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CA Offers PC Fix-It Software

While some consumers are still ambivalent about their need for Internet security software, most do demand that their PC perform well.

So Computer Associates has decided to take advantage of this consumer practice by hyping the ability of its latest software to improve a PC’s performance, while downplaying its Internet security capabilities.

CA’s PC Tune Up and PC Tune Up Plus, which are now available for $39.99 and $49.99, respectively, are designed to optimize a PC so it can operate at its full potential, said Tom Neary, CA’s product management director. The two versions are identical, but the Plus product includes some Internet security software, with anti-spyware and anti-virus capabilities.

The software is available as an electronic download from CA and as an on-the-shelf box at retail. For the purchase price the customer gets three computer licenses for the software.

This marketing approach also plays upon the fact that the poor economy is forcing many consumers to wait longer to replace their older PC. However, older computers tend to have more performance issues as their hard drives fill up, become fragmented and slow down due to other maintenance problems that the average user cannot fix.

“We are calling [the products] a technician in a box. It does the same job that would cost a couple of hundred dollars if the person took it the tech bench of their local retailer,” Neary said.

The application primarily operates in the cloud, so it has a very small footprint on the computer’s hard drive, Neary said.

When activated, the software looks at the system’s start-up menu, registry settings, defrags the hard drive, checks space availability on the C drive and inspects to see if the drivers are up to date. It then fixes the problem and informs the user exactly what is causing any problems. Neary said the computer in question is then put through its paces, and the owner is given a report on how well it is meeting its benchmark performance marks and, through a CA database, how it is functioning when compared with similar computers around the world.

The CA software does not use the PC’s own tune-up programs, but developed a new suite that Neary said is much more efficient at optimizing a PC.

There is also the ability for more advanced users to dig down and make their own adjustments.

The software has a built-in scheduler so the end user can set it to run however often he wishes.