updated 09:00 pm EDT, Thu April 6, 2006
Symantec pcAnywhere 12.0
Symantec on Thursday announced its pcAnywhere 12.0 remote control solution and the new Symantec pcAnywhere Access Server --both are now compatible with Mac OS X. Available now, the latest version of pcAnywhere marks its 20th anniversary in the marketplace; the software provides help desk support and mobile professionals with powerful and adaptable remote access and problem solving tools. The new pcAnywhere Access Server, available in the second quarter of 2006, is a new server solution that provides improved connectivity "from anywhere to anywhere." Version 12.0 includes a new gateway feature that enables transparent connectivity between help desk professionals and remote users, a new invitation feature to ease connectivity, an optional simplified interface, mobile device support, and additional cross-platform support, including support for Mac OS X.
"Today's customer support organizations must assist a growing number of users, including numerous remote locations with different security policies and multiple hardware devices and software platforms," said Stephen Drake, Program Director, IDC's Mobile Software Service. "Organizations require a comprehensive remote control solution that delivers consistent and secure connectivity across multiple platforms to increase productivity and reduce support costs."
Symantec pcAnywhere 12.0 combines a feature-rich, secure remote control solution with remote management and advanced file transfer capabilities to quickly resolve help desk and server support issues across multiple platforms. Symantec says that the new gateway and host invitation features address common connectivity challenges encountered by organizations and small businesses supporting multiple, remote devices.
"By providing real-time discovery of and secure connection to multiple devices behind firewalls and Network Address Translation (NAT) devices, the new gateway option allows help desk professionals to initiate sessions with end-users, minimizing exposure to common security risks such as port opening/forwarding to help maintain security policies," the company told MacNN.
In addition, the new host invitation feature offers host users an instantaneous means to initiate remote control sessions without requiring either party to know each other's IP address, establishing a reverse connection from behind firewalls and NAT devices.
Cross-platform support, mobile tools, basic UI
Symantec's pcAnywhere 12.0 introduces the new pcAnywhere CrossPlatform component, which expands host and remote platform support across Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X environments. The pcAnywhere CrossPlatform remote offers a multi-pane view for simultaneous display of multiple concurrent remote control and/or file transfer sessions, and enables host-to-host file transfer. Support for the pcAnywhere host in Windows XPe and WEPOS embedded environments enables remote access for business services environments requiring kiosks, point-of-sale or other specialized devices.
New remote management tools for pcAnywhere Mobile provide access to Command Prompt, Task Manager and System State tools without initiating a remote control session. This greatly reduces steps, bandwidth, and time required for remote troubleshooting and issue resolution from Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Pocket PC Phone Edition devices.
For expanded ease of use, pcAnywhere 12.0 also provides a new basic view user interface option which offers intuitive, simplified, task-based graphic options. The single session manager feature gives users the option to combine all active sessions into a single window with tabs for each session.
Symantec pcAnywhere Access Server Add-On
Symantec's new pcAnywhere Access Server enables SMBs, VARs and other service providers a way to support their internal and external clients by discovering and connecting to multiple pcAnywhere hosts through a centralized, secure host access point from anywhere, regardless of location or network configuration. With the pcAnywhere Access Server, pcAnywhere hosts establish a reverse connection to pcAnywhere Access Server from behind firewalls and NAT devices.
"By detecting when host machines are online and available for connection, pcAnywhere Access Server eases remote access, support discovery and connectivity challenges without incurring expensive subscription fees," the company said. "Administration capabilities within pcAnywhere Access Server allow logical arrangement of available hosts by customer, organization, or department."
The pcAnywhere Web Remote is included with pcAnywhere Access Server, allowing for hosted web-based access from devices, without any requirement to have pcAnywhere pre-installed.
Symantec pcAnywhere 12.0 is available now, while the pcAnywhere Access Server will be available during the second quarter of 2006. Symantec pcAnywhere 12.0 is $200; users of pcAnywhere and select competitive products will be able to upgrade to pcAnywhere 12.0 for $100 after a $100 mail-in rebate. For small business users, the product will be available in 5-user and 10-packs for estimated retail prices of $800 and $1,600, respectively. Symantec pcAnywhere 12.0 Host will be available in 1-user and 5-user packs for $100 and $400 respectively. The Symantec pcAnywhere Access Server add-on will be available in a small business pack for $400, supporting up to 25 managed devices.