Microsoft brand doesn't sell security: Kaspersky

Microsoft brand doesn't sell security: Kaspersky

Summary: Microsoft needs to launch a new brand to handle its security products successfully according to co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Labs, Eugene Kaspersky.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Security

Microsoft needs to launch a new brand to handle its security products successfully according to co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Labs, Eugene Kaspersky.

Eugene Kaspersky

Eugene Kaspersky(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

The outspoken Russian security executive said at the launch of Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 product in Sydney last night that consumers are unlikely to take a security suite seriously when it bears Microsoft branding, because Microsoft by nature isn't a security company.

"I don't want to say that Microsoft antivirus is a bad product, it's a good enough product ... but it's not enough to be visible in the market. You need to have the right position, the right impression. You have to have the brand which is recognised as a security brand," Kaspersky said.

According to Kaspersky, when Microsoft first entered the security market in 1994, he was too busy running his company and building products to notice. When Microsoft re-entered the market in 2003 with the purchase of GeCAD Software to improve Windows however, he said he was happy.

"I said 'Let Microsoft go buy all antivirus companies except us. Let them eat all of them and destroy them'," he joked.

He recommended Microsoft launch a new brand to focus specifically on security in order to be taken seriously, citing Toyota's foray into luxury cars via Lexus as an example.

"Toyota was known [as] cheap and low quality 30 years back. It was just a small player so it introduced a new brand — Lexus. With the new brand they just kept their original brand, Toyota, [but pushed it] to the top.

"If I were Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer, it will [be] better to have a different brand for the antivirus security and the security of Microsoft. Let anyone know that this brand belongs to Microsoft, but it's not Microsoft," he said.

Despite his criticisms, Kaspersky admitted to being a fan of Microsoft.

Topics: Microsoft, Security

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • Kaspersky needs to focus on his customers not competitors.
  • I'd say "Kaspersky brand does not sell fast software", but he's right.
    Microsoft's antivirus is smart enough to throttle down when after reboot - unlike most others who slow to a crawl.
    But enough of brands, let's treat software for it's quality.
    Three times in my career I performed comparative testing of all [noticeable] antivirus products on the market, and never Kaspersky made it into top3. It's just a brand, like Peter Norton. There are TrendMicro, Symantec, McAfee, Panda (quite good), Sophos, NOD32, Dr.Web (also good, and fast), CA's EzAntivirus (also good), then pseudo-free and pseudo-working Avira, AVG and others... try them and choose, or read some trusted reviews instead of bending to "brands", "CEO charisma" or other such non-relevant PR.
    • I agree. When Peter Norton WAS Norton software, the products were slick, tightly written packages that did exactly what they promised, nothing more (e.g., bloatware) and nothing less. Now it is just a brand name that has lost most of its clout. If Peter Norton had written a multi-tasking OS that used Norton Commander as its front-end, the market would look very different today.
  • "Despite his criticisms, Kaspersky admitted to being a fan of Microsoft."
    Aww shucks, I wonder why?

    No Microsoft = no AV industry.

    And no, that comment has almost nothing to do with the fact that Microsoft are so dominant.

    Of course I'm talking about the provable fact that almost the entire AV industry merely exists as a function of it's own recursion.
  • I can not agree more. If it was my company I just wouldn't have the confidence to implement a Microsoft security solution in order to protect a Microsoft environment, Microsoft protecting Microsoft, HA, it just doesn't sound right!

  • Given Microsoft's position on security (and more notably, lack thereof), I would be cautious by all accounts before looking at a MS-branded security suite.