updated 04:15 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Software line drops nine different programs, new software launches September 23
Symantec announced earlier this week that it would be issuing a sweeping change to its line of antivirus software to offer consumers a single solution. Starting September 23, the company will begin offering Norton Security for around $80 per year. The change effectively ends releases of Norton Antivirus, the company's main product line that has seen annual releases since the early 90s.
The discontinued security products aren't limited to a single platform, but span OS X, Windows and mobile devices. Norton 360, Norton 360 Multi-Device, Norton Antivirus, Norton Antivirus for Mac, Norton Internet Security, Norton Internet Security for Mac, Norton Mobile Security, Norton One and Norton Utilities will all be replaced by the new software. Currently, Norton Security is in a beta stage.
Norton Security will still retain multi-platform support, as Windows, OS X, iOS and Android will all be supported. The new software will combine the features found in Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security, building on the detection and file-checking with cloud computing. It offers production against viruses, malware, and botnets -- and offers browser security without an add-on. Additional features can be added for a cost, including cloud backup solutions and password management.
Senior Director of Product Management for Norton Gerry Egan told CNet that Symantec is moving toward security as a service, causing the company to reevaluate how it offers its products. Symantec has been looking to change the way it does business for some time, as it has noticed that the market for preventative antivirus products is effectively dead. Newer companies have taken detect-and-respond stances instead of protection, a model that Norton has followed for years.
Egan added that Norton Security would be around the cost of Norton Internet Security, which would place it around $80 per year. Users that want to add the backup service to cover up to 10 machines will have to pay a little more, around $100, as it's said to be comparable in price to Norton 360. It was also said that the new Norton would come with a money-back guarantee.
"We will be offering virus-free guarantee," said Egan. "If at the end of the day we run into something we can't deal with, we'll give you your money back."
Instead of continuing to fragment the security market across platforms and software offerings, Symantec is looking to give users a single solution. While it may cost more than a single copy of Norton Antivirus, the new program could be cheaper for users than have multiple platforms in the long run.
"We want to say to people that you sign up to Norton, it's as simple as that," said Egan.