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Mcafee.Com Sets Subscriber Milestone

Virus scanning application service provider McAfee.com Tuesday announced it has signed-up more than 500,000 paying subscribers to its Internet-based service in just over nine months.

Upon achieving the milestone, Srivats Sampath, McAfee.com president and chief executive officer, said it has built a global business as an application service provider to secure and manage consumers' personal digital assets over the Internet.

"Our solid value proposition, proven scalability and first mover advantage give us the opportunity to become one of the largest websites on the Internet boasting a paid subscriber base," Sampath said.

While McAfee.com's subscriber tally is a watershed for the firm, it remains ranked a distant second to virus prevention industry leader Symantec Corp. Its flagship Norton Internet Security program continues to dominate the personal computer market. Symantec's Norton 2000 program is currently the seventh best-selling business software in the nation.

While other Internet security products have yet to crack the top 20-software list, Norton skyrocketed to the top tier in March after a series of new bugs were unleashed on unsuspecting e-mail users happy to hear they are loved. PC Data figures for April indicate that Norton owned 70 percent unit share and an 80 percent revenue share of the Internet security market segments.

McAffee.com's ASP distribution model of its software could erode Symantec's market share as the two firm's battle to keep personal computers free of harm from malicious e-mails on a global scale.

Charles Phillips, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. managing director, said McAfee,com's ASP delivery model also overcomes barriers to competing free Internet utilities.

"In an era of 'free everything' on the Internet, few companies have found a way to build a business around paid subscription services," Phillips said. "An accomplishment like this could only have happened by delivering real value to customers. We at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter congratulate McAfee.com for becoming one of the premier subscription services on the Internet. McAfee.com can plant a victory flag in cyberspace."

McAffee.com's Sampath noted that IDC Corp. research indicates there will be approximately 500 million users on the Internet by the year 2003.

"Security is the required common denominator for every exchange on the Internet," Sampath said. "We believe our 500,000 paid subscriber milestone is only the beginning."

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., McAfee.com operates what ASP analysts look for in a burgeoning business, namely a half-million paid subscribers to its Web-delivered security software programs.



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