What we do after Jan 1 really depends on what kind of adoption we see between now and then. (We'd originally valued the service at $60/yr, but we are waiting to see how things go over the next several months to decide whether - or how much - we'd charge if we were to offer any features of OnlineFamily.Norton as a paid subscription). This is the first full online service that we've launched, and the success of the launch during the next several months will definitely influence the business model we adopt in 2010. If we generate a large number of customers, for example, we'll be able to subsidize more of the cost through advertising.
I do want to be clear that we have not decided whether we will start charging a subscription after Jan 1, at all. We did, however, want to guarantee free service for a considerable period of time - especially considering the rough economy right now - so that parents can try it out, see what they think, and provide us with feedback.
When we do make a decision about our plans for 2010, we'll post it on the forum and will be very clear to customers about what services are free vs. paid, if that's the route we decide to take.
I know that you haven't decided but I thought that I would have my 2c worth. It would be great if you could bundle this with NIS 2010 and Norton 360 either for free or at a discounted rate. This would be a cool value add for existing customers and an incentive for people to buy your other products.
Thanks for the feedback. This issue is definitely top-of-mind for me - until recently, I was the product manager for Norton Internet Security. I'm working very closely with our NIS & N360 teams to make sure that we make OnlineFamily.Norton available to NIS & N360 in a way that makes sense to customers.
Thanks for giving us an idea of pricing and opening the discussion to feedback.
I think OFN is great but I would find US$60 a struggle on top of what I already pay for norton services (NIS thinking of upgrading to N360). I like the suggestion that it should be packaged with other Norton products at a reduced rate (free would be even better but I recognise that a quality service must come at a cost).
How one perceives cost is relative to perceived importance and usefulness of the product and I have no doubt about that but it is also relative to income and $60 may seem higher for those of us outside the US economic zone than for those within it. This forum demonstrates interest from around the world. I hope the varying economic circumstance of all potential users will be considered because all children deserve protection.
I'll post separately after we've issued a press release on this topic officially, but we are keeping Online Family free. We're not going to start charging for Online Family. Hope this helps clear up the confusion - we have adjusting our Terms of Service to take out the wording about Jan 1, 2010 - the changes will be posted when we release the next update to Online Family, which is coming out very shortly.
So don't worry, the product will remain free for anyone who signs up.
Hope this clears things up-
It should be part of NIS, there should be no additional charge.
While the concept of an online managment tool for internet access is good, the execution (so far) isn't. Charging for buggy software will certainly kill any momentum you have in the marketplace.
If you read the earlier posts, you will see that there will be no charge for it, NIS or no NIS.
Could you be more specific about the "bugs" you have encountered?
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