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Symantec gobbles up PC Tools

Symantec isn't big enough and apparently doesn't have enough programs to sell. So it's just announced it's agreed to acquire PC Tools.

PC Tools is the Australia-based provider of Spyware Doctor, Registry Mechanic, and other security tools.

What's it mean to you if you're a PC Tools customer? Symantec says the company will remain a separate entity and "will maintain separate operations within Symantec's consumer business unit". So not to worry - everything will be rosey, right?

Me, I never feel comfortable when one company is gobbled up by another, larger business that has similar applications. It stifles competition and the development of better, sharper, and smarter programs.

My sense is that eventually all of the products from PC Tools will either blend into an existing Symantec product - or just drop out of sight.

Think I'm too harsh? Symantec has a long history of acquisitions. For those of you who were around in the 1980s and 1990s, you might remember Fastback, a great DOS backup program and all the utilities from one of my favourite firms, Central Point Software.

Have you heard anything recently from GoBack, the first of the system snapshot tools or PowerQuest's smart Partition Magic, a disk management tool? Nope, they're all gone as are the other 56 computing companies Symantec owns.

I'm waiting for the day Symantec buys Microsoft and morphs it into SyMicrosoftTec or SyMicroManTec...

Steve Bass blogs for PC World.

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