The company has also vowed to bring in more revenue through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in areas such as archiving, Web security, endpoint management, and data loss prevention.

Long-term, the company is also expected to reap the benefits of President Obama's ambitious IT agenda.

Obama recently unveiled his cyber-security master plan, which aims to make the U.S. less vulnerable to online threats. Key recommendations include appointing a cyber-security "czar," forging closer ties between the federal government and the private sector, and responding more effectively to cyber attacks.

Cyber-security has also been in the media spotlight recently thanks to the denial-of-service attack that recently hammered Web sites in the U.S. and South Korea.

Symantec and McAfee, however, will soon be confronted with a very different competitive landscape. Later this year, Microsoft will offer Security Essentials, a free consumer anti-virus product -- a major departure in a market driven by software subscriptions.

"I would imagine that there will be some sleepless nights at McAfee and Symantec because Microsoft has amazing brand recognition," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for U.K.-based cyber security specialist Sophos, recently told "In my mind, Microsoft coming out with free anti-virus software is very good because it cleans up more computers."

Shares of Symantec fell 0.3% to $17.15 Wednesday, while the Nasdaq fell 1%.

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