On Tuesday, I mentioned that Symantec had apparently felt the cold wind of OneCare and was planning to combat it with their own security service called Genesis. That got more urgent after Tuesday’s quarterly earnings release:
Symantec Corp.’s stock sank just under 7% Wednesday as investors expressed disappointment with the security and storage software firm’s quarterly revenue and outlook.
Symantec is anticipating increased competition from Microsoft in 2006, but plans to maintain the company’s market position by staying one step ahead of the software giant, said chairman and CEO John Thompson.
“We expect Microsoft to enter the security markets certainly this year,” Thompson said. “As such we plan to increase our investments in consumer marketing and channel-related programs ahead of their market entry to fortify our leadership position.”
That’s Genesis and more details were released on Wednesday:
Symantec plans to introduce a security product later this year that will take on Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows OneCare and Vista security technology.
The software, code-named “Genesis,” will integrate components of Symantec’s current security, PC optimization and backup products, the security company said. It will be sold on a subscription basis and will require an initial one-year agreement. Pricing has not yet been determined.
“Genesis is not a suite or a bundle of tools, but a single integrated software application delivered to consumers as a service,” Tom Powledge, the director of product management at Symantec, said in an interview Wednesday. The company plans to officially announce Genesis next week, he said.
The service is slated to arrive by the end of September. It will offer protection against viruses, spam, spyware and phishing scams, and stop hacker attacks with intrusion prevention technologies and a firewall, Symantec said. It will include offline and online backup features, as well as PC optimization and maintenance tools. On top of this, the software will include a newly designed user interface and built-in technical support.
The function is fine although it may be somewhat late, but the key will likely be how Microsoft distributes OneCare. Symantec expends great effort to get trial versions of its antivirus and related products on as many new PCs as it can. If a OneCare trial comes by default as part of the Windows OS on every box, it makes their job much harder and the various antitrust watchdogs itchy.