Brian Donohue of threatpost on the Microsoft Malware Protection Center decision to detect search protection code as malware regardless of whether the features are even enabled or not:

Search protection is a scheme deployed by certain software packages in an attempt to limit user control of browser and search settings. In some cases, software makers use search protection in order to prevent users from uninstalling products or changing their default search engine. Other varieties keep users from disabling or enabling certain browser extensions.

Microsoft is encouraging developers to remove any search protection code from their software, warning that a failure to do so will result in malicious detection. Furthermore, it will not be enough to merely disable search protection, developers will have to completely rid their wares of any search protection code, no matter how long it lie dormant.

Microsoft began blocking programs that prevent or limit users from viewing or modifying browser features or settings late last year. Starting June 1, the tech giant will take the next step, detecting software that prevents users from changing default search engines and home pages. Microsoft will also move to classify as malicious programs that attempt to circumvent consent dialogue boxes on June 1 as well.