Each Acer notebook and desktop PC sold worldwide is now being pre-installed with Symantec's Norton security software.
The deal will see each PC sold with either Norton Internet Security 2006 or Norton AntiVirus 2006. The original install is for a 90-day trial with payment required after this period should users want a 12-month subscription.
The three-year deal went live in January but has since changed from being pre-loaded to pre-install. With pre-load the Norton CDs were dropped in the box with the onus on customers installing the software. Symantec has now changed the distribution model so Acer does the installation.
Research firm, IDC, ranks Acer as the fourth largest PC vendor in the world. Its Q2 figures put Dell in front with 9.99 million shipments followed by HP on 8.27 million, Lenovo with 4.01 million and Acer on 2.80 million.
"It is a fairly big deal and an important one," manager of Symantec's consumer products divisions, Michael Yell, said. "To have Norton on one of the top five hardware players is great for Symantec and speaks well of Norton's reputation."
A similar deal on Acer servers was also in discussion, Yell said.
Yell said about 40 per cent of PCs were still not protected with security software. Pre-installed antivirus software and the like would benefit users but also Acer, as so many tech support calls were based on virus issues.