Symantec challenge to OneCare faces delay

Symantec's next-generation security software, now offically named Norton 360, faces a possible delivery delay.

SAN MATEO, Calif.--Symantec's next-generation security software is officially named Norton 360 and faces a delay from the original September due date.

Word of the delay comes as Microsoft is starting to ship its Windows Live OneCare security product and a day after McAfee announced its Falcon project for new, integrated consumer security software, slated for delivery this summer.

Symantec unveiled plans for its new software, then code-named Genesis, in February. The product is to rival Microsoft's OneCare and Windows Vista security technology, and will integrate components of Symantec's current security, PC optimization and backup products, the security company has said.

On Wednesday, Symantec announced that Genesis will be called Norton 360 and that the product is slated to ship by the end of March next year, a change from the original September due date. Yet the product may still ship before that new target date, Enrique Salem, group president of consumer products at Symantec, said in a presentation at the company's meeting for financial analysts here.

"We're currently targeting to have the code available in Q4 (the fourth quarter)," Salem said. "In July, we will make a large public beta available. The feedback from our customers, the feedback from our channel partners, will help us decide when we make the product available to our customers."

Norton 360 is part of Symantec's broader vision for the next generation of online security, coined Security 2.0. The beta test program for the product will begin with a closed trial for invited testers, followed by a public test this summer, Symantec said in a statement.

When it ships, Norton 360 is planned to be available worldwide with support for both Windows XP and the upcoming Windows Vista operating system.

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