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Symantec Spells Out Answers To Microsoft

Symantec on Thursday laid out how it will compete with Microsoft for consumers' security business, but again wouldn't promise that its by-subscription security service would be available this year.

As part of a day-long briefing of financial analysts, Symantec's consumer group chief, Enrique Salem, detailed both stop-gap and long-term product plans to stay ahead of Microsoft, which this week entered the consumer security market with a $49.95 per year Windows Live OneCare service.

Salem said that Symantec's answer, once code named Genesis, but on Wednesday renamed "Norton 360," would go into beta testing next month, first in a limited, managed roll-out, then in a widespread format that would be open to the public.

But he didn't promise that 360 would hit the shelves or be available for download by the end of 2006.

"We're currently targeting code availability in early Q4," said Salem, "but it's not about when the code is ready. It's about when the code is ready for the marketplace."

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