The chief executive of Trend Micro has said that the anti-virus industry is 'failing' and accused her rivals of not making the changes that have to be made to prevent the continued proliferation of viruses and malware.
Eva Chen, who co-founded the security firm in 1988, was speaking to The Register's Kelly Fiveash when she described how the firm was changing its strategy away from the traditional model still employed by rivals Symantec and McAfee towards 'in-the-cloud' scrutiny of new viruses in an attempt to head off new challenges.
Criticising her rivals, she said: "For me, for the past three years I've been feeling that the antivirus industry sucks. If you can have 5.5 million new viruses out there, how can you claim that this industry is doing the right job?"
Speaking about the challenges faced in changing the companies strategy away from traditional software-based detection and prevention towards the – almost unproven – territory of cloud-based architecture, she described the scrutiny of the firm's investors as difficult, something that she admitted would be one of the biggest challenges facing the firm in the next few years.
She said over the past three years, she had faced continued questioning about the firm's high capital expenditure and lack of demonstrable results, but that she was confident that the new approach would provide a unique and – most importantly – effective product.
She also commented on the open source vs proprietary debate comparing it to water: "There's water free out there and its drinkable, but there's people buying bottled water, and you have to ask the question: why? For proprietary 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," she added. "If you are not performing better and they're not willing to pay, then you do not deserve to reap the rewards." Adding further comparison, she said that open source software is destined to fail.
"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 whosoever has the innovation and the creation has the money," she said, adding that open source is bound to fail, as communism did because of a lack of money.
"Therefore, overall I believe you should encourage the competition and encourage the innovation that progresses the society."