Norton Wants to Be Your Go-To Tech Guru

Paul Lilly

Wouldn't it be great if Nick Burns would pop in the room every time you had a computer issue you couldn't figure out on your own? Or better yet, when someone else in the room ran into trouble? The answer is 'Yes, that would rock.' Unfortunately, SNL's smart aleck character, as portrayed by Jimmy Fallon, isn't even on the show anymore, let alone a real dude. Where does a user go for help?

Norton hopes you'll go to them. We know what you're thinking, Norton makes security software, right? That's true, but today the company announced its new NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk service, essentially an on-call personal IT service that purports to do everything from troubleshoot computer issues to help setup PCs and printers to iPod devices.

"For years, consumers have trusted Norton to address their security needs," said Kevin Chapman, vice president and general manager, Worldwide Consumer Services, Symantec. "With NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk, we are pleased to extend our ability to support our customers beyond security, to solving a variety of technology issues they might experience with their PC or other digital devices. This service allows consumers to turn to Norton experts to fix their technology problems, while freeing up their valuable time to spend with family and friends."

NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk is a subscription service similar in description to Comodo's GeekBuddy . There are two subscription plans to choose from, including the Personal Plan ($20/month or $200/year plus a one-time setup fee of $50, covers 1 PC) and a Family Plan ($30/month or $300/year plus one-time setup fee of $70, covers up to 3 PCs). Both plans offer unlimited support for PCs and a range of digital devices, like smartphones, digital cameras, MP3 players, and so forth. Norton says it will help users diagnose and resolve performance woes, setup issues, security problems, data transfer needs, and more.

Norton is the second major AV vendor we're aware of to offer this kind of service. Could this be the next fad in home PC security, and if so, what do you think about it?

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