In a news item that was completely missed by the trade magazines this week, Symantec and Peter Norton Computing announced plans to merge. A number of people on Usenet saw the news in the LA Times and the NY Times (sorry, no specific references were mentioned). No one was sure what the significance of the merger would be, but several possibilities were mentioned. First, Norton Utilities for the Mac would disappear and SUM would acquire its unique capabilities. Rich Siegel of Symantec, disagreed with this, however. Second, SUM will go away and Norton Utilities for the Mac would replace it entirely. This isn't that hard to believe considering that SUM II was a complete rewrite of SUM, and enough complaints about the interface of SUM II were registered that the next version was mentioned as needing another complete rewrite. Also, Norton Utilities for the Mac has gotten rave reviews from people who have seen it.
In any event, Symantec stands to gain by the merger. Norton Utilities is the dominant utility package on the PC despite some stiff competition from PC Tools Deluxe 6.0 (a combined desktop manager, DOS shell, file recovery, and backup program that stands at or near the top of its field in each category) so Symantec will become dominant in both the Mac and PC utility market. In addition, Peter Norton Computing has a well-organized worldwide dealer network that Symantec would like to use. Of course, Symantec also gets to use Peter Norton's new technology without having to duplicate it or compete with it.
John Starta -- John.Starta@p90.f15.n114.z1.fidonet.org
Chuq Von Rospach -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Ephraim Vishniac -- email@example.com
Rich Siegel -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Jonathan Estalilla Go -- email@example.com