Panda Security and Trend Micro have jumped on a Microsoft decision to include free anti-virus software in its Windows Update.
The Redmond giant now includes Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), a year after the software was made available to download for free.
Both Panda and Trend have taken umbrage at the situation, with the former hinting Microsoft should push all of the various forms of anti-virus on the customer rather than only MSE.
"The way the guys in Redmond are executing the idea is risky from a security perspective and could very well make the malware situation much worse for internet users," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, in a company blog post.
"That's why we encourage Microsoft to continue using Windows/Microsoft Update but instead to push all free anti-virus products available on the market, not just MSE."
This could translate into something similar to the browser ballot scheme introduced earlier this year, after the European Commission ruled Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer into Windows was harming competition.
Corrons told IT PRO Panda is not considering taking matters any further just yet, but will see how the situation pans out.
"We'll see what's Microsoft's reaction is on the different issues we've pointed out in our blog post," he added.
"Anti-trust regulations are already in place."
He stressed Panda had a good relationship with Microsoft, but this was "an issue that affects all the industry."
Corrons also warned homogenising the anti-virus market would only benefit hackers, as they would just need to crack one form of security rather than many.
Reports also claimed Trend Micro had raise concerns about the impact Microsoft's decision would have on the security sphere as a whole.
We contacted Microsoft for a reponse, but it had not responded to our request at the time of publication.
Get the ITPro. daily newsletter
Receive our latest news, industry updates, featured resources and more. Sign up today to receive our FREE report on AI cyber crime & security - newly updated for 2023.
Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.
He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.