Symantec CEO John Thompson, a lunch speaker at the Thomas Weisel Partners technology investment conference, outlined the timing of theSymantec, which expects to close its plans and took a jab at rival Microsoft's anti-spyware plans. in late April or early May, plans next week to begin disclosing who will lead each of the company's operational units. Such announcements are expected to continue through mid-March, Thompson said. As Symantec and the security industry ramp up for the RSA security conference next week, he is hoping Microsoft will provide details of its anti-spyware product. Microsoft, which has not yet announced whether it will be a stand-alone product or part of its Windows software. The software giant also has not said when the full version will be released. "It's very challenging to compete against a ghost," Thompson said. "So far, all we?re competing against is the Microsoft press machine." He added that Symantec plans to compete against Microsoft in the anti-spyware market by strengthening its relationship with computer makers and offering a set of features that make it more compelling to buy their anti-spyware product than receive a free download from Microsoft or any other vendor. Symantec is planning to offer its own anti-spyware product during the first quarter to consumers and businesses. Thompson declined to disclose the anti-spyware's pricing or offer a specific ship date. Thompson, however, said one computer maker has received the company's anti-spyware to load on its machines and others will soon receive their copies. After the computer makers have received the anti-spyware product, Symantec will make it available to consumers and businesses. In the future, however, Thompson predicts customers will want a single technology to deal with all malware.