The Symantec Corporation, makers of the decades-old Norton Security/Productivity suite, has been around a long, long time. I happened across an advertisement for Norton 2009 in Time magazine.

What struck me about this ad, was that Symantec seems to have finally admitted that their Norton suites wreaks of bloat. By stating: “Norton Internet Security 2009 is the fastest security suite anywhere…delivering fewer, faster, shorter scans” tells me that maybe Symantec has learned from their mistakes.

I’d like to think so, in reading a review, I came across two quotes of interest:

NIS 2009 [Norton Internet Security] may be focused on being lighter weight than previous versions, but it is just as pervasive as ever. In addition to the main software, you will get both Norton IPS 1.0  plugin and Norton ToolBar 3.0 in Firefox, a persistent icon in the Windows taskbar, and a toolbar in IE7 as well.

That right there sounds like the Symantec I know. However, this sounds like promise:

…might win over some of the people who have learned to hate security software packages. …because it is so extensive, should win back some of the free antivirus crowd….this is the least annoying, lightest weight security package you‚Äôve probably ever used …

The Norton box is still rather uninspiring:

For me, my distaste for the Symantec corporation goes back a really long time. For example, Acronis TrueImage displays incredible programming ingenuity by creating full hard disk images while Microsoft Windows is actively running whereas Norton Ghost has to reboot into an oldschool DOS era screen rendering the computer unusable for the duration of the “ghosting” process. This, obviously, isn’t a big deal, but it’s just another example of how I feel that Symantec’s Norton is the Yahoo of security tools, and it would take a lot of work to convince me otherwise after so many years of fighting to get Norton off of systems just to get them fast enough to open a web browser at a reasonable speed.

See, Symantec products are very much in the same realm as Yahoo. (One could also argue this for older products like AOL, RealNetworks, etc.) They are the default security software for nearly every new PC manufactured, the majority of PC users do not know how to deal with security, and Symantec uses tactics like these to coerce people into subscribing to their software:

As a result, it’s no surprise that they are still in business. Only recently are they under renewed pressure to perform as a result of the integration of Microsoft’s Windows Defender in Vista, and the soon to be Anti-Virus solutions they’ve mentioned. Enough.

I could go on about Symantec products. I’ve had to restore MBR’s (Master Boot Record) of computers that have had failures due to people using the Norton GoBack (which is now Norton Ghost 14) utility which can cause serious low-level problems to a system. Fortunately, it’s a relatively simple task for an IT professional to restore an MBR, but for the average computer user? I don’t think so.

My hope is that Symantec finally gets it figured out, not for the sake of their business, but for the masses — the uninformed users they push their software on.

Comment (1)

  1. _Matt

    I’ve always believed that Norton was the reason people hated Vista. “Vista is sooooo slow.” Well duh, look at all the crap that was put on it by the vendor.

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