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Symantec Unveils Updated SystemWorks, Internet Security, AntiSpam Versions

Symantec has launched its 2004 fleet of utilities, security, antivirus and antispam offerings at a time when PC users are being inundated with viruses, worms and spam.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based software company Monday unveiled Norton SystemWorks 2004, Norton Internet Security 2004 and Norton AntiSpam 2004.

All three software products are expected to be available in mid-to-late September, the company said.

Symantec also offers professional versions of the upgrades, as well as five- and 10-user versions for small businesses.

Editions for SMBs with more than 10 users will be available later this year, a spokesman confirmed.

SystemWorks 2004 offers updated antivirus and antiworm protection, as well as a new password management feature that will ease and secure the process of managing multiple passwords, the company said. For example, the Norton Password Manager allows users to manage their various Internet, Windows and application passwords while preventing them from being accessed by nonauthorized users.

Version 2004 also includes the latest version of Norton AntiVirus 2004, which offers updated protection for the latest rash of viruses and worms including the MSBlast and Sobig worms, as well as new protection for nonvirus threats such as spyware, adware and keystroke-logging programs that can spy on users' data and track their online surfing, the company said.

The suite, which also incorporates enhanced Norton Utilities performance-optimization features, quick data recovery features and CleanSweep, carries an estimated retail price of $69.95. A professional version, priced at $99.95, includes Norton Ghost, which offers backup, file recovery and system upgrading features. For small businesses, Symantec offers a five-user pack for the professional version$449.95 and a 10-user version for $799.95.

Symantec also introduced Monday Norton Internet Security 2004, a suite of updated antivirus, firewall, intrusion detection, privacy controls, spam filtering and content filtering capabilities priced at $69.95.

The suite includes Norton AntiVirus 2004, which offers additional protection for users of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks by scanning viruses in compressed files, the company said. It also includes an updated Norton Personal Firewall 2004, offering additional protection for mobile laptop users who connect to a variety of networks in their travels.

Norton Internet Security 2004 will be available in five-user and 10-user packs, for $449.95 and $799.95, respectively.

Norton AntiSpam 2004, which will be incorporated in both the updated SystemWorks and Internet Security suites, offers enhancements such as a "trainable" filtering engine that analyzes e-mails to determine what is and isn't spam, the company said. The antispam solution also features powerful protection against unwanted e-mail and blockers of online advertisements and tight integration with Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, and Eudora, Symantec said.

The stand-alone utility, which also includes automatic LiveUpdate to protect users against current spam threats, costs $39.95. Five-user packs are available for $179.95, and 10-user versions cost $319.95.

Symantec competes with other well-known companies such as Network Associates' McAfee and a deep bench of individual antivirus and antispam software vendors.

However, Microsoft, whose Windows software has been under severe attack as of late, may be entering the market as well. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant this summer launched trial software called PC Satisfaction that offers many of the same features included in Symantec's product line.

Microsoft says the PC Satisfaction release is just a test to determine market interest, but some said the company's acquisition of Romanian antivirus software vendor GeCAD signifies serious interest on Microsoft's part.

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