Symantec strategy keeps 'em guessing

Symantec may unveil its latest move in the cut-throat virus-protection wars.

Leading anti-virus company Symantec will, it is understood, unveil a new all-encompassing utilities and security strategy Thursday, but competitors are dismissing it as nothing new.

Symantec has a strong tradition of individual user utilities and anti-virus software, and tomorrow's announcement is likely to represent an attempt to move into the more complex arena of networking.

But Jack Clark of Network Associates, which produces utilities including Dr Solomon's anti-virus, says it is unlikely Symantec will be making any major steps forward. He says: "I think they will just be tying up loose ends and bundling everything neatly. They may make up significant ground in the area of networking, but then they have a lot of ground to make up."

Paul Brettle, a representative from Datafellows, another firm strongly involved in network utility and security applications, agrees with this view. Brettle also believes that parts of Norton Utilities may be fast becoming obsolete. He says, "A lot of the stuff with Norton Utilities has been excellent in the past, but with Windows 98 and 2000 updating themselves a few of the management tools may go out of the window."

Aled Miles, Symantec's regional director for UK and Ireland says the rumours were wrong and no new products would be unveiled. "The competition is looking at individual products but we're looking at the bigger picture," says Miles. "We're evolving a strategy that fixes a gap in the industry -- content security."

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