Moscow: Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab on Tuesday announced it was rolling out a free version of its antivirus software across the globe, Reuters reported.
Kaspersky Free was immediately available in the United States, Canada, and several Asia Pacific countries and would launch in other regions in the coming months, Eugene Kaspersky, the company founder, wrote in a blog post.
Kaspersky said the free version was not intended to replace the paid versions of its antivirus software, describing it as offering "the bare essentials," such as email and web antivirus protection and automatic updates.
But the free software would benefit all of Kaspersky Lab's customers by improving machine learning across its products, he added.
The company has been working on Kaspersky Free for 18 months, a development phase that included pilot versions in several markets including Russia, Ukraine and China as well as Scandinavian countries.
Founded in 1997, Kaspersky Lab grew rapidly through the 2000s to become one of the world's leading antivirus software companies. But the company has faced suspicion for years about its ties to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).