says Lefferts. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the industry.”