Symantec is aiming to move beyond the now-familiar software subscription to a membership model with Norton One.
Currently available only to invited customers in the US, UK and Australia, Norton One combines the company's latest software with a higher level of service and support. The $199.99 fee provides licences for Norton Internet Security (Windows and Mac), Norton 360 (Windows), and Norton Mobile Security (Android), including online backup, family safety, and mobile anti-theft services.
If more licences are subsequently required, they can be purchased on a pro rata basis to maintain a single renewal date. Symantec has built a new ecommerce platform to support the Norton One. Licences can be transferred between devices even if they are of different types.
But the biggest difference from the individual products is that Norton One members are promised they won't have to wait more than two minutes to speak to a support person, whether they phone directly or use the software to request a call back, David Hall, Symantec's Norton consumer spokesperson for Asia Pacific.
Page 2: More on Norton One, plus Norton 360 6.0
And the level of service goes beyond the usual tech support offering. Staff have been given "value based training," he said, and won't just be working to scripts. Customers can make as many calls as they need for the duration of their membership.
Norton One will be available in Australia, US, UK, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand from March 22. One membership can extend across more than one household,
Norton 360 6.0
The new version of Norton 360, Symantec's consumer security and maintenance suite, is the fastest yet, according to Mr Hall.
It includes technologies from Norton Internet Security 2012, and according to testing by Passmark it is the fastest all-in-one security suite, achieving an overall score of 69. The theoretical maximum score is 85, and the next highest was Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012, which scored 55.
Mr Hall said the backup function had also been improved with speed optimisations and visual indicators to provide feedback. Password synchronisation is being improved with beta releases of Android and iOS apps. There's also a beta of a standalone application for Windows PCs that aren't running Norton 360 (eg, work computers). Final versions may be released during the next two or three months.
Page 3: More on Norton 360, and Norton Everywhere
Cloud-based management means multiple installations of Norton 360 can be managed from one place. "It's been a hassle, generally, to keep all of your computers updated," said Mr Hall, explaining that the cloud interface provides visibility of all your licensed computers, for example to buy new versions of the product without having to sit in front of each computer.
The suite still includes online backup, with 2GB of storage included and more available at extra cost. Backup only occurs while the system is idle, and the function is network-aware so users can avoid excessive mobile broadband bills by only backing up when connected to a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network.
Norton 360 6.0 is available immediately at $129 for a three-PC licence. Current licensees can upgrade at no charge for the remaining duration of their licences.
Norton 360 Everywhere
Norton 360 Anywhere, to be released in April at $149, provides a single product to protect multiple device types. Any combination of Norton 360, Norton Internet Security for Mac and Norton Mobile Security (for Android) to a maximum of five devices (three in some overseas markets) is covered by a single licence.
The Norton 360 management portal has been enhanced to support all three platforms, said Mr Hall.
25GB of online backup storage is included as part of the subscription, and the package includes a QR code to simplify installation of the Android version.