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Symantec reaches endpoint with $830m Altiris

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Symantec announced today it would cough up $830m for infrastructure management software firm Altiris.

Altiris's software is designed to keep tabs on corporate IT assets such as laptops, PDAs, desktops, and servers.

The Utah-based firm was founded in 1998 by Jan Newman and went public in May 2002. Symantec's offer breaks down at $33 per share, a 22 per cent premium on Altiris' $27.14 close on Friday. Subject to stockholder approval and closing conditions, the buy should go through during the second calendar quarter this year.

Symantec CEO John Thompson said: "By combining the endpoint management solutions from Altiris with the security expertise from Symantec, we believe we can offer customers a more comprehensive solution to protect and manage the millions of connected devices that make up the fabric of today's global IT infrastructure."

At the other end of the enterprise, Symantec today launched version 7.0 of its Enterprise Vault. The pitch this time round is based on new heuristics which monitor the actual content of email - say if a product codename was being bandied about willie nillie - and IM conversations across different platforms. Symantec says it will not have too much impact on network performance. Product manager Fredrik Sjostedt said the package is fully Vista-ready, too.

Symantec needs Enterprise Vault 7 to do good business. Last week it blamed an eight per cent drop in storage software sales for missing its targets and an upcoming $200m round of cuts.

The struggling division is being given an extra marketing push to coincide with the Enterprise Vault launch. Available for March, Symantec Information Foundation 2007 will attempt to pin storage software more closely with the firm's security reputation, by rebranding the package formerly known as Veritas Information Foundation. Symantec bosses will be hoping the move will go some way to vindicating the Veritas acquisition, which is yet to create new value in many eyes.

In contrast, of late IBM has seen vigourous growth in storage code according to IDC, by attacking from the continuity side. EMC is set to come out with a more coherent plan too as it accelerates the integration of its software purchases to augment its number one software vendor position. ®

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