Symantec Releases Norton 360 Upgrade


"We're really excited for this launch," said Mark Kanok, Symantec senior product manager for Norton 360. "It's going to set a whole new bar in terms of what people expect."

Execs say that the comprehensive antivirus product is targeted at a wide range of users, which includes home office professionals and small businesses, in addition to the consumer market. "People who use computers on a regular basis but don't necessarily have a Ph.D. in security," said Kanok. "The set it and forget it type. There are a lot of end users who just want one package."

Product execs say that this version focuses on product performance, usability, password management capabilities and functionality with expanded PC security, identity protection and more backup and PC tuneup options.

In particular, Kanok said that Norton 2.0 offers enhanced default backup capabilities with more backup control and increased air time. It also features a quick test menu, a full diagnostic report and more navigational tools that can be run at a higher speed.

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Another feature that distinguishes the latest Norton product is its unobtrusiveness to the user. Execs say that the antivirus solution defers tasks until it sees idle time, then pauses when the user resumes computer activity. "When you're active on a PC, it's not going to interrupt you," said Kanok. "If a PC is on overnight, that's when it should be doing all the hard work."

Kanok said that version 2.0 is similar to the beta version, which was released earlier this year, although a few minor changes include quicker run time as well as refinements to some icons.

Two editions of the Norton 360 product are featured with the release. At $79, the Standard version, which comes equipped with two gigs for the "typical" user, can also be backed up to an iPod or Blu-Ray disk. The Premier edition, at $99, features 10 gigs, and is mainly aimed at users who store large audio or digital media files.

Norton 360 version 2.0 was posted online March 3. Execs say that consumers will see the popular antivirus product in stores in a matter of weeks.

"It will make people very confident knowing that Symantec thought in advance the types of issues they might face and put in all the security protections to guard against today's threats," said Kanok. "We're just trying to anticipate those needs, and make it as easy as possible when protecting your PC or your identity."