Symantec has updated its “Windows 7 spoken here” security software page with offers for Microsoft customers. (I guess running MS Windows makes me automatically relevant to this category). Here’s the link: http://buy-static.norton.com/prod/html/partner/msft_EN.html
There you have Norton 360 Version 4.0 (old link) and new Norton AntiVirus 2011 version 126.96.36.199.
Direct download link: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/OEM/18.1/NAV_188.8.131.52_MS_LOEM_MRF1325A_5452.exe?LNG=EN&VENDORID=MICROSOFT (there is a missing file extension, so when you finish downloading, just rename the file to add exe extension)
The feature of this offer is 90-days trial period — long enough to try and make a decision.
“Black behind”, or why I don’t like Norton
I have no reason to challenge Symantec’s statement about their products: “Norton security solutions are the fastest and lightest security solutions you can buy. … Norton is the market leader in internet security with integrated products that work seamlessly so you can surf, shop and play online with confidence”. Norton AntiVirus 2011 feels like an very light on CPU and memory resources application. Yet I have a couple of notes about it. First of all, user interface is too fancy for a humble antivirus. I don’t understand why someone would need to invent those Nazi gloomy-looking screens and buttons like this (click to enlarge):
Some other screenshots:
Typically security software is not a program like Adobe Photoshop or MS Word where user is supposed to spend hours and hours working with it, so it does not have to be good-looking or fancy. But Norton is not even user-friendly. Look at the menus and paths, animation tricks and splashes. Maybe it is just a reflection of its complexity. Also, why black background? To me it is not getting slick and particularly original anymore after version 2010. I was trying to understand what happened to the suspect files from my collection after Norton Antivirus 2011 had finished the scanning. Finally I got that, but I could not find a way to take them back, as some of them were definitely false-positive samples. False-positive is a trade-off nowadays of the misleading idea to achieve PC sterility. I don’t mind if we waste few good files to save their majority. What bothers me is that false-positive is a symptom of big uncertainty for antivirus programs, when just a small code modification or use of exotic packers would make the virus “clean”. But going back to Norton, that feeling of being lost is really annoying (128th level of Doom 3 game), because service function must be taken lightly for a user. I expect an utility (such as any antivirus) to run silently and effectively, and if it does something, that something should be clear and obvious. Otherwise it is just another form of buzzware with sad black background.