PC Tools to be poor man's Norton

Summary:Computer security giant Symantec this week said it would not integrate the software of recent acquisition PC Tools into its mainstream Norton suite, instead using the products as its low-cost option for countries such as India and China.

Computer security giant Symantec said it would not integrate the software of recent acquisition PC Tools into its mainstream Norton suite, instead using the products as its low-cost option for countries such as India and China.

"The goal right now is to look at emerging markets. We'd like to see PC Tools take emerging markets — countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China," said Symantec's VP of consumer engineering, Rowan Trollope.

"They have been very successful at selling to a very specific segment of the market place that is more interested in lower price solutions."

The Australian security vendor is reported to have cost Symantec AU$300 million, and according to Trollope, gives it an avenue to target these countries without needing to drop its prices for Norton.

Asia Pacific is Symantec's fastest growing region, however, it generates the least revenue of its global operations, netting the company US$231 million, or about 14 per cent, of its total revenues for Symantec's first quarter 2009 earnings.

"I think price is an important component of the offering you bring to an emerging market. Some require lower prices, some accept higher prices, but with India and China in particular, you have to go in with lower prices," the executive told ZDNet.com.au.

While Norton Antivirus 2008 costs AU$59.00, and its Internet Security suite costs AU$99.00, PC Tools' equivalents respectively cost AU$49.95 and AU$79.95.

At the time of the acquisition, technology analysts at Gartner and Intelligent Business Research Services struggled to explain why Symantec would buy PC Tools, which had similar products to its own and added just 200 staff to Symantec's ranks of 17,000.

Trollope said that PC Tools did offer it some new technologies. Registry Mechanic, PC Tools Utility Suite, Threat Fire, and Browser Defender are considered "complementary" to Symantec's products.

While Symantec planned to run PC Tools as a "completely independent company", he said some products would be assessed for overlaps with Symantec's existing products.

"[PC Tools] have Spyware Doctor and they've got some other products that are similar to our products where we will be certainly interested in looking at how do they overlap and who provides which service," he said.

Trollope declined to confirm whether it had paid AU$300 million for PC Tools.

Topics: Symantec, China, India, Security

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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