October 12, 2005 1:00 PM PDT

Symantec quietly hikes Norton renewal prices

Symantec has quietly raised renewal prices for its Norton AntiVirus and other products, a move some see as a parting shot before Microsoft enters the consumer security fray next year.

On Monday, the security software giant raised the prices Norton users pay for another year of updates to their installed products by as much as 33 percent. The updates include traditional virus signatures and product enhancements, which are a new feature and part of Symantec's move to a subscription model.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec announced the 2006 editions of its Norton products last month. The company at the time published prices for new users of the products: Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton System Works and Norton Personal Firewall. At the time, it did not disclose pricing for existing users signing up for another year of updates. It activated the higher prices on Monday, a company representative said.

Price rises

People who use Norton consumer security software will have to pay more for another year of updates.

Product Old New
Norton
AntiVirus
$24.95 $29.99
Norton Internet
Security
$29.99 $39.99
Norton System
Works
$24.95 $29.99
Norton Personal
Firewall
$14.95 $19.99
Source: Symantec

The price hike could be seen as a "last hurrah" before Microsoft enters the security arena next year, analysts at Merrill Lynch wrote in a research note this week. The move could alternatively be "a decisive refusal to be intimidated by a pending market entry," the analysts wrote.

As Symantec has 40 million subscribers, the price rise could add as much as $250 million to the company's revenue in its next fiscal year, according to the Merrill Lynch note.

The price increase is not typical of the competitive consumer security software market, Forrester Research analyst Maribel Lopez said. "The trend has always been downward. Consumers would expect pricing to be flat or down," she said. Nevertheless, people often don't notice prices when renewing their product, Lopez said.

Microsoft's entry into the market is looming like dark clouds in the distance, she added. "The biggest issue is going to be whether or not the bottom drops out of the market when Microsoft enters," she said. "Symantec is bringing in the money while the getting is good."

Microsoft is readying products to protect computers against worms, viruses, spyware and other threats. Windows OneCare, its consumer antivirus and anti-spyware service, has been available to beta testers since July. The software maker last week said a test version of a product to protect business computers would be available by year's end.

Symantec's price shift is unrelated to the prospect of competition from Microsoft, said Laura Garcia-Manrique, a senior director of product management at the security company. The changes reflect that customers now get software enhancements in addition to virus signatures, she said. Previously the product updates were sold separately.

"We've taken a number of actions, including the increase of our subscription prices...to facilitate our move to a subscription model," Garcia-Manrique said. Symantec has also cut the upfront price of Norton AntiVirus by $10, she noted.

"This move on our part is the right move for the market. If Microsoft's actions in some way change that, then we will have to look at what direction the market goes," Garcia-Manrique said. Symantec CEO John Thompson on Tuesday predicted his company will beat Microsoft in the security space.

Some of Symantec's rivals could see the price hike as an opportunity to win new customers. Computer Associates, for example, charges $29.99 to renew its Internet Security Suite--a price that includes product updates, a CA representative said. That compares with $39.99 to renew the Norton Internet Security suite.

At Trend Micro, renewing its PC-cillin Internet Security costs $24.95. The company expects to win some Symantec customers to switch. "There is a disjoint between the consumer expectation and the shift Symantec has made in their pricing," said Lane Bass, general manager of consumer products at Trend Micro.

Raising prices could alienate some customers, Patrick Hinojosa, chief technology officer at security provider Panda Software said. "It does not seem like a good idea to reward customers who used your product for at least a year."

38 comments

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What a joke...
Norton isn't even worth what they were asking for it. No way would I pay more for such sucky software. As for Microsoft why on Earth would I trust Microsoft with anti-spyware and anti-virus software when they put the security holes in the OS that allows these threats to flourish. That is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

I will stick with PC-Cillin, at least it doesn't fight with other software and slow you system down.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What a joke...
Norton isn't even worth what they were asking for it. No way would I pay more for such sucky software. As for Microsoft why on Earth would I trust Microsoft with anti-spyware and anti-virus software when they put the security holes in the OS that allows these threats to flourish. That is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

I will stick with PC-Cillin, at least it doesn't fight with other software and slow you system down.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec Ripoff
Symantec has been raising their subscription prices
at about 10x the rate of inflation for the past
several years. I remember when it cost $9.95 to
renew NAV for a year. But $29.95!?! Give me a
break.

When you think about it, you pay more to Symantec
than you do to Microsoft.

I for one will be one of the first on board with
Microsoft's offering. I'm also going to check out
ClamAV and some of the free/less expensive
products.
Posted by sam99999999 (139 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Alot of options
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.avast.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.avast.com/</a> is very good.. but somewhat of a system
hog.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.free-av.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.free-av.com/</a> is even better and not much of a
system hog at all.

both do much better jobs of catching things that norton dosent
even notice.
Posted by Tiemmothi (16 comments )
Link Flag
Which is why some users get LOW offers
A few weeks ago the Symantec Store sent me an offer of NIS 2005 for just $10.00 U.S. I presume that was to sell out the old stock as v2006 is now for sale.

This implies that the firm is still seeking to hold its long term customers like me, who have been with the "Norton" products for say 15 years or more.

The pricing rejig at 30% more is actually a GOOD DEAL because you no longer have to shell out $70-$100 Cdn in Canada for a new NIS version every two years or so.

I think Symantec is just trying to adjust to MS's likely model.

Here in Canada MS seems to be offering Web-based Outlook and a similar all-MSN email package on the Web for about $129-$169 Cdn a year. So I would guess MS OneCare is gonna follow that pricing. Sure, there will be a little Web space included for backups, but Symantec's product I predict will look well-priced in comparison to One[big price]Care.

Good going Symantec!
Posted by PolarUpgrade (103 comments )
Link Flag
Symantec Ripoff
Symantec has been raising their subscription prices
at about 10x the rate of inflation for the past
several years. I remember when it cost $9.95 to
renew NAV for a year. But $29.95!?! Give me a
break.

When you think about it, you pay more to Symantec
than you do to Microsoft.

I for one will be one of the first on board with
Microsoft's offering. I'm also going to check out
ClamAV and some of the free/less expensive
products.
Posted by sam99999999 (139 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Alot of options
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.avast.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.avast.com/</a> is very good.. but somewhat of a system
hog.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.free-av.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.free-av.com/</a> is even better and not much of a
system hog at all.

both do much better jobs of catching things that norton dosent
even notice.
Posted by Tiemmothi (16 comments )
Link Flag
Which is why some users get LOW offers
A few weeks ago the Symantec Store sent me an offer of NIS 2005 for just $10.00 U.S. I presume that was to sell out the old stock as v2006 is now for sale.

This implies that the firm is still seeking to hold its long term customers like me, who have been with the "Norton" products for say 15 years or more.

The pricing rejig at 30% more is actually a GOOD DEAL because you no longer have to shell out $70-$100 Cdn in Canada for a new NIS version every two years or so.

I think Symantec is just trying to adjust to MS's likely model.

Here in Canada MS seems to be offering Web-based Outlook and a similar all-MSN email package on the Web for about $129-$169 Cdn a year. So I would guess MS OneCare is gonna follow that pricing. Sure, there will be a little Web space included for backups, but Symantec's product I predict will look well-priced in comparison to One[big price]Care.

Good going Symantec!
Posted by PolarUpgrade (103 comments )
Link Flag
I have paid not to use Symantec
For up to a year, I (probably) was getting signature downloads for the wrong OS, on a subscription renewal I paid for. At the time I renewed it was for the XP os, when next renewal time came a year later, it was for the Palm OS. So likely my scans had been useless for up to a year. Will never know. Email to the published support address bounced. Couldn't contact by phone - life is too short. Finally found out by searching web my version of NAV had been discontinued.

Symantec couldn't find me to tell me that the product was being discontinued, but they could find me to send the wrong update files and hock me for a renewal to the wrong product. Had to track down and download a special program to uninstall NAV.

That's just the last and most outrageous incident over many years of bad experiences of one sort or another both as a home user and consultant with Norton and then Symantec products. I'm glad to say I've never paid for a Symantec product, just renewals on installed ones. Now I won't use them, period.
Posted by cscoder (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sorry
That sucks man. I sympathize with you. That's why I never pay for any AV. They can rip ya off so easily. I always use trial versions and web based scanning, such as from Trend Micro. It may not be the best, but atleast it's a little. But I always notice when there is a virus/trojan/worm on my computer, and I can remove it manually.. I don't have to rely on AV to remove them for me
Posted by (75 comments )
Link Flag
I have paid not to use Symantec
For up to a year, I (probably) was getting signature downloads for the wrong OS, on a subscription renewal I paid for. At the time I renewed it was for the XP os, when next renewal time came a year later, it was for the Palm OS. So likely my scans had been useless for up to a year. Will never know. Email to the published support address bounced. Couldn't contact by phone - life is too short. Finally found out by searching web my version of NAV had been discontinued.

Symantec couldn't find me to tell me that the product was being discontinued, but they could find me to send the wrong update files and hock me for a renewal to the wrong product. Had to track down and download a special program to uninstall NAV.

That's just the last and most outrageous incident over many years of bad experiences of one sort or another both as a home user and consultant with Norton and then Symantec products. I'm glad to say I've never paid for a Symantec product, just renewals on installed ones. Now I won't use them, period.
Posted by cscoder (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sorry
That sucks man. I sympathize with you. That's why I never pay for any AV. They can rip ya off so easily. I always use trial versions and web based scanning, such as from Trend Micro. It may not be the best, but atleast it's a little. But I always notice when there is a virus/trojan/worm on my computer, and I can remove it manually.. I don't have to rely on AV to remove them for me
Posted by (75 comments )
Link Flag
NOD32 AV Works Better
I dumped Norton AV from all my computers 5 years ago &#38; went with NOD32 by eset.

It works a hell of alot better then Norton plus blocks more virus,torjons,spyware before they even getting a chance to hit the internet.

If I was you I would dump Norton AV &#38; SAVE with NOD32 AV that works alot better without slowing your system down.

More Information can be found at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://nod32.com" target="_newWindow">http://nod32.com</a>
Posted by WITechGuy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
NOD32 AV Works Better
I dumped Norton AV from all my computers 5 years ago &#38; went with NOD32 by eset.

It works a hell of alot better then Norton plus blocks more virus,torjons,spyware before they even getting a chance to hit the internet.

If I was you I would dump Norton AV &#38; SAVE with NOD32 AV that works alot better without slowing your system down.

More Information can be found at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://nod32.com" target="_newWindow">http://nod32.com</a>
Posted by WITechGuy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Subscription ripoff!
When all the major antivirus vendors went to subscription services virus writers went in to overdrive. They knew that most people will not pay a yearly subscription. Everyone I know uses up the free or first year then either finds a free service such as AVG or simply uses the outdated dat files. Since most folks prior to XP usually do a yearly re-install anyway this automatically resets Nortons subscription service so in the past I've never paid for it anyway. On my XP machine I'm going to rip it out and install something else. It might be different if they gave the product away with a free 3 month trial and an uninstall option that actually uninstalled it, then charged a yearly subscription however, they don't. It's the highest priced AV package on the store shelf. You pay a larger upfront cost and a larger yearly subscription fee and the only way their going to survive is by using the court systems of the world such as the recent EU interest in Microsoft's bundling of AV products.
Posted by Muddleme (99 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Subscription ripoff!
When all the major antivirus vendors went to subscription services virus writers went in to overdrive. They knew that most people will not pay a yearly subscription. Everyone I know uses up the free or first year then either finds a free service such as AVG or simply uses the outdated dat files. Since most folks prior to XP usually do a yearly re-install anyway this automatically resets Nortons subscription service so in the past I've never paid for it anyway. On my XP machine I'm going to rip it out and install something else. It might be different if they gave the product away with a free 3 month trial and an uninstall option that actually uninstalled it, then charged a yearly subscription however, they don't. It's the highest priced AV package on the store shelf. You pay a larger upfront cost and a larger yearly subscription fee and the only way their going to survive is by using the court systems of the world such as the recent EU interest in Microsoft's bundling of AV products.
Posted by Muddleme (99 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Update Symantec for FREE!!!
All Norton / Symantec product have one thing in common and inherent bug. What is this BUG you may ask?

Most of you get told that your "Subscription" has run out and have to pay $29.99+ to renew it for a year. First off, you can ALWAYS download the Virus Updates for free (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sarc.com/avcenter/download/pages/US-N95.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.sarc.com/avcenter/download/pages/US-N95.html</a>). The thing here is that will only cover the Antivirus, but what if you need other updates. We all know that Symantec does not provide these too freely and you have to use the "Live Update" feature to get them. The cure you ask.

Set your PC Clock back one (1) year, and then run the Live Update... The bug in Norton will think you just / recently installed the software. Live Update will now function normally and get all your updates.

When done, simply set your clock / year back to the proper date.

At last if you have to use a Symantec product, this will get you by until you find something else.
Posted by SL-INC. (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Update Symantec for FREE!!!
All Norton / Symantec product have one thing in common and inherent bug. What is this BUG you may ask?

Most of you get told that your "Subscription" has run out and have to pay $29.99+ to renew it for a year. First off, you can ALWAYS download the Virus Updates for free (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sarc.com/avcenter/download/pages/US-N95.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.sarc.com/avcenter/download/pages/US-N95.html</a>). The thing here is that will only cover the Antivirus, but what if you need other updates. We all know that Symantec does not provide these too freely and you have to use the "Live Update" feature to get them. The cure you ask.

Set your PC Clock back one (1) year, and then run the Live Update... The bug in Norton will think you just / recently installed the software. Live Update will now function normally and get all your updates.

When done, simply set your clock / year back to the proper date.

At last if you have to use a Symantec product, this will get you by until you find something else.
Posted by SL-INC. (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Freeware is as good
Heh, heh. Mcafee I used to use and then when version 8.0 rolled out, I knew it was getting too bloated. It slowed my system startup and my system in general noticeably. That's when I looked for freeware and came upon AVG Antivirus. I've read reports of AVG not being as accurate as NAV, but it works great for the most part and it's FREE! Norton I know is a huge piece of bloated software, not sure if it's more bloated than McAfee but there's always freeware such as AVG and Avast.
Posted by pentium4forever (192 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Freeware is as good
Heh, heh. Mcafee I used to use and then when version 8.0 rolled out, I knew it was getting too bloated. It slowed my system startup and my system in general noticeably. That's when I looked for freeware and came upon AVG Antivirus. I've read reports of AVG not being as accurate as NAV, but it works great for the most part and it's FREE! Norton I know is a huge piece of bloated software, not sure if it's more bloated than McAfee but there's always freeware such as AVG and Avast.
Posted by pentium4forever (192 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually, don't consider Microsoft
I read everyone's comments, and as opposed to what I said earlier I will not consider using Microsoft's anti-virus product if one ever comes out.

It really would irk me to pay Microsoft for a service that is necessary because their architecture permits this abominable situation.

Dvorak wrote a funny column on it this month:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1869377,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1869377,00.asp</a>

So I wanted to thank everyone who recommended the free alternatives above.

Neal
Posted by sam99999999 (139 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually, don't consider Microsoft
I read everyone's comments, and as opposed to what I said earlier I will not consider using Microsoft's anti-virus product if one ever comes out.

It really would irk me to pay Microsoft for a service that is necessary because their architecture permits this abominable situation.

Dvorak wrote a funny column on it this month:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1869377,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1869377,00.asp</a>

So I wanted to thank everyone who recommended the free alternatives above.

Neal
Posted by sam99999999 (139 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec Hikes Renewal Prices
It seems that once a large company reaches a certain size, then the home user matters little. I am having a problem with Internet Security and have been all over Symantec's web site and writing to find some one who could help - nothing. They used to have an 800 number to India which at the time drove me crazy trying to find someone who could understand the problem rather than using a script to provide responses no matter what the question. Boy would I like that opportunity back. And now this. Ten dollars isn't much, but the way Symantec is treating its customers, me, it is a fortune. I will be voting with my feet. I am currently looking to replace my security software from Symantec and I think I have succeeded. Only time will tell, but I will not be renewing my Symantec licenses.
Posted by mn19521 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec Hikes Renewal Prices
It seems that once a large company reaches a certain size, then the home user matters little. I am having a problem with Internet Security and have been all over Symantec's web site and writing to find some one who could help - nothing. They used to have an 800 number to India which at the time drove me crazy trying to find someone who could understand the problem rather than using a script to provide responses no matter what the question. Boy would I like that opportunity back. And now this. Ten dollars isn't much, but the way Symantec is treating its customers, me, it is a fortune. I will be voting with my feet. I am currently looking to replace my security software from Symantec and I think I have succeeded. Only time will tell, but I will not be renewing my Symantec licenses.
Posted by mn19521 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Norton products price hike
I've just tried to renew my NAV 2006 subscription but Symantec want £42 (over $70) to renew compared with my last renewal price of £19. I have kept with NAV for the past 5 years but there is no way I?m going to pay this much when there are highly competitive products out there. Sorry Norton but you have got too greedy.
Posted by PeterAlan602 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Norton products price hike
I've just tried to renew my NAV 2006 subscription but Symantec want £42 (over $70) to renew compared with my last renewal price of £19. I have kept with NAV for the past 5 years but there is no way I?m going to pay this much when there are highly competitive products out there. Sorry Norton but you have got too greedy.
Posted by PeterAlan602 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unsubscribing from Norton anti-virtus
Some months ago I uninstalled or switched off my Nortton protection as I( am satisfied with AVG.
However Norton took another subscription bydirect debit. I just cannot get in touch with anyone to cancel that subscription. What can I do to get Norton off my computer and off my bank accopunt?
Tony Stayne
Posted by tonystayne (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unsubscribing from Norton anti-virtus
Some months ago I uninstalled or switched off my Nortton protection as I( am satisfied with AVG.
However Norton took another subscription bydirect debit. I just cannot get in touch with anyone to cancel that subscription. What can I do to get Norton off my computer and off my bank accopunt?
Tony Stayne
Posted by tonystayne (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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