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Symantec CEO takes shots at Microsoft’s security play

The conference is called Symantec Partner Engage, but CEO John Thompson took an hour after his keynote address in San Diego this morning to engage reporters in a roundtable discussion. And it didn’t take long for the conversation to steer towards Microsoft’s plans to compete in the security market.

At first, Thompson did not even refer to Microsoft by name. All he did was say that Symantec’s constant emphasis on the need for strong security “may have registered in Redmond, Washington.” But he soon opened up, saying, “Our job is to out-innovate Microsoft” if it enters the security market. Then he responded to criticism of Norton AntiVirus’ delayed release with this thinly veiled shot at Microsoft: “We’d rather be deliberate than early with a product that doesn’t work.”

Before changing subjects, Thompson also said that more innovative security vendors like Kaspersky and F-Secure are doing more to boost the security market than Microsoft has.

“As long as Microsoft’s worrying about video games and fighting Google, we think we’ve got a real opportunity to run the table,” he said.

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