Symantec confident users will see beyond cost of Norton 360

As Symantec Corp. launched its new Norton 360 consumer security suite today, the company acknowledged that some users may be put off by the price, nearly double the list price of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Live OneCare.

"There will definitely be some price sensitivity" on the part of users, said Mark Kanok, 360's product marketing manager. "But the breadth and execution of Norton 360's functionality is greater [than OneCare's]. And I don't think anyone should undersell the intelligence of users."

Norton 360, which includes a firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware scanning software, rootkit detection, anti-phishing protection, online and local backup and restore, and computer diagnostic tools, goes on sale today for $79.99 for a one-year subscription. Like Microsoft's OneCare, which lists for $49.95, it can be installed on up to three PCs.

The Symantec suite has been touted by the Cupertino, Calif., company as both its next generation consumer security product and a competitor to OneCare, which Microsoft launched in 2006 to much fanfare, primarily because of its price and three-PC license.

"People who have been with Norton for a long time know that we've been in the [security] business for 20-plus years," said Kanok, responding to questions about how 360 can compete with a lower-priced product from Microsoft. "It does create some new challenges though," he said.

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