Symantec Boss Blasts OneCare Pricing

Dennis Faas's picture

We hope you're not too shocked by this one: someone recently referred to Microsoft as a 'monopoly'.

Got back on your feet? Good. Because, jokes aside, respected security firm Symantec Corp. is lashing out at big 'ol Microsoft for its pricing of Windows Live OneCare, the Redmond-based company's first foray into the preventative software market.

In terms outlined by the media, Symantec Chairman and CEO John Thompson called Microsoft's low-ball pricing "monopolistic." In exact terms, Thompson was quoted to have said, "I don't want to say it was monopolistic, but it looked that way to some of us". (Source:

Currently, OneCare ships for just under $50 USD, less than the price of most computer games. Thompson argues that Microsoft's free-wheeling big-wallet power allows it to set this cost, although it's unrealistic for his own company or others like it. According to Symantec's boss, a consumer having to pay $49.95 for Live OneCare "clearly recast prior expectations for consumer security technology."

For the record, Symantec's 'Norton 360' (no, it's not related to Microsoft's flashy video game console) retails for $79.99 with installation on three individual PCs. That's nearly twice the price of Live OneCare, giving Microsoft the ability to rise fast in a market it has paid no dues towards. It's also good business sense, pure and simple, and Thompson acknowledges this fact. "We have seen a continued focus on price competition in some markets and some channels," Symantec's CEO said. (Source:

In the end, this is more about Symantec Corp. than Microsoft. Sure, the introduction of a brand new foe (with 'M' and 'S' emblazoned across its chest) presents big problems, but it's simply a market reality. "We've reinvented ourselves in the past, and we'll probably reinvent ourselves if not one more time than at least two more times," Thompson admitted.

Of course, sometimes you just get what you pay for. It might be that fact, a business favorite in its own right, that leads Symantec over Microsoft in years to come.

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