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Wednesday, September 01, 2004, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Symantec to outsource support to India, provide Norton updates

Symantec this month will begin outsourcing its customer support to India. Around the same time, the company will also ship updated CDs for its discontinued version of Norton's Utilities for the Macintosh.

After recently delaying the move by several weeks, Symantec Corp. this month will proceed with plans to outsource its customer and technical support to India, AppleInsider has learned.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is currently finishing up its contract with Stream, a Texas-based company that provides telephone customer support for Symantec's security software products out of it's Eugene, Oregon call center.

Word of the transition has left nearly 400 workers from the Stream call center in downtown Eugene bracing to losing their jobs. The two companies had originally scheduled to break ties on the 23rd of August, though Stream recently requested an extension in order to gracefully exit the account.

Symantec and Stream officials haven't revealed the identity of the new support vendor Symantec has chosen. However, sources close to Symantec claim that the security company has settled on The Sutherland Group—a low-cost labor call-center in India. The Sutherland Group will reportedly take over the Symantec account in mid-September, with the last day of State-side Symantec product support scheduled for the 13th.

Meanwhile, in a surprise move, tipsters say that Symantec will be releasing updated Norton SystemWorks 3 and Norton Utilities 8 CD's to address booting issues with Macintosh models released after April of 2004. The CD's are said to be out of production and are awaiting integration into Symantec's ordering system. Customers who are experiencing booting issues may request a copy of the bootable Norton Utilities 8.0.2 or Norton SystemWorks 3.0.1 CDs by contacting Symantec support at 1-888-265-4922.

Mirroring a move made on the Windows software side, in April Symantec internally declared an "end-of-life" (EOL) status to Norton Utilities for the Macintosh, but promised to support its current installed base with maintenance updates.

Sources also said that Symantec is working on a corporate edition of Norton AntiVirus for the Macintosh, which will provide centralized control over updating and other enhancements that will appeal to IT departments.