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Competition for security software heating up

Microsoft to enter Korean market as others launch new service

Feb 21,2007
Competition in the computer security software market is about to ignite.
Microsoft is about to enter the domestic market while other firms that already have a local presence, such as AhnLab and Symantec, are preparing to launch new services in the coming months.
Microsoft is currently preparing the Korean service of its online security service Live WinCare, which created a sensation in the United States last year.
WinCare can be installed on up to three personal computers and costs $50 for a year. That makes it cheaper than competitors’ products, which can only be installed on one computer. AhnLab’s V3 Internet Security 2007 Platinum goes for 36,300 won ($39), but Symantec’s Norton Internet Internet Security 2007 costs 63,000 won. Both of these programs can only run on one computer.
Although the domestic price of WinCare has not been fixed yet, Microsoft Korea said that it will not be much different from the U.S. price because it is an online service. Jeong Geun-wook, a board director at Microsoft Korea, said that because homes that use paid security services usually have several PCs in the same home, WinCare can help reduce costs.
However, since Korea has a software piracy rate that is higher than that of the United States, people say that the service package for three computers will not appeal to many. “There are many security programs that are free for a limited time and about 30 percent of people use free programs,” a spokesman for AhnLab said.
AhnLab said it established a different strategy than Microsoft and diversified its cost programs. It will also give discounts to people who use the service for a long time. When it releases its new PC security service, “Broomstick,” in April, people will be able to pay for the software depending on their specific needs ― in terms of a week, a month or six weeks. “Members” will also receive free virus-scanning CDs.
Symantec will unveil its new security product Norton 360 in Korea and the United States next month. Besides the major functions of PCs, such as getting rid of computer viruses and protecting private information, major information within the PC can be saved to Web storage spaces.


By Kim Won-bae JoongAng Ilbo [wohn@joongang.co.kr]




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