Controlling your Mac from a remote computer is not new. Timbuktu and Apple Remote Desktop have done it well for years.
PC users have had multiple ways to control PCs, if that’s really possible. Symantec’s popular pcAnywhere application comes to Mac OS X.
You have to wonder about the state of the world these days. Apple switches the Mac from IBM/Freescale PPC processors to Intel’s latest chips.
Then Apple releases software so Mac users can run Microsoft’s Windows on the new Macs. What’s next, Windows virus makers porting their software for the Mac?
Yes, in a way. Security software maker Symantec, who leaders manage to stir up the anti-virus dust from time to time by pointing out the Mac isn’t all that secure, now want us to buy another of their Windows products.
This time, it’s pcAnywhere, version 12, that’s making the move to Macs. For many years, pcAnywhere has been a popular Windows application which allowed Windows users to control their PC from a remote location.
That’s a handy trick for business PC users who need access to data from the office computer. Move over Timbuktu and ARD, pcAnywhere is coming to Mac OS X.
Why? Why all the sudden interest from Symantec in the Mac? After all, on a world wide basis, the Mac market is only 2-percent or 3-percent of total sales.
Why bother? Two things come to mind. The first, good old fashioned greed in the form of business opportunity. Mac market share is increasing, and sales of Macs are increasing two to three times as fast as the PC market in general.
Macs with Intel Inside will find themselves in a corporate environment, and that’s home territory for Symantec. They sell security products to Windows users, mostly business.
The second, is good old fashioned greed in the form of business fear; Microsoft is entering the security business with their own anti-virus, anti-spyware options, and that’s Symantec’s home territory, too.
Since the PC market is growing slower than the Mac market, particularly in the US and Europe, Symantec’s making a move to be there just in case Apple can keep up the good work.
So, Symantec tells everyone that the Mac has security problems, too, please buy our software. And, they know people like to control their PCs remotely, so please control your Mac remotely, too, please buy our software.
PpcAnywhere is at version 12, ready to be released, and this version supports Mac OS X. Always opportunistic, Symantec’s pcAnywhere not only works on Windows, now Mac OS X, but on various flavors of Linux, too.
I come from the world of Windows and have used older versions of pcAnywhere. While it’s not Timbuktu or Apple Remote Desktop, it does enable a PC user to control Windows remotely.
Remote control is used more for IT professionals than for average PC users, business or home. From a single location, a system administrator can manage dozens of PCs in an office environment.
That efficiency is what business’s love about pcAnywhere. Remarkably, pcAnywhere is already showing up as a purchase option on some Mac software web sites.
What’s the main value of PC Anywhere? Marketing material says, “It lets you manage computers and resolve helpdesk issues quickly, and connect to remote devices simply and securely.”
The regular user version is available from popular Mac resellers such as MacConnection for $199. Symantec thinks bigger and offers only the five-user option for $800, and the 10-user option for $1,600.
PC Anywhere 12 carries a few new options, too:
Symantec is reading the writing on the wall and needs new markets. Microsoft’s entry into security applications for Windows will take a bite out of their revenue stream.
They only place where new revenue streams can grow is on the Mac, and their gamble is that IT professionals will embrace the Mac in the business world.
That means more business for Symantec. On the Mac side, Timbuktu and Apple Remote Desktop are mature products which do an excellent job connecting users and system administrators to remote Macs.
Adding Mac capability to pcAnywhere’s latest version smacks of opportunism by Symantec, long a seller of Mac products hated by many Mac users.