Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

Archive

Archive for the ‘CEO’s corner’ Category
August 4th, 2009

Who is a typical avast! user?

There seems to be a common belief that the users of avast! and other free anti-virus products are real technical or somehow different from the “normal” population. Of course we know this is not really true….it is true that they are different in that they understand it is not necessary to use a product from the big paid vendors to get the protection they need. But, other than that our users are representative of the world as a whole—they are you, me, our parents, and our friends. We are all pretty normal. Read more…

Categories: CEO's corner Tags: , ,
August 4th, 2009

Can you Trust Free Anti-Virus?

I ran across an interesting article the other day that questions whether a user can rely upon free anti-virus: http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2009/07/04/symantec-its-dangerous-to-rely-on-free-antivirus/. The source of the quotes in the article is of course one of the big paid anti-virus companies.  And it erroneously concludes that free products cannot be trusted, are not sufficient, etc. But then again why should a firm that makes a billion dollars a year off of paid anti-virus conclude that a free anti-virus product is good…..

The article does make very good points about what is needed in a security product. Its only error is in concluding that a free product does not provide these capabilities. So, here are the points the article makes and why they are wrong (at least for avast): Read more…

July 20th, 2009

Why is avast! not pre-installed on my new computer?

Some people have asked me why when they buy a new computer our avast! product is not already installed.  They complain that they have to remove the anti-virus product that is on the computer, download avast!, and then install it.  And of course, they ask why we don’t get the computer manufacturers (HP, Dell, Acer, Sony, etc.) to just install avast!.

This article from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/technology/business-computing/06virus.html?_r=1) talks a bit about the business but in much smaller terms than it actually is.  As the article states, getting security software on new computers can be very valuable.  It is a business I knew quite well from my time at Symantec. We would love to do this as the time when most people need a security product is when they buy a new computer.  The reason we don’t do it is that it is that putting software on new computers is a very big and very expensive business.  Manufacturers (OEMs) make a lot of money from the software that is provided on the computer. The OEM security business is what I call one of the “dirty little secrets of the PC security business.” Read more…

Categories: CEO's corner Tags: , ,
July 20th, 2009

Is it the Seven Dwarfs or the 3 Kings?

A friend of mine in the US sent me this article from the New York Times the other day http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/technology/business-computing/06virus.html?_r=1

It is basically an article about the “big guys” in the PC security business boasting about how good and how big the antivirus and consumer security business is.  A lot of the article talks about the business aspects of working with computer manufacturers (OEMs) in pre-installing consumer security products on new PCs.  There is some good stuff (and some stuff that is wrong) in this article about the OEM business and I will talk about that in another entry.

But, there is a great quote in the article.  The Symantec CEO, Enrique Salem, describes the consumer security/antivirus business as “Symantec and the seven dwarfs”.  And the McAfee CFO describes the consumer security business “as like an arms race”.  Now I know Enrique and he is a great guy and knows security and the security business inside and out.  And if I was still at Symantec, maybe I would have said the same thing.  It is a great quote.  But is it true? Read more…

July 20th, 2009

Why do you distribute avast! for free?

Here is a question my brother (Brian) recently posted to my Face Book: “One should ask the CEO why he is giving their software for free?”  Now Brian is a great brother but he likes to give me a hard time (and of course I do the same to him).  This question was prompted when he told me that his previous security product (you can imagine what product he was using given where I used to work and the fact Brian always got his security products from me) was expiring and he was wondering whether he should renew it or replace it.  Now, I don’t know if he was testing me to see if I would recommend the Avast product or if he was unaware that I had changed jobs.  But, of course, I told him to replace his old product with our free avast!. Read more…

Categories: CEO's corner Tags: ,
July 20th, 2009

Welcome and Why I Joined Avast

Welcome to the start of my “CEO’s Corner” Blog.  I am Vince Steckler and have just joined as the CEO (http://www.avast.com/eng/vince-steckler-to-lead-global-expansion-of-alwil-software.html). I wanted to first chat a little bit about what we do here, why we are different, and why I joined.  We also have a few other blogs going now so check them out also. Read more…