Trend Micro's CEO says 'AV industry sucks'

Eva Chen speaks from the cloud

Trend Micro has been a player in the lucrative battle against hackers for twenty years now. Chen claimed that what sets her company apart from its rivals is the fact that everything is in-house and “very specialist”.

“We’re not like Microsoft doing a bit of everything, this is our only business and we need to stay focused to stay on top of it. So we need to be better than the hacker,” she said.

Chen admitted that getting customers to replace anti-virus software on the client-side is often the “toughest” challenge. "That's why I'm here today."

It's worth noting too, that the Trend Micro boss is aware of the competition breathing down her neck. Rival security firm Panda launched a very similar strategy in Barcelona just last month.

Chen also acknowledged that the global economic downturn has made companies very reluctant to replace their desktops in the normal three-year cycle, but is convinced that Trend Micro can help customers save a few pennies in straitened times.

Open and shut case

So, what’s Chen’s view on the fact that many customers are increasingly disgruntled by the price tags attached to licenses from the likes of Microsoft and other propriety software vendors, and instead are opting for an open source alternative for their business?

“There’s water free out there and its drinkable but there’s people buying bottled water, and you have to ask the question why?" she said. "For propriety software there’s just one thing you need to do, you need to do better than the free software, either the support the service, whatever. It’s the customer’s choice. If you are not performing better and they’re not willing to pay then you do not deserve to reap the rewards.”

Chen argued that, for her, being on the propriety side of the software fence meant she could offer customers a better product than open source because the investment simply isn't there.

"The whole system needs to be able to encourage innovation. Look at the communist and capitalist models, which one has the fastest growth – you end up with capitalists, because whoever has the innovation and the creation makes the money. Therefore overall I believe you should encourage the competition and encourage the innovation to progress the society," she said. ®

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