Symantec upgrades remote connectivity software

Symantec's pcAnywhere 11.0, an upgraded release of its remote-access software features performance improvements and a revised...

Symantec's pcAnywhere 11.0, an upgraded release of its remote-access software, features performance improvements and a revised user interface for IT help desk administrators.

The pcAnywhere technology, which was initially released in 1986 as a connectivity tool for remote users, has emerged in recent years as a help desk support tool. The software provides help desk workers with remote system control functions, including the ability to take over a PC in the field and transfer files or patches, said David Scott, a senior product manager at Symantec.

Version 11.0 can transfer needed files in the background while IT administrators continue with other work, Scott said. He added that the revamped user interface looks more like Windows XP and offers increased configuration flexibility, making it possible to reduce the size and number of tool bars and other features.

IDC recently reported that pcAnywhere commands more than half of the global market for remote systems control software, outpacing products from Symantec's four major competitors, Tivoli Software, Computer Associates International, LANDesk Software and Danware Data.

"The remote-control market is very mature, so products are at a very high level of functionality," said IDC analyst Stephen Drake.

Products like pcAnywhere also face competition from the free remote-control capabilities that Microsoft has built into Windows XP, Drake added.

The market for remote-control software will stay about level with last year's sales of $288m (£177m) for several more years, he predicted.

Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld

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