Symantec Debuts Norton 360 Beta - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications
01:33 PM

Symantec Debuts Norton 360 Beta

The service provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection, anti-fraud features, automated backup and restore, and computer tune-up tools, and is designed to run more or less unattended when the PC is idle.

Symantec on Wednesday released the first public beta of Norton 360, a subscription security service that will compete with Microsoft's OneCare when it goes final sometime in the next four months.

The new consumer security software provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection, anti-fraud features, automated backup and restore, and computer tune-up tools. It's designed to run more or less unattended, conducts chores such as antivirus scans and backups when the PC is idle, and was built to consume fewer computer resources than traditional security suites. The backup feature will include 2 Gbytes of online storage space; the beta, however, provides only 250 Mbytes, and that only to the first 25,000 testers.

Since Symantec first broached its new approach to consumer computer security in February, Norton 360—originally codenamed Genesis—has been pitched as a response to Microsoft Windows Live OneCare, an all-in-one security package priced at $49.95 annually for three PCs. Since then, other vendors, including McAfee, have released all-in-one suites sold via annual subscription.

Symantec hasn't yet set the price for Norton 360, and continued Wednesday to promise a release before the end of March. But in earlier interviews, Symantec executives had stressed that the company was shooting for a 2006 release.

"Today's consumers want to be able to work and play in the connected world with confidence that their information and activities are secure," said Enrique Salem, the president of Symantec's consumer group, in a statement. "Norton 360 was created to provide computer users and their families a full range of protection that is automatic, powerful, and easy to understand and use."

Norton 360 beta can be downloaded from the Symantec Web site.

Also this week, security rival Zone Labs rolled out a beta of an upgrade to its ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite. The preview of v. 7.0 includes a new antivirus scanning engine, enhanced anti-spyware and anti-fraud tools, and a revamped interface.

ZoneAlarm 7.0 can be downloaded from here.

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