Security software maker Trend Micro plans to challenge larger rivals Microsoft and Symantec with its own subscription-based service aimed at the fast-growing consumer anti-virus market, company executives said on Tuesday.
Both Microsoft and Symantec have recently announced plans to offer a one-stop service delivered over the Web that includes anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software amid a rising tide of cyber threats.
Trend Micro CEO Eva Chen and the company's North American President Lane Bess told Reuters that the software maker would likely have a competing service later this year as it seeks to boost its business in the key U.S. market. They did not provide specific details.
"We are not making a lot of public noise about it," Bess said in a telephone interview. "We have been fairly successful about letting the other guys show their weapons first. We believe later on this year we will have a comparable, if not superior service."
Microsoft's Windows OneCare Live will be available via retailers and the Web for an annual fee of $49.95 while Symantec plans a similar service that will be available later this year called Genesis.
Chen added that Microsoft's push into security would draw attention to the market and provide opportunities for Tokyo-based Trend Micro as it seeks to boost sales in the United States.
She said the company posted $622 million in revenue in 2005 with about 23 percent of that amount generated in North America. Over the next three years Chen said she would like to boost that number to 30 percent.
But she added the company would not look to acquisitions to fuel growth. Instead, Trend Micro is focused on winning new business and partnerships like the one it has with Cisco Systems Inc., the No. 1 data networking company.
"We are not focusing on acquiring market share or buying the market," Chen said.
Both executives said the company was gaining share in North America among businesses and consumers as cyber criminals increasingly look to pilfer financial or other sensitive information rather than to make a name for themselves, as has historically been the case.
Bess said this trend is helping to drive growth in the United States, especially among consumers and businesses who want more protections against spam, phishing attacks, spyware and other types of malicious code.