By: Fred Mitchell, Symantec Division Manager, Drive Control Corporation
When it comes to software, particularly security solutions, the model has always been ‘new year, new release’. Now however, we are starting to see a different trend in the security software space – version-less solutions that guarantee consumers always have the latest and most up to date security solutions to guarantee complete protection.
This new version-less model means that no matter when a subscription is activated, the customer will be able to install the most current version of the security solution, and the solution will continue to be updated throughout the period of active subscription. Product updates are downloaded in the background and installed automatically, so consumers can rest assured they are safe from the latest threats without manually checking for updates. On top of this, there are no more worries about new releases. As long as the customer’s subscription remains active, all new features and improvements will be delivered as they get released and tested, ensuring up to the minute protection.
Given the speed of evolution of the threat and security landscape, this model is particularly applicable. Consumers can no longer afford to let their security lapse at the risk of falling foul of cybercrime, and ensuring the latest protection is a critical step. Using a version-less license, the customer simply renews a subscription once a year and is guaranteed full, up-to-date threat protection, with updates occurring in the background all the time, so there is no need for large downloads or to reinstall software every year.
Version-less software also offers unique benefits to the reseller market. With new releases of software coming out each and every year, resellers and retailers are often left with stock that is perceived as being old and out of date. In reality, ‘older’ versions of security software will still ensure the latest protection, since when they connect to the Internet they will download all of the required updates and upgrades, however this perception remains. This means that resellers cannot move old stock, and have to send it back to distributors, who then are required to return this stock to the vendor.
With a version-less model this perception can be decreased, as the license is only activated when the software is installed and registered. Regardless of how long a reseller or retailer holds stock for, it will not date due to the fact that as soon as the software is activated and connects to the net, the latest version is downloaded. This minimises administrative tasks and shipping costs for retailers, resellers, distributors and vendors alike.
Version-less software represents the latest evolution in the software market, as always-on connectivity has allowed tools to be distributed freely via the web. Customers still have the familiarity and comfort of purchasing a disc from retailers or resellers, which installs the basic tools. However, the latest upgrades can be easily delivered online. This means that for the duration of the subscription or license, the software will never be out of date. End users can rest assured that their software is never outdated, resellers will always be able to move stock, and distributors and vendors have less admin when it comes to shipping and returning old stock. It represents a win-win situation all around, which means that version-less software is likely to be the next standard when it comes to software, both for security and other purposes.