Trend Micro ousts McAfee from Hotmail message scanning

Trend Micro has ousted McAfee from its seat scanning Hotmail messages for viruses.

Exactly what motivated the change remains unclear. Trend Micro’s president of European Operations Raimun Genes told us: ‘We were contacted by MSN Hotmail, but we never questioned why.’

Initial discussions began as far back as April this year with Trend Micro. Genes said he was not aware of any other companies bidding for the role and that the contract Trend has forged with MSN Hotmail is not confined to a set period. ‘There’s no end date in the contract,’ he said.

MSN hinted that the choice of Trend lay in its advanced work with virus scanning for mobile devices: ‘Trend replaces the McAfee solution we had been using. Both providers have proven records in this space. In this instance working with Trend was the right choice for MSN. Trend has done some good work in the mobile AV scanning space and we see this as potentially benefiting our Hotmail customers.

‘We continue to have a good relationship with McAfee – they provide the full PC anti-virus and firewall protection for our MSN Premium customers and these services will remain in place.’

MSN has only licensed Trend’s virus scanning engine rather than the broader and more complex security products offered by the company as this would have involved changes to MSN’s infrastructure in order to implement them. As such, MSN Hotmail will still offer things like McAfee’s firewall, said Genes.

However, Trend has a proven track record at an enterprise level, managing the antivirus needs of a number of ISPs around the globe with up to 20 million subscribers, said Genes. The numbers rocket with MSN Hotmail, though, to a staggering 187 million.

It’s a big boon for Trend Micro, whose stronghold is in the enterprise market and geographically in Asia. ‘We’ll be able to learn about end-user behaviour in the Western world,’ said Genes. ‘Our footprint in the consumer space isn’t great yet. We have almost ignored [that] space in the past … so this will have a big impact on branding.’

Phil Holden, director of MSN Communication Services at Microsoft, said: ‘MSN is focused on providing a safer online experience for consumers, and we continue to make investments in this area. We’re pleased to work with Trend Micro, with its deep antivirus expertise, to expand the email protection of our Hotmail customers.’

Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

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