Kaspersky's David Emm has admitted that Microsoft's free Security Essentials package will have a big effect on the anti-malware market but insisted that there is still room for companies to produce quality security software.

Microsoft Security Essentials is likely to have a huge impact, allowing people to install a free piece of software which will provide top-level security against malware such as viruses and Trojans.

This is likely to pinch the market for traditional PC Security companies such as Kaspersky, but Emm is upbeat about the new arrival and insists that people will still look for added functionality.

Not naive

"It would be naïve to say it doesn't have any implications," said Emm. "But it will depend, I think, on how significant the impact will be.

"We're not immediately concerned; if you look at the developments in the last 10 years or more in anti-virus software it has gone through several iterations.

"These days, protection for consumers is a lot more than merely signature recognition. It is a lot more than strictly anti-virus (AV), a specific AV offering doesn't encompass all of that and clearly there is still a market place for other people."

Beneficial

Emm is broadly supportive of Microsoft's decision to try to allow developing nations protection from malware – and therefore stamping out some of the serious viruses before they have time to propagate.

"One of [Microsoft's] aims was to put a product specifically into developing markets amd one of the key reasons for that is that there are areas around globe where epidemics can get a foothold

"Microsoft is saying that if they can get the product in on that market then maybe we can help out in the places where the malware bubbles up. It can only be beneficial.

"I don't see it as closing avenues for vendors. It might impact on sales of the purely AV portion and there is less scope to sell a vanilla AV product but I would see it as a positive thing and not one that will have an impact on security software."