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Symantec Launches Anti-Spyware Beta 319

Posted by Zonk
from the computer-as-appliance dept.
daria42 writes "Symantec has launched the beta test version of its anti-spyware application, which will be sold from June as part of Norton Internet Security 2005. The company's Norman Kohlberger said the main aim of the new combined product was to make PC security as easy as possible for the end user. 'The computer is not a toy anymore. It has turned into a toaster and microwave -- it has become an integral part of the home environment,' he said. 'We have to reduce the complexity. People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it. What we are doing is reducing the complexity.'"
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Symantec Launches Anti-Spyware Beta

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  • Challenge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:14AM (#12450717) Homepage Journal
    Here is what I want to know: Why is Symantec forking their projects into Spyware on one side, virus protection on the other, firewall on the other, subscription on the other? Why don't they have these services in one package?

    I'll tell you why. They want to make more money off of this. Each and every service that Symantec provides is a de facto necessity to windows users, whether they get the services from Symantec or from some other company.

    My challege to a startup out there: Create a complete Windows package that protects users, AND charge very little money for it.
    • Create a complete Windows package that protects users, AND charge very little money for it.

      Sounds like a great idea!
      Windows with all network code removed.
      Windows XP NN?

    • Re:Challenge (Score:2, Informative)

      by AviLazar (741826)
      I used to use Symantec - for many years...even before when it was Dr. Nortons. Now it just plain sucks. It kept crashing on my XP laptop. Crashed ony my parents laptop. That and even before then, Norton Antivirus would not always turn on when the computer powered up...and everything would turn it off. My cousin just got McAfee internet security - came with virus, spameware, adblock, and more.

      Right now I use CA eTrust virus and MS AntiSpyware.
      • Re:Challenge (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        1) Zonealarm
        2) Ad-aware
        3) Spybot
        4) AVG Free edition

        Never had a virus or spyware problem.
      • Re:Challenge (Score:2, Informative)

        by dlZ (798734)
        I see a lot of machines come in without Internet access and Symantec's firewall offering on the machine. Can't uninstall any of the Norton products, so have to remove them by hand. Magically, the wonderful wide Interweb comes back for the customer to install spyware till their heart is complete. Install Zonealarm or enable the Windows built in firewall, no issues.

        Run Antivir or ClamAV, find way too many copies of Klez or something else Norton AV should have caught.

        Customer goes home, immediatly install
        • What do you mean you can't uninstall any of the Norton products? I have always been able to uninstall them.

          Obviously there is the uninformed person, and they will probably remove Norton and then install something else - which is bad. It is not Nortons (or Windows) fault, however. They put something in place to protect the customer - the customer does not like it and wants to swap (its the customers own fault if something goes bad). Personally, whenever I get a computer - I reformat it, install all th
        • Well, that same user is going to have the same problem with other firewalls too. They don't read the pop-up that asks them if they want to block IE, they just panic and click somewhere, next thing they know their internet is 'broken'. I'm not defending Norton, it sucks, but the user sucks harder and that's why it even exists.
      • I've administered quite a few AV solutions and I can say without a doubt that the one that has provided the best results with the least amount of pain has been CA eTrust. It just works.

        Symantec isn't worth the time it takes to recycle their documentation IMO. Not to mention that their software just can't manage to work with Thunderbird mail files. eTrust has no problem that I've seen. And if you do a competitive upgrade from Symantec, you can get a 3 year antivrus subscription pretty cheap -- between $
    • Re:Challenge (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hendridm (302246)
      I don't think they need to charge "very little money," but $64 is a little steep for me considering it comes with only a year of updates.

      I'd pay $64 for protection for the lifetime of the OS (which is what, ~4 years?) or a pure subscription of say ~$15/year.

      I, too, don't like the separate products. And I don't understand what took them so damn long to include protection from spyware and other malware. I want it a part of Norton anti-virus - one program running that protects me, as you said. I think Sym
    • Re:Challenge (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Errtu76 (776778) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:28AM (#12450839) Journal
      Why don't they have these services in one package?

      I'll tell you why. They want to make more money off of this.

      No way! Really? Wow, yeah you're right. Everything falls into place now. No wonder MS didn't bundle Office with their OS. It's all some devilish scheme to create profit!
    • There is some truth to the complexity argument. A lot of my customers will buy "Norton Internet Security" or the equivalent from McAffee without understanding what they do. Once those programs are installed, they find the regular security warnings, queries to set firewall behavior and general frustration that they STILL have problems with viruses, spyware and trojans are all far too much to deal with.

      I uninstall the "all in one" security packages whenever I see them.
    • Re:Challenge (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lanswitch (705539)
      the fact that symantec wants to earn money by selling products is inherent to them being a company. so what's your point?
    • I have had the opportunity to test AV in my lab, okay I worked in a computer shop... but I was able to crack some really infected machines..

      Far and away, the best at finding viruses is Panda. Not only does it find on average two to three viruses that Norton's and Mcafee will miss, but it also doesn't bog down your system.

      It used to be the lowest priced AV, and while this is no longer the case (probably due to the drop in the dollar -- they are Spanish, er Basque) it is worth the price. Their latest produc
    • Ill be modded down, I dont care,. But I hope they dont. I would rather see windows go away. The products exist already: Linux, BSD, and MacOS. Make the windows go away and the problem almost dissapears.

      If these products succeed, we will have to endure many more years of windows.
    • Ummm... they do offer a combined package (pc) [symantec.com] (mac) [symantec.com].
    • "The computer is not a toy anymore. It has turned into a toaster and microwave."

      Well, if you're using Intel processers, yeah...
  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alexandreracine (859693) <alexandreracine@gmail.com> on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:14AM (#12450721) Homepage Journal
    Why they did not simply have put that in Norton Antivirus a long time ago? They sure have all the scanning tools!
    • Good point. Why is this part of the Internet Security suite and not bundled with the Antivirus.

      Couldn't the Antivirus engine be used in place of building a new software package?

      I understand the bottom line is, well, their bottom line, but doesn't spyware/malware/etc. share more in common with viruses than a glorified firewall?

      A lot of antivirus products have become 'free after rebate', including their own. Why not bundle spyware definitions as part of a value-add instead, and rename the product "Norton
      • by osssmkatz (734824)
        Spyware programs access the Internet a lot, and frequently via low-level calls. By monitoring what programs access the Internet, they can indeed know what spyware is on your computer faster than by scanning.

        Their virus package does include support for 'expanded threats' including spyware.

        But their antivirus engine is designed to assume 'all viruses are bad.' This new product can --and does-- tread more carefully. It tells you what programs will stop functioning if a given adware module is removed. (accord
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DrStrange66 (654036)
      Well Norton Antivirus does pick up a lot of spyware objects already. Of course that is not its primary purpose so it doesn't catch everything like other programs. Pest Patrol, Microsoft Antivirus, and Ad-Aware all do a decent job of catching the spyware but each one of them seems to find spyware objects that the other doesn't. It would be nice if there was a collaboration to have one program that catches everything.
  • Not a Toy (Score:5, Funny)

    by jobsy (222193) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:15AM (#12450733)
    " It has turned into a toaster and microwave "

    Between the heatsink and the wifi card.. hes not wrong y'know!

    R
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:16AM (#12450739)
    Is that it keeps detecting itself as spyware and removing itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:16AM (#12450740)
    Symantec has had spyware scanning and removal built into itscorporate version of Symantev AV for almost a year now. In my experience it has been fairly effective and its effectiveness has been increasing with every update.

    I'd like to know if anyone can explain the difference between this new product and the corporate version that's been around for a while.
    • Bullshit! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by af_robot (553885) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:54AM (#12451054)
      We do run Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 9 in our company and it hadn't detected a SINGLE spyware!
      You'd better use Microsoft Antispyware/Spybot/Adaware because Symantec's offering for corporate market is still lacking decent antispyware protection, although it is a great antivirus, much better that a Nortor Antivirus.
      • Re:Bullshit! (Score:2, Informative)

        by vandon (233276)
        9.0 didn't catch spy/adware very well. However, v10(corporate edition) does an excellent job. I've visited certain non-work related webpages and it has popped up warnings about some script or activeX control or a program trying to install.
        It also has detected spyware during a system scan. It's nowhere near as good as spybot, adaware, and MS anti-spyware...but it blocks the worst stuff and with each definition and engine update, it's getting better.
  • by PenguinBoyDave (806137) <david.davidmeyer@org> on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:16AM (#12450747)
    With all of the Spyware utilities out there, I am surprised that Symmantec would waste their time with this one. They ought to worry about what they are going to do with three backup products now that they own Veritas.
    • It's not a separate product. They need it in their suite otherwise it loses value.
    • by michael path (94586) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:23AM (#12450799) Homepage Journal
      There still needs to be a major player in the spyware market. Microsoft's Antispyware is the closest we have, but it's hardly more than the Giant product they rebranded.

      Names like "Lavasoft" and "Spybot" don't inspire corporate confidence, even if the products are very, very good at what they do.

      Symantec makes sense, but I don't like their products. My experience is they create more problems than they solve.
      • by cuzality (696718)

        Parent is right on. PHBs everywhere will glom onto the new Symentec product simply because it is Symantec. Meanwhile I have to suffer through parsing the entire Spybot Search and Destroy EULA every time someone else has a question about my using a "non-approved" piece of software on my machine. ("Freeware. It means I can use it for free. No restrictions. Even on a business machine. Read what it says!")

        My experience is they create more problems than they solve.

        I can't add to this from my own experi
        • every time someone else has a question about my using a "non-approved" piece of software on my machine. ("Freeware. It means I can use it for free. No restrictions. Even on a business machine. Read what it says!")

          Um, I'm pretty sure Desktop Support's concern isn't that you're running pirated software on your corporate PC.

          See the other part of the EULA, where Spybot disclaims the software's suitability for any use? See the big "Use at your own risk!" in the app's title bar?

          They're afraid that by runnin
  • LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:18AM (#12450756) Journal
    What we are doing is reducing the complexity.

    And what the rest of the industry is doing, is fixing the problem instead. I just love marketing BS... Consumer says fix it, company says we've reduced the complexity, customer still sitting waiting for fix.
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday May 06, 2005 @10:00AM (#12451106)
      Consumer says fix it, company says we've reduced the complexity, customer still sitting waiting for fix.

      The customer is sitting there wondering why their "antivirus" (or worse, "internet security"...I love that one) software isn't protecting them from a self-installing, replicating program they didn't want installed, which crashes their system and/or slows it down. I've seen spyware/adware/malware act like viruses (modifying/inserting itself into DLLs and whatnot) and worms (searching for other systems to infect) and trojans (how some of them "hide" from the user in plain sight). Snooty computer scientists get all huffy when you call a spyware program a "virus", but let's be completely upfront here- spyware/adware is just a trojan/worm/virus with commercial purpose.

      Every uneducated computer user whose system I've fixed for spyware has asked the same two questions: "why doesn't my antivirus software protect me from this?" (and indeed, the software is installed, definitions are current) and "isn't this spyware stuff a virus?"

      Fact remains that for all the crap hype- in at least a decade, "antivirus" technology hasn't improved. Much/all of it is based off the good old standby- definition files. Those worked when viruses took weeks to spread. Now they spread in hours- or less.

      My favorite story about how useless antivirus software can be comes from 2000, when one of the worms going around got right past our antivirus software on our mail server. We looked at the one that got quarantined, and the one that didn't- and for an hour or two, we couldn't find any differences. Only when I loaded both onto my powerbook and opened them in BBedit, turning on "show all hidden characters", did I see that one had carriage returns and line feeds- the other only had one (CR's, I think). Because of this very simple change, the worm got right past our antivirus software. How idiotic is that?

      • and I can tell you that the real reason for breaking out spyware from viruses is legal. If we detect one of these programs (which as you say, are unwanted, self-installing, etc.--just like a virus) and call it a virus, there are legal issues.

        In fact, it's worse than this: our current products' interfaces now say Spyware/Greyware... and I have it on good authority that this is because of the threat of legal action from the producer of a spyware program who insists that their product is legit.

        If Joe Sixpack
    • by grazzy (56382)
      Should read: What we are doing is cleaning microsofts stinkin' wash.
  • Missing the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by archen (447353)
    Just fix it. ... with baindaids.

    Sorry to say, but most people seem to be missing the point. Most people have been brainwashed to think they need anti-virus programs, they need spyware removal apps... they really don't. They just need a secure enviornment - web browser, OS, etc. Even windows can be secured to the point where you don't need antivirus, it's just not set up that way by default and is of course "inconvinient"
    • by WD_40 (156877) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:27AM (#12450836) Homepage
      They also need to use their brain. A cow-irker of mine was baffled when I said that I don't run any antivirus or antispyware products on my home PC, and I don't have problems with said threats.

      They said, "How do you keep from getting infected?"
      To which I replied, "I don't use IE, I don't go places I shouldn't and I don't run suspicious programs."

      Protection programs are all well and good, but users need to also learn proper usage techniques.
      • To which I replied, "I don't use IE, I don't go places I shouldn't and I don't run suspicious programs."

        And you keep all your software updated.

        Most of the problems I see at work are related to our clients never updating their software. Finally with XP SP2, Microsoft is really pushing for the automatic updates, which advanced users may turn off to have more control, but which really should be the default for the mASSES.
    • by Daedala (819156)
      I work in security. I have heard far, far too many of my coworkers joke about how much spyware they have on their computers. They are in the field; some of them are brain dead, but some of them are quite good. If security wonks can't keep Windows clean, I don't think normal users should be expected to.
    • I wonder (not really.. it wouldn't require many updates) why Symantec and those guys don't sell a windows-hardening kit.. Even if you "need" to run as an Administrator all the time to play games, surely it would be trivial to make a shell arount Iexplore.exe that makes it run as a very restricted user that can only read&write its own homedirectory? And so on and so forth for lots of other nasty applications that don't actually need administrator rights.
    • I have my mother's computer running Windows 98(!) connected to the internet by a DSL line through the routers default (read worthless) firewall settings. She runs gaim for instant messenging where she only chats with people she knows and doesn't open ANY attachments. She uses Firefox to check her gmail and read up on her favorite JAG discussion boards. She uses Word97 set to run no macros for the word proccessing she does. Outlook Express was uninstalled. There is no anti-anything software installed on
  • Adding to the bloated Symantec suite...

    If you want a simpler system that resists spyware (and viruses) by a mac or run linux.

    (and yes, my kid's grandmother gets around just fine with KDE...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:19AM (#12450764)
    The man, not the company. I saw him on TV when I was a kid, probably about 15-20 years ago, and he seemed like a real nerd's nerd. Now he's like Betty Crocker, just a brand name.
    • Now he's like Betty Crocker, just a brand name.

      A brand name who gets a cut of every Symantec product with his name on it. A very wealthy brand name. A brand name who is very big in the modern arts community. A brand name who liked his city (Santa Monica) so much that he put a clause in his contract selling The Peter Norton Group to Symantec that required them to maintain a Santa Monica office. A very smart brand name.

  • Effectiveness? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:19AM (#12450767)
    Just how effective is anti-spyware software made by anti-virus companies, anyway? It seems to me that 'malware' (spyware, adware, etc.) is much more sophisticated than their viral counterparts, especially when they enlist user interaction as part of their process. After all, all a user need do is click on a link, open an attachment, look an an email or a webpage, etc., and they have implicitly given their permission for this malware to do its thing. The only way for software to protect you against such things is to either warn you that what you are doing may be dangerous (most users just click past that anyway) or flat-out stop the user from doing certain things, which reduces utility. It seems to me that any attempt to tackle the malware problem from a viral viewpoint is doomed to fail. Our company recently installed the McAfee anti-spyware add-on to our corporate anti-virus solution. My recommendation: don't waste your money...it's worthless.
  • by bodrell (665409) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:22AM (#12450790) Journal
    I briefly worked for a Symantec call center in the anti-virus division, and very often the call would consist of me telling people: "Go to lavasoft and download AdAware" because we refused to try and fix a computer loaded with spyware. Now, the call center people (relocated to India since two years ago) can tell the customers to buy Norton Anti-Spyware instead.
    • GOD!!! Not to sound racist or anything, but I will NOT do business with companies that outsource their helpdesks to India. That's the most irritating thing in the world for me.
      • yeah.. but we Indians, not being racists, will buy Coke, Pepsi and what not. I was planning to go to Pizza Hut for a bite and saw this. I am now going to a South Indian food court. Thanks for the not-so-racist BS.
        • "yeah.. but we Indians, not being racists, will buy Coke, Pepsi and what not. I was planning to go to Pizza Hut for a bite and saw this. I am now going to a South Indian food court. Thanks for the not-so-racist BS."

          mmmm.. Indian food is so much better than Pizza Hut anyways.
          Sorry, but but my experiences with Indian HelpDesks have been horrid, absolute nonsense. It's not the accents, it's the lack of real help, and the fact that the companies are trading quality services for a little profit really gets
          • My experience with outsourced technical support is no different than domestic technical support. Some of them don't know much and aren't helpful, but some of them are very knowledgeable and can communicate clearly and effectively.

            And yes, Indian food wRoKz0rZ.

  • by Himring (646324) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:22AM (#12450791) Homepage Journal
    I'm rather confused by their claims of anti-spyware incorporation. They stated to have it in SAV9.x and indeed I saw it finding spyware on machines -- and it did a poor job. Adaware and spybot always found more. Now, their marketing is like, "now with anti-spyware!" Uh huh, you've said that already.

    Also, their installs are some of the worst to deal with. Their auto-uninstalls of their old products -- which occurs prior to upgrading -- is horrible. We had to spend tons of time writing our own scripts. We finally tried out Trend Micro and found that it did a better job of auto-uninstalling Symantec's products than Symantec did.

    I'm still talking enterprise here, but Trend has a far better admin console than Symantec. Trend gives tons of information on each system. Symantec is childish by comparison. Trend reporting is far better too. Trend has more of a "build your own wheel" feel to it, but for sys admins it rocks. Symantec's roots are from the single, desktop computer and that's the feel you get for it as an admin. Administration is an afterthought. Trend seems to be built by administrators for administrators and I like it.

    Besides all that, the answer to spyware isn't what Symantec would have you think -- namely, *them*. The answer is first: install Firefox (install it fool!) and ban IE. Second, make patch management a priority. After that, you can put gravy on it by removing root off workstations for users, but FF and PM are key. As a matter of fact, I argue that if you do those two things you just about don't even need AV -- especially doing Firefox. Hey, can you tell I like Firefox?...
  • by LemonFire (514342) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:22AM (#12450792) Homepage
    If it runs as slow as their dog-slow antivirus solution, then their anti-spyware solution bundled together with their existing antivirus software would create one of the best anti-spyware/antivirus solutions out on the market.

    You don't believe me?

    Running both tools on the same box would lead to absolutely no CPU cycles left over for either virus or spyware to run...

  • by wcitech (798381) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:26AM (#12450817)

    When I got into the computer repair business, I installed Symantec products on almost every machine that came through my doors (if they weren't already equipped already). Now I am a strong advocate of AVG antivirus. I can't tell you how many times I've seen computers with Norton Antivirus that had a) up to date subscriptions b) up to date definitions and c) reported that the system was clean after scanning. Then, I'd uninstall Norton and install AVG, bamf, 6 viruses found.

    If their spyware removal is as effective as their virus removal (lately), you'll equal luck trying to remove those rogue search toolbars with a blender.
    • I agree, the marketing and "household name" aspect is carrying them. The tools are ineffective and bloated, in addition you actually need to use a separate tool to completely uninstall the product. This should not be allowed to continue, but people still buy the products because that's the first name they know.

      I make sure every friend I help out, and every user I work with, hears the simple command
      "Don't use Symantec products!"
  • I was shocked to find out that it doesn't drop ICMP requests. Every other firewall I've ever used can do that even the Windows XP one.
  • by ShinSugoi (783392) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:26AM (#12450824)
    It just isn't. Computers are complex things, and it is both logical and more importantly, reasonable to expect people to do a minor amount of work to maintain them, the same way you do a automobile. Surely, any motorist knows how to check his tire pressure, oil, and can replace a flat when necessary. A car is an investment, and people who do not treat one as such do so to their detriment. A computer is no different.

    Similarly, anyone using a computer should be able to understand and implement basic security practices and do minor OS and hardware maintenance and repairs. The fundamental problem is that people are just too damn lazy to learn how to do these simple things, and Symantec is capitalizing on that.
    • Actually, I flinch any time I see computers becoming more like cars.

      I'm not going to claim that the automobile used to be an "open standard", but look at what's happened to them over the last century. They've gotten more complicated, but that complexity is hidden from the end user. It's created this culture that one shouldn't understand how their car works, and the knee-jerk reaction when something goes wrong is to take it to the dealership. As a result, dealerships get to charge hundreds of dollars for
    • Not that I want to condone this use of a car analogy in a computing thread, but cars used to require far more work and knowledge to use than they do currently: starter crank, manual choke, spark timing adjustment etc. On modern cars these things are done automatically.

      The trend in most devices is to gradually reduce the knowledge and work required of the user: Records -> CDs -> Solid state players, for example.

      The fact that you think "users/drivers ought to know about these things" doesn't change th
    • I can see your point, but I'm not sure laziness is entirely the problem is most cases; most people I know are simply bewildered by the whole thing and don't have a clue where to start.

      I guess it's like sitting me down in front of a nuclear reactor and suggesting that I'm lazy because I can't figure out how to flush the coolant... I'm not trying things because I know I could blow everything up. A lot of people feel like this about their computer.
  • Tradeoff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:27AM (#12450826) Homepage Journal
    What would you rather have your Windows box devote most of its resources doing?

    1. spyware/malware/adaware
    2. Excessive amount of utilities from various vendors to prevent spyware/malware/adaware.

    Oh that's how it works! The anti-spyware TSRs take up so much memory there's no room left for teh evil sofwtare to get a foot in!
  • I don't like the fact that we have to run all these scanners to look for viruses and worms and spyware and what have you.

    It is because of a flawed operating system design being operated by, in general, the computer morons out there that is 90% of our society. Most of the computer users will always be clueless, and that is why we need a safe operating system.

    Although Windows is flawed in this respect I must admit that I'm a computer professional that has been around for a while, and I didn't foresee that w
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:30AM (#12450857)
    There are lots of spyware detection and removal applications out there for Windows. They're even pretty simple to install, use and are even fairly effective. This is product placement, not news.

  • To get into this game? Their product line seems like it covers everything from virus protection to speed improvments to firewall stuff. And now very late (even after Microsoft) they release a "beta" version?
  • Their idea of simplicity was in my case just deleting my entire thunderbird mail archive because there was a viral attachment in some piece of mail it had junked. This was after I told it -not- to look at my mail because I was sick of getting notified about the 50 or so of those I receive daily. After that incident, I just uninstalled the damn thing - I've yet to catch any virii as far as I know.
  • Funny, I never saw a toaster with gigs of removable storage, a 19" display, FireWire, and a state space of quadrillions of points. I think that the computer is, *of necessity*, a leeetle more complex than a toaster, and always will be. It's long past time for people who wish it weren't to get over it and join the rest of us in the real world.

    Turn it around if you prefer: I never saw a word processor whose only preference was Light...Dark.

    Einstein had it right: as simple as possible, but not simpler.
  • Norton is useless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sonar (70854) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:48AM (#12450997)
    Norton is not even that good at detecting Viruses on a computer, how are we supposed to think that it will actually detect Adware also? I highly doubt it. I, like many others on this forum have found that AVG and Trendmicro do a much better job at finding viruses than Norton. I will also stick with Lavasoft's adaware and Microsoft's (Giant) Antispyware to tackle my customer's computer problems.

    I work at a "mom and pop" type computer store. 80% of these computers that come in had Norton Systemworks installed, with the latest definitions. Yet still they are full of viruses that both AVG and Trendmicro's Housecall detects. The sad part is, the sales of Symantec's products are driven by the need for Best Buy employees to sell more product. So with every new PC they are telling customers to spend money on useless virus scanning software.

    The fact is, the best virus scanning and adware scanning software is completely free. Without any hitches. So why would I want to pay for anything when the free product is better in almost every way?

    I have also found that Norton fails to uninstall properly in many comptuers. They even have removal utilities to remove their software. I think that this is completely rediculous. If software can't be removed properly from a machine, I dictate that this is no better than Malware. So in essence, installing Norton on your computer is no better than installing Bargian Buddy.
    • Re:Norton is useless (Score:3, Informative)

      by BCW2 (168187)
      When Peter Norton ran it, it was the best there was. Unfortunately it has been on a down hill slide since Symantec bought it. I clean more virii off computers that have Norton installed than any other AV product.

      What I use in the white box store I work in is Ad-Aware & Spybot for ad/spy/malware and Trend for virus cleanups. I have found that McAfee is also very good at clean up. Fprot seems to be the best at prevention, we have used it on everything in the store for over 3 years and I have had it at ho
    • I'm open to trying non-Norton AV. Besides effectiveness, I'm concerned with bloat. I hate having dozens of TSR's running. I also like FREE.
      Which would you recommend, Trend or AVG, and why?
      Thanks!
  • People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it.

    Then the average user needs this [apple.com] I hate to sound like an Apple fanboy because I've only had mine for the past few months. But after spending all day fixing spyware/adware/viruses on PC's it is nice to come home to the Mini and USE the computer.

  • by Proteus (1926) on Friday May 06, 2005 @09:55AM (#12451068) Homepage Journal
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    According to popular Internet news/blog site Slashdot (http://slasshdot.org/ [slasshdot.org]), well-known companty Symantec has, in an unprecedented act, issued a press release in order to promote its products.

    "This is truly a breakthrough in marketing approaches," said a Slashdot employee who asked not to be identified, "never before has a company gone to such lengths to promote a product. Slashdot is proud to break the news of this historic event." While some believe that this was an inevitable extension of current marketing approaches, many more are stunned by the sudden change in tactics.

    Mary Weatherspoon, a seasoned marketing consultant, is one of those surprised by Symantec's sudden release. "The whole industry has been turned upside-down. We'd heard inklings of using mass-media to promote products, but none of us had ever thought about treating new products -- especially products that aren't really groundbreaking -- as actual, hand-to-god news," she said.

    Slashdot management did not respond to requests for comment before deadline.

  • Also, see here [broadbandreports.com].
  • What a POS (Score:2, Informative)

    by dgos78 (881140)
    I just installed this to test it out, and it ran very slow. The spyware protection is nothing more than what is included in the latest versions of NAV. What a gyp. It is now uninstalled. AVG, Firefox, and Spyware Guard and Blaster do me just fine.
  • And i'll say it again. 3 apps, 1 file.

    Ad-aware.

    Spybot S&D.

    Avast! Antivirus.

    A good HOSTS file.

    $0 spent for world-class protection.

    Symantec's stuff, spend a bundle, pray that it installs and actually runs without having to pore over endless documentation or downloads. Or worse, calling their tech support line and PRAY that their system does not hang up on you. Not my kind of idea spending a afternoon dealing with software issues.

    Oh, did I also mention that Avast has AV distros that are built for *
  • It's a joke (Score:3, Informative)

    by delus10n0 (524126) <delusion_ @ p d s y s.org> on Friday May 06, 2005 @10:09AM (#12451191) Homepage
    Just look online for the plethora of previews and beta reviews, such as this one from PCWorld. Sorry, Symantec, I don't want to install 314MB of files, 11 services, 3 startup items, 2 toolbars, and 2 BHOs (Browser Helper Objects) just to "prevent spyware".

    Symantec lost the game a long time ago-- there are much better (and cheaper) ways to keep your PC afloat.
  • 'We have to reduce the complexity. People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it. What we are doing is reducing the complexity.'

    I am sick and tired of companies pandering to people too lazy to learn anything. Computers are complex and they aren't getting simpler -- because people demand more and more from them. If someone doesn't want to invest the time to master the use of a computer
  • The generic term "spyware" is no longer appropriate since many programs are designed for a purpoase other that "spying". A more appropriate term would be "scumware".

    How long will it be before Symantec gets sued by one of the scumware creators for identifying their program as "spyware".

"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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