Emsisoft is not Emisoft – Let’s talk about our name for a moment

Emsisoft is not Emisoft – Let’s talk about our name for a moment


Back in 2003 when I founded the business, I was researching for weeks for a nice company name. My main objective was that it should be easy to pronounce in most languages around the world. Any special characters such as the German umlauts (ä, ö, ü) were a no-go, as were accents and two-vowel combinations that are pronounced differently in other languages, like “eu”, “ae”, “ei” and so on.

Then I thought, okay, let’s give it some really cool, security-related name. But the truth is, I simply couldn’t identify with any combinations of virus/spyware/adware/malware/threat/pest/hacker-stopper/blocker/defender/destroyer/sweeper/buster/doctor/protection. I was actually looking for something that stands for a solid and honest business and not just start another short-lived buzzword brand name.

What led me to choosing the rather neutral “Emsi”

As a person who likes efficiency, my self-chosen nickname on ICQ in the early Internet days (pre 2000) was simply “mc”. Two letters – my initials. I spent quite some time on the newly established online chats, where I met lots of interesting people, some of whom are still my friends or business partners today. One of them thought it would be a funny idea to call me “Emsi”, which is the German notation of the English pronunciation of the letters “M” and “C”.

Emsi sounded more like an actual name, rather than initials, so I kept using it as my online nickname. Since my search for a fancy techy name didn’t lead anywhere (congratulations to the guys at Malwarebytes in that regard!), I chose “Emsisoft” as the new company name. A quick trademark search revealed that it wasn’t taken by anyone else yet, so I applied for the trademarks in various countries.

What’s the thing with “Emisoft”?

Honestly, I don’t know why, but at least one in ten people miss the “s” in “Emsisoft”. A quite high percentage of our website visitors google “Emisoft”, but Google shows results for the correctly spelled name “Emsisoft” anyway (thanks, Google!).

And that’s not the only search typo. Our website analytics show there are people coming to us through various search phrases like “emisisoft”, “mc soft”, “emissoft”, “emsisift” “emmisoft”, “emsisof”, “emsissoft”, “esmisoft”, “emsysoft” and “emsisfot” (okay, the last one is probably just a common typo).

But after running the business for more than 14 years, I still feel sorry for the unintended harm we do to the folks at “Emisoft“. Yes, it really exists! The Norwegian company specializes in environmental management systems and is not related to Emsisoft in any way. This is a prime example of how one letter can have a major impact on perception and confusion. If I knew that the first “s” in “Emsisoft” would be invisible (for some reason) to so many people, I probably would have chosen a different name.

A funny anecdote

Founding a company in Austria was always a bureaucratic nightmare. I initially applied for the business name “Emsisoft” but it was rejected by the authorities. The law back then required the name to be descriptive of the nature of the business, and they argued that “soft” could stand as well for a toilet paper manufacturer. Not joking! So, I initially had to go for “Emsi Software”, which our early customers may still remember.

Luckily, that funny law was made obsolete a couple of years later so I was able to officially rename the business to “Emsisoft”. During our move to New Zealand, the name was kept, of course.

So much about big naming decisions.

Have a great malware-protected day with “Emsisoft”!

Christian Mairoll

Founder & Managing Director

  • Deshan Wolfey

    lol i typed Emisoft too when i first googled it.

    • We’ve all been there :) What made you google it in the first place @asherbass:disqus? Who did you hear about us? We’re always curious how our customers find us.

      • Deshan Wolfey

        from https://malwaretips.com/ forum.some guys talking about best anti malware products and few ppl mentioned about emsisoft anti malware and i was curious what it was and google it.and downloaded it to my pc and i was amazed how great that anti malware is.i love everything about it.

  • DrHubert Hechabarria

    Dear Christian Mairoll: If I am correct we go back some fourteen years and I believe that you were located in Germany?. I have beta tested just about every free and shareware malware software and Emsisoft is state of the art technology that is light years ahead of any other anti malware, anti virus or anti spyware. Your software finds what all other miss. The closest that any other similar software comes is Zemana Anti Malware Pro. I tested an anti virus software from Beijing, China and as always I download to save and then run Emsisoft prior to installing the software. Believe it or not, installed was 647 PUP’s embedded in the anti virus software. Your software was the only one that was able to delete all 647 PUP’s with the exception of the locked registry keys for some of the PUP’s that I unlocked myself. Your staff is exceptional in their work and updates. Keep up the good work and blogs that you write. Wish you continued good health and most important stay safe. Hope you are never in the wrong place at the right time. Best regards, Dr. Hubert Hechabarria

    • @drhuberthechabarria:disqus Thank you, we will continue the way we are to satisfy all of you :)

  • divinenews

    Thank you Christian for this article. My wife recently asked about its origin and I had no answer. Now I do, and as ardent believers in your anti-malware being the best, it is good to know a little about its founder.

    • @divinenews:disqus Thank you for believing in us; indeed knowing the founder background gives you an idea of how the company is.

  • Yup. My eyes saw Emisoft also – because we tend to read rather quick…..to skim. Anyway, I’m doing what I can to share your software.

    By the way I found you when doing a google search in relation to antivirus companies not selling private information. Had never heard of you. Your website stuck out immediately for the way it is written. Unfortunately most people don’t care about privacy….but they’ll eventually come around.

    Your blogs are very important in google results – they got me here, and I am now a customer. :)

    • Hello @iDigitalMedium:disqus

      Thank you for being part of the Emsisoft family and sharing us :)

      About privacy, we have a strong stand about it, and we will pursue in this direction.

  • Jim Maurer

    How about EmSisoft?