You would be surprised to learn that the household names you know and trust in the security space are not exactly growing like gangbusters in Canada and the U.S.

According to research firm the NPD Group, Symantec and McAfee grew collectively at just under eight per cent in North American retail (sales unit volume) last year.

So if Symantec and McAfee units increased by just 250,000 what other security vendors gained in popularity among the masses?

Kaspersky Lab, little-known Webroot andTrend Micro grew substantially at retail in 2010. Kaspersky grew by a whopping 165 per cent, Webroot did well at 85 per cent and Trend Micro had a great year at 71.1 per cent. growth.
The overall market was extremely healthy and grew by more than 50 per cent. That pushed numbers up for companies such as Kaspersky and Webroot. Kaspersky for example sold more than two million units from 2009 to 2010; Webroot grew more than 1.3 million and Trend Micro made it over the million unit sales mark. All three did very well, but some other players such as Panda Security and AVG Technologies regressed.

Does the performance of Kaspersky, Webroot and Trend Micro mean the top two security vendors are in peril of losing market share? It’s an interesting question, but you have to factor in that these are retail figures and while growth is growth and everyone will take the success you have to understand that the North American consumer is fickle at best.

Loyalty is not their strong suit. What they buy today; might not be what they buy tomorrow. Price is a big factor as well. I checked online and all the security players are competitively priced so they are all doing their homework and no one is getting caught off-guard in terms of pricing.

Usually retail sales translates well into SMB sales for software vendors where customers are more stable and long term.

The only danger I see in these figures is that the consumer is not distinguishing on brand. The thought has always been out there that all the major security products do the same job and that you should only buy on price. I don’t think that’s accurate, but I know end users think that.

The other piece of good news for resellers is that the security market is really hot. If retail is any indicator then approximately six million more units were sold last year as opposed to 2009. This market is not maturing and that’s a positive for retailers obviously but for the channel as well. And, to security vendors not named Symantec and McAfee.
 
Three quick hit before I go. Dr. Hadi Mahabadi, vice president of Xerox Research Centre of Canada, has been awarded the Printing Industries of America’s Robert F. Reed Technology Medal, created to recognize outstanding engineers and scientists in the graphic communications industry.
 
Axia Corp. out of Calgary names Alan Hartslief its new Chief Financial Officer. Hartslief replaces Peter McKeown who is retiring.
 

Laplink Software! have moved its headquarters out of suburbs of Bellevue, Wash. to  downtown. Its new address is 600 108th Avenue NE, Suite 610, Bellevue, Wash. 98004.

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