Microsoft Security Director Admits Windows 10 Disables 3rd Party Antivirus Software

As Kaspersky Lab sues Microsoft for alleged antitrust compliant violations, a senior security executive at the software giant confirmed that the latest version of its flagship operating system, Windows 10, disabled third-party security software.

For context, Kaspersky filed a complaint with Russian authorities alleging that Microsoft’s default security software, Defender, disabled third-party software. This month, Kaspersky filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Microsoft. The security giant’s allegation (shared by others) claims Microsoft is abusing its position as a market leader and vendor of an operating system “to fiercely promote its own – inferior – security software at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution.”

In a recent and lengthy blog post, Rob Lefferts, director of security of Windows and Devices at Microsoft touched on the subject, claiming that the new Windows 10 Creators Update ‘temporarily’ disabled third-party antivirus software.

He wrote:

For the small number of applications that still needed updating, we built a feature just for AV apps that would prompt the customer to install a new version of their AV app right after the update completed. To do this, we first temporarily disabled some parts of the AV software when the update began.

Further, the executive claimed that Microsoft’s Defender program does not run any periodic scans “without explicit customer action or provide protection until the chosen third-party AV solution is no longer protecting the Windows 10 device due to expiration.”

While Microsoft adds that it works with external antivirus makers to ensure smooth compatibility, Kaspersky’s complaint with Microsoft stems from the software giant’s time period for compatibility testing granted to external developers. From what used to be two months, the time period has been shortened to six days. In other words. If Windows 10 does not detect incompatible security software, the OS will automatically shut it down and run its own Defender program.

Image credit: Pixels.