This story about Eugene Kaspersky complaining about Microsoft including antivirus software with Windows 10 touched a nerve. I had flashbacks to the litigation against Microsoft and Internet Explorer bundling in the late 1990s. Fast forward 16 years later from the browser showdown and we see that Internet Explorer is currently only the third most widely used browser in the market. That doesn’t sound like a monopoly to me.
Could there be parallels to this story and a lesson for Kaspersky? What happens when like-products compete on value, ease of use, and reputation in the marketplace? There’s plenty of room for competition in anti-virus software market too. Will the best antivirus packages step forward?
In my experience helping friends with personal computer issues at home, I found that most have the antivirus installed that was bundled with the computer. But typically the free trial subscription has expired. That’s certainly not a scientific study and my sample size doesn’t register as adequate. But I’m guessing many people are like that. Microsoft is helping consumers that are not tech savvy by providing automatic antivirus updates and a base level of protection. I see this as a good thing.
There is opportunity for other competitors in this space. Just like the browsers in the late 1990s companies may have to rethink how they connect with customers. The topic of computer viruses is touchy and consumers are wary of a barrage of pop-ups asking for money and subscription renewals.
So let competition find the real players. Build something better. Build something simple. Build something that adds value and builds a reputation of trust.
Onward and upward!
Photo credit: Intel Free Press via Creative Commons
An unwelcomed pattern
When I decided in high school that I wanted to pursue a career in technology I didn’t think about technology security. While I earned a degree in Computer Science I don’t remember any classes on cyber security. Now, 20 years, security issues are taking over the technology profession. Help!
Now of course I know security it important. In fact, you would label me as one of the security proponents at work. I am pushing colleagues to take more security precautions than what they are used to doing. I am the guying supporting the cause of compliance so that we can continue to compete for business. In today’s world if companies don’t keep up with security measures then they will begin to lose opportunities for business. It’s not an option.
But I don’t enjoy this. I was attracted to technology for problem solving, solutions, and automation.. I like to create things and solve puzzles. Filling out audit questions on security documents and creating new security processes doesn’t fit that mold. Help!
Such a waste of talent
These criminals are smart. They are talented. It leaves me asking why people so smart can’t use their talents for good. Instead they put their energies into creating software and devices that steal and make life miserable for others. If money is the motive, then don’t you think someone so smart could earn more money by creating legitimate and legal programs? And just think about the reduced risk of getting caught and going to jail.
The ripple effect
So what’s left in the wake of all the hacking, stealing, and destruction of property from viruses and cyber theft? An entire industry has been born which I guess is good for those that it employs. But now the average technology manager spends several hours each and every week implementing new security measures, answering security questionnaires, answering security controls for standards, and mitigating risks. Whew, it feels good to check a control on an audit. This of course doesn’t completely lock hackers out. It just forces them to find new methods for breaking into systems.
But the problem is the ripples are getting bigger. The time commitment for security compliance is growing. It’s taking away from using technology to help solve business objectives. That’s not fun for me, but I guess that’s what the criminals want. I’m annoyed.