Symantec Upgrades Macintosh Product Family


Starting next month, Symantec plans to begin releasing upgrades to its Macintosh product lineup that are optimized for Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating system.

The Cupertino-based security and utility software vendor is slated to ship Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh 8.0 and Norton Personal Firewall for Macintosh 2.0 in the first week of March. Norton Internet Security for Macintosh 2.0, Norton Utilities for Macintosh 7.0 and Norton SystemWorks for Macintosh 2.0 are scheduled to ship in the second week of April, the company said.

With the new offerings, Symantec will make its entire Mac product family OS X-native. Of the current Mac versions, Norton AntiVirus 7.0, Norton Personal Firewall 1.0 and Norton Internet Security 1.0 can run on OS X, while Norton Utilities 6.0 and Norton SystemWorks 1.0 must be run from the bootable CD for use with OS X. All of the new versions also run on Mac OS 8.x and OS 9.x, although some features work only with OS X, according to Symantec.

Norton AntiVirus 8.0 sports a new interface and scheduling features, and users will be able to automatically isolate and scan all downloads--including e-mail attachments and file transfers--through SafeZone and AutoProtect functions. Norton Personal Firewall 2.0 offers a new stealth mode that allows users to make their Macs "invisible" to online hackers.

The new antivirus and firewall applications are included in the Norton Internet Security 2.0 suite, which also contains Aladdin Systems' iClean tool (for removal of cookies, cache and history files), Open Door's Who's There? Firewall Advisor utility (for tracking access attempts) and a new module called Norton Privacy Control, designed to protect personal data such as social security and credit card numbers as well as block Internet advertisements and pop-up windows.

Version 7.0 of Symantec's venerable Norton Utilities disk maintenance and data recovery software for the Mac will include OS X rewrites of the Norton FileSaver, Disk Doctor and UnErase tools. Norton Utilities 7.0 and AntiVirus 8.0 also are part of the Norton SystemWorks 2.0 suite, which Symantec said is the first OS X-native product for repairing disk errors and recovering lost files. In addition, Norton SystemWorks 2.0 includes the Norton Scheduler tool, designed to help users arrange virus scans and software updates, plus third-party applications such as Dantz's Retrospect Express Backup 5.0 (for file backup), Aladdin's Spring Cleaning 4.0 (for disk space maintenance) and Alsoft's DiskWarrior Recovery Edition (for file recovery).

While the Mac OS has been largely immune to the spate of computer viruses and worms that have plagued its Windows counterpart, many Apple users and solution providers think that situation may change. The March 2001 debut of OS X migrated Apple's operating platform to a Unix core, which some industry observers say may prove a more enticing target for hackers. Such concerns pushed Symantec to revamp its Mac lineup for OS X, according to Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Symantec Consumer and Client Product Delivery.

"The increased demand for advanced Internet security solutions for Mac OS X has been one of the driving forces behind Symantec's efforts to create this new line of products," Cullen said in a statement. "We are adding important new features that appropriately address Mac users' concerns about online security and privacy issues."

Norton AntiVirus 8.0 and Norton Personal Firewall 2.0 each carry a retail list price of $69.95, and Norton Utilities 7.0 lists for $99.95. The Norton Internet Security 2.0 and Norton SystemWorks 2.0 suites are priced at $99.95 and $129.95, respectively.

"Symantec's new product line for Mac OS X builds on Apple's commitment toward security by helping to protect computers and networks at multiple entry points," Ron Okamoto, vice president of worldwide developer relations at Cupertino-based Apple, said in a statement.