Symantec newest effort to simplify PC security involve a heavily personalized approach called Norton One, as the company's latest version of Norton 360 made its debut today. Also announced was a new take on Norton 360, called Norton 360 Everywhere.
Norton One is an entirely new product that Symantec hopes will appeal to people who don't mind paying for PC security but want the experience to be as close to hands-off as possible. Basically, the premium you pay gets you one license key and account ID that can be used on up to five devices; 25 GB of online storage; premium tech support which will connect you with a dedicated Norton One adviser within two minutes of placing your call; free virus removal by a technician if your device gets infected after installing One; and a Web-based interface for managing it all.
"We've taken everything that's in Norton and made it accessible for this non-technical audience," Jody Gibney, group product manager for Norton One, said in a phone conversation last week.
Devices covered by One will be able to run, as appropriate, Norton 360 v6 or Norton Internet Security 2012 for Windows, Norton Internet Security for Mac, and Norton Mobile Security on Android. Symantec is correct in claiming that it's an industry first, and it sounds very much like taking a baseball stadium's premium box seat option to your computer security.
One of the hallmarks of Norton One is that it has an entirely new support infrastructure, explained Collin Davis, senior director of engineering at Symantec. This means that each user will get a customized installation link via e-mail, which will already have license key information included so there won't be anything extra for the user to type. A more traditional installation path will also be available for those who want it.
"People want as a robust a solution as possible, and something that can provide hand-holding when they want it," Davis said.
I can't help but wonder, though, if the target audience of people who want a hands-off security approach will really want to choose between Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security. Isn't part of the point of Norton One that you only make "one" choice?
Symantec also announced today its annual update to Norton 360, and revealed a second version of 360 that's coming this spring called Norton 360 Everywhere. Norton 360 Everywhere extends the features of Norton 360 to Mac and Android devices, and provides a single Web-based interface for managing them. Norton 360 version 6 ports the updates that came last fall to Norton Internet Security 2012, such as Download Insight and bandwidth management for updates, and throws in some new ones. These include a new look that streamlines the backup interface, syncing in Norton's Identity Safe, and the Identity Safe toolbar.
Norton One is available today only as a limited pilot program. It will retail for $149.99 for up to five devices, with an option to add more upon request. When it launches in wide release at some point during spring this year, it will be available only in English-speaking countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
Norton 360 v6 is currently available for $89.99 with 2 GB of online storage. Throw in $10 more, and you get 25 GB of online storage. Symantec has yet to reveal what Norton 360 Everywhere will cost, or specifically when it will be available.