Hewlett-Packard Co’s inexorable slide towards Windows NT continues apace. Yesterday the company agreed to pay $30m over two years for Symantec Corps 85-person Santa Monica, California-based network business unit and the three applications in its Norton Administrator Suite for NT, two of which it has shipped with OpenView since 1994. The companies deny its a maintenance agreement that would otherwise see the products die and Symantec expects to incur a one-time charge of $8m to $10m for the capital cost of losing the revenue stream and its investment, suggesting it’ll come through with a profit of some $20m on the deal. The three products HP gets are the Norton Administrator for Networks software distribution and license metering package; Expose for managing NT, Vines and NetWare servers; and Norton Desktop Administrator desktop configuration tool. HP will release new versions of the products under the OpenView brand in the second half and hopes to be able to upgrade the Symantec installed base to OpenView. The Symantec unit remains in Santa Monica. HP already has an agreement with Microsoft Corp to ship its OpenView network management product with Microsoft’s Systems Management Server. The project sees the integration of new versions of OpenView IT/Operations and OpenView IT/Administration – due in the spring – with SMS Systems Management Server, enabling OpenView to recognize distributed systems managed by the Server as OpenView nodes. Hewlett-Packard plans to deliver OpenView agents and templates for installation with SMS while Microsoft will ship the OpenView agents with a new release of Systems Management Server. Hewlett-Packard gets responsibility for licensing and supporting technology. IT/Administration is a combination of the OpenView AdminCenter and the OpenView Network Node Manager. In its most recent quarter Symantec reported third quarter net profits of $13.9m, against losses last time of $36.8m, which included a $37.2m restructuring hit, on revenues that rose 11.7% to $124.1m.