February 1, 2006 4:18 PM PST

New Symantec shield aims to repel Microsoft

Symantec plans to introduce a security product later this year that will take on Microsoft's forthcoming Windows OneCare and Vista security technology.

The software, code-named "Genesis," will integrate components of Symantec's current security, PC optimization and backup products, the security company said. It will be sold on a subscription basis and will require an initial one-year agreement. Pricing has not yet been determined.

"Genesis is not a suite or a bundle of tools, but a single integrated software application delivered to consumers as a service," Tom Powledge, the director of product management at Symantec, said in an interview Wednesday. The company plans to officially announce Genesis next week, he said.

The service is slated to arrive by the end of September. It will offer protection against viruses, spam, spyware and phishing scams, and stop hacker attacks with intrusion prevention technologies and a firewall, Symantec said. It will include offline and online backup features, as well as PC optimization and maintenance tools. On top of this, the software will include a newly designed user interface and built-in technical support.

Microsoft is also readying its OneCare security service. Like Genesis, OneCare includes antivirus and anti-spyware technology as well as a firewall and PC optimization and backup tools. Microsoft has also said it will include phishing protection in Internet Explorer 7. The browser will be part of the upcoming Windows Vista update, which is expected to ship by the end of the year.

"We're more than happy to compete with Microsoft," Powledge said. "Symantec will innovate on top of Vista. Security will be a dynamic issue that will be with us for quite some time."

Online shoppers will be able to use Genesis to securely store personal information such as credit card numbers, Symantec said. They can also use it to authenticate Web sites, the company said.

Those transaction security tools are reminiscent of Microsoft's InfoCard technology. InfoCard is designed to provide secure storage for identity information that will be shared with online services such as Web stores.

The technology in Genesis comes from current Symantec products such as Norton Internet Security and SystemWorks, as well as from work by Whole Security, the antiphishing specialist Symantec acquired in September of last year, Powledge said.

Genesis is not intended as a replacement for any item in Symantec's current lineup, he added. Instead, the Cupertino, Calif., software maker plans to target people who want an easy-to-understand and unobtrusive security product, Powledge said. Norton Internet Security will be aimed more at consumers who "want to dial in and turn the knobs," he said.

Symantec's plans also include the release this summer of a standalone product that includes only the Web transaction security pieces of Genesis, Powledge said.

Genesis will be available online and in stores. Symantec is in talks with PC makers to ship the software on new machines, and the product might replace Norton Internet Security on those systems, Powledge said. Norton Internet Security is bundled today by Hewlett-Packard, Dell and others. Genesis will run on Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Microsoft unveiled its plans for OneCare in May 2005. It marks the software giant's entry into the consumer antivirus market, which has been the domain of specialized vendors such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. A public test version of OneCare has been available since last November. The final release is expected in 2006.

Other security vendors, such as McAfee and Trend Micro, are also expected to respond to Microsoft's entry with their own beefed-up products.

34 comments

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just more overpriced garbage
Oover the years, symantecs security programs have become overpriced, extremely hard to use, memory hogs, and most of all bloated. Security programs (AntiVirus, Firewall, etc) are supposed to work in the background, and only appear when there is a problem. In my experience with Internet Security Suite & other Symantec programs, every two seconds a message would pop-up informing me of a virus scan, or a program that was trying to access the internet when its obvious that its ok (yes, i want to set internet explorer to "Permit Always" cmon here...). All the while slowing the computer down tremendously! The worst occurs when the program randomly has difficulty loading a device driver, and ive had numerous experiences where it practically locks up the computer making it completely inaccessible, the only way to get it back to normal is to uninstall and reinstall the suite.
McAfee's offerings & Windows OneCare do a MUCH better job of memory management, unobtrusiveness, pricing (well, McAfee at least - we'll see about OneCare), and most of all - ease of use - i dont even realize the programs are there, but they are, and they work perfectly.
I hope symantec will have re-designed their new program from the ground up, because their current offerings arent worth the cost of the CD its burned onto.
Posted by explorer5 (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What ever happen to Systems Works 2002?
The truth of the matter is that Norton System Works 2005 has lost all the important features of
2002 and the workability. Why they suddenly refuse to upgrade 2002 or 2004 is telling. In order to utilize the good features ... you now have to disable almost everything. Software designers at Symantec have lost their mission
statement in a maze of wasted junk. The worst part
of what they are doing - is not upgrading or supporting the 2002 or 2004 programs....too bad..
they used to be great!
Posted by ronwinship (15 comments )
Link Flag
Unholy Bloaters
I always remove anything Symantic from my clients computers. When they complain it is slow, I ask if they have Norton, and by simply removoing it, the computer is fast again.

Look at all the comments below? How can a company make so much money when their products "hoover"(suck). I can disable Symantic, no viruses found,of course, install and run AVG, and there will always be something significant found.

Norton updates are not very useful as I have been able to demonstrate again and again.

Not to mention thier pension for popping up windows telling you how they just saved you from the motherload of all malware. Always in your face.

AVG or Trend or Panda along with Adaware, Spybot and rigourous hand cleaning of Temp and Temp Internets files and the TEMP folder in Windows will keep you humming along, while you pass other CPU's stalled along the cyber highway because they had the likes of Norton in their engines.

I have been infected in over 6 years. Caught them, but was never stalled.

Of, course, I do not use Norton, a safety net made of cotton candy: Looks good, smells good, but wont catch a thing.
Posted by eSchmeltzer (18 comments )
Link Flag
Unholy Bloaters
I always remove anything Symantic from my clients computers. When they complain it is slow, I ask if they have Norton, and by simply removoing it, the computer is fast again.

Look at all the comments below? How can a company make so much money when their products "hoover"(suck). I can disable Symantic, no viruses found,of course, install and run AVG, and there will always be something significant found.

Norton updates are not very useful as I have been able to demonstrate again and again.

Not to mention thier pension for popping up windows telling you how they just saved you from the motherload of all malware. Always in your face.

AVG or Trend or Panda along with Adaware, Spybot and rigourous hand cleaning of Temp and Temp Internets files and the TEMP folder in Windows will keep you humming along, while you pass other CPU's stalled along the cyber highway because they had the likes of Norton in their engines.

I have not been infected in over 6 years. Caught them, but was never stalled.

Of, course, I do not use Norton, a safety net made of cotton candy: Looks good, smells good, but wont catch a thing.
Posted by eSchmeltzer (18 comments )
Link Flag
just more overpriced garbage
Oover the years, symantecs security programs have become overpriced, extremely hard to use, memory hogs, and most of all bloated. Security programs (AntiVirus, Firewall, etc) are supposed to work in the background, and only appear when there is a problem. In my experience with Internet Security Suite & other Symantec programs, every two seconds a message would pop-up informing me of a virus scan, or a program that was trying to access the internet when its obvious that its ok (yes, i want to set internet explorer to "Permit Always" cmon here...). All the while slowing the computer down tremendously! The worst occurs when the program randomly has difficulty loading a device driver, and ive had numerous experiences where it practically locks up the computer making it completely inaccessible, the only way to get it back to normal is to uninstall and reinstall the suite.
McAfee's offerings & Windows OneCare do a MUCH better job of memory management, unobtrusiveness, pricing (well, McAfee at least - we'll see about OneCare), and most of all - ease of use - i dont even realize the programs are there, but they are, and they work perfectly.
I hope symantec will have re-designed their new program from the ground up, because their current offerings arent worth the cost of the CD its burned onto.
Posted by explorer5 (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What ever happen to Systems Works 2002?
The truth of the matter is that Norton System Works 2005 has lost all the important features of
2002 and the workability. Why they suddenly refuse to upgrade 2002 or 2004 is telling. In order to utilize the good features ... you now have to disable almost everything. Software designers at Symantec have lost their mission
statement in a maze of wasted junk. The worst part
of what they are doing - is not upgrading or supporting the 2002 or 2004 programs....too bad..
they used to be great!
Posted by ronwinship (15 comments )
Link Flag
Unholy Bloaters
I always remove anything Symantic from my clients computers. When they complain it is slow, I ask if they have Norton, and by simply removoing it, the computer is fast again.

Look at all the comments below? How can a company make so much money when their products "hoover"(suck). I can disable Symantic, no viruses found,of course, install and run AVG, and there will always be something significant found.

Norton updates are not very useful as I have been able to demonstrate again and again.

Not to mention thier pension for popping up windows telling you how they just saved you from the motherload of all malware. Always in your face.

AVG or Trend or Panda along with Adaware, Spybot and rigourous hand cleaning of Temp and Temp Internets files and the TEMP folder in Windows will keep you humming along, while you pass other CPU's stalled along the cyber highway because they had the likes of Norton in their engines.

I have been infected in over 6 years. Caught them, but was never stalled.

Of, course, I do not use Norton, a safety net made of cotton candy: Looks good, smells good, but wont catch a thing.
Posted by eSchmeltzer (18 comments )
Link Flag
Unholy Bloaters
I always remove anything Symantic from my clients computers. When they complain it is slow, I ask if they have Norton, and by simply removoing it, the computer is fast again.

Look at all the comments below? How can a company make so much money when their products "hoover"(suck). I can disable Symantic, no viruses found,of course, install and run AVG, and there will always be something significant found.

Norton updates are not very useful as I have been able to demonstrate again and again.

Not to mention thier pension for popping up windows telling you how they just saved you from the motherload of all malware. Always in your face.

AVG or Trend or Panda along with Adaware, Spybot and rigourous hand cleaning of Temp and Temp Internets files and the TEMP folder in Windows will keep you humming along, while you pass other CPU's stalled along the cyber highway because they had the likes of Norton in their engines.

I have not been infected in over 6 years. Caught them, but was never stalled.

Of, course, I do not use Norton, a safety net made of cotton candy: Looks good, smells good, but wont catch a thing.
Posted by eSchmeltzer (18 comments )
Link Flag
Booo to bloatware!!!
I agree with the last post. Most of the Norton consumer software is more of a burden than it is a help to users in my experience. I know their security software is decent, but the taxing effects it places on the system do not make me want to ever use their software on my system. We will see if they have changed things in this new suite, I can't imagine they are unaware of thier current products problems.
Posted by tdurick (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Booo to bloatware!!!
I agree with the last post. Most of the Norton consumer software is more of a burden than it is a help to users in my experience. I know their security software is decent, but the taxing effects it places on the system do not make me want to ever use their software on my system. We will see if they have changed things in this new suite, I can't imagine they are unaware of thier current products problems.
Posted by tdurick (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
God Save Us
Powledge said. "Symantec will innovate on top of Vista."

"Online shoppers will be able to use Genesis to securely store personal information such as credit card numbers", Symantec said.

Symantec needs to do some innovation on their current software offerings. I quit using this crap 2 years ago. Among the numerous problems I had, Live Update would break, and the Symantec fix was to uninstall/reinstall. That might have worked, if Symantec's uninstall software actually uninstalled. And, God save those who choose to let "Genesis" store their credit card numbers. If designed, written and tested like the current Symantec offerings, be prepared for some bad experiences.
Posted by als (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
God Save Us
Powledge said. "Symantec will innovate on top of Vista."

"Online shoppers will be able to use Genesis to securely store personal information such as credit card numbers", Symantec said.

Symantec needs to do some innovation on their current software offerings. I quit using this crap 2 years ago. Among the numerous problems I had, Live Update would break, and the Symantec fix was to uninstall/reinstall. That might have worked, if Symantec's uninstall software actually uninstalled. And, God save those who choose to let "Genesis" store their credit card numbers. If designed, written and tested like the current Symantec offerings, be prepared for some bad experiences.
Posted by als (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ISPs Should Offer
all of this, every last bit, should be offered by an isp. not necessarily symantec's p[ackage, btw (i agree with other posters: their software is a system resource hog). but isp's need to include defenses against viruses, trojans, worms, rogue programs, etc, including recovery means (ie, backup) as part of their service package. and it should be done as part of the basic subscription cost, because it protects the network.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Earthlink Does
I agree about Symantec, it can be a nightmare. I switched to the free AVG myself.
Earthlink offers all of this protection, free. Antivirus &#38; Firewall (Symantec), Spyware Blocker, spamblocker &#38; scamblocker for their mailbox too(and also available for Outlook Express), and their toolbar (available at Cnet's download) which is also free to non-subscribers with a great popup blocker, scamblocker(phishing). <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.earthlink.net/software/free/" target="_newWindow">http://www.earthlink.net/software/free/</a>
Posted by Jerics (5 comments )
Link Flag
ISPs Should Offer
all of this, every last bit, should be offered by an isp. not necessarily symantec's p[ackage, btw (i agree with other posters: their software is a system resource hog). but isp's need to include defenses against viruses, trojans, worms, rogue programs, etc, including recovery means (ie, backup) as part of their service package. and it should be done as part of the basic subscription cost, because it protects the network.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Earthlink Does
I agree about Symantec, it can be a nightmare. I switched to the free AVG myself.
Earthlink offers all of this protection, free. Antivirus &#38; Firewall (Symantec), Spyware Blocker, spamblocker &#38; scamblocker for their mailbox too(and also available for Outlook Express), and their toolbar (available at Cnet's download) which is also free to non-subscribers with a great popup blocker, scamblocker(phishing). <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.earthlink.net/software/free/" target="_newWindow">http://www.earthlink.net/software/free/</a>
Posted by Jerics (5 comments )
Link Flag
symantec missed the gravy train...
...when they failed to sell or merge the firm into a major ISP provider like MSFT, TWX, ELNK etal most all of whom have by now either purchased a SYMC competitor or developed their own security suite inhouse. due to poor strategic mgmt, there does remain opportunity for them to sell or merge the firm but at a reduced rate to what they could have gotten a year ago. the irony of this C|NET article's headline / story focus is that without MSFT's shoddy software SYMC would not be in business at all. yes, MSFT has *snubbed them* by making their own suite inhouse but still SYMC was stupid to publically bite the hand that essentially continues to feed their revenues.
Posted by i_made_this (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
symantec missed the gravy train...
...when they failed to sell or merge the firm into a major ISP provider like MSFT, TWX, ELNK etal most all of whom have by now either purchased a SYMC competitor or developed their own security suite inhouse. due to poor strategic mgmt, there does remain opportunity for them to sell or merge the firm but at a reduced rate to what they could have gotten a year ago. the irony of this C|NET article's headline / story focus is that without MSFT's shoddy software SYMC would not be in business at all. yes, MSFT has *snubbed them* by making their own suite inhouse but still SYMC was stupid to publically bite the hand that essentially continues to feed their revenues.
Posted by i_made_this (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Forget Symantec
Symantec/Norton is a bunch of over-hyped, expensive software that people who know about security really don't care about. I've used Avast!(a free anti-virus program), for a long time and never had a problem with viruses. If you want to read about Avast!, read the hundreds of positive comments posted on Freeware Files and CNET Download.com. The experiences will tell you, as many switched over to Avast! from Norton.

I've heard so many bad experiences concerning Norton, it would fill an ocean. I consider it a sham---especially after they decided that they wouldn't remove the Sony rootkit. As most here know, Symantec has a deal with Sony to place their Norton security products on Sony's computer systems, that they don't want to ruin.

It's a shame that people end up purchaseing Symantec products, thinking "they'll get what they paid for".
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Experience
The only worse experience I've had was with Zone Alarm. I use AVG now. Much better and easier on the system.
Posted by sjc1963 (6 comments )
Link Flag
Forget Symantec
Symantec/Norton is a bunch of over-hyped, expensive software that people who know about security really don't care about. I've used Avast!(a free anti-virus program), for a long time and never had a problem with viruses. If you want to read about Avast!, read the hundreds of positive comments posted on Freeware Files and CNET Download.com. The experiences will tell you, as many switched over to Avast! from Norton.

I've heard so many bad experiences concerning Norton, it would fill an ocean. I consider it a sham---especially after they decided that they wouldn't remove the Sony rootkit. As most here know, Symantec has a deal with Sony to place their Norton security products on Sony's computer systems, that they don't want to ruin.

It's a shame that people end up purchaseing Symantec products, thinking "they'll get what they paid for".
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Experience
The only worse experience I've had was with Zone Alarm. I use AVG now. Much better and easier on the system.
Posted by sjc1963 (6 comments )
Link Flag
Crapware
I stopped using symantec's products. They're too bloated and REALLY slow down my system. I had actually bought the new AV 2006 and it messed up my system so bad that I had to refomat and I returned the utility for a refund.
Posted by sjc1963 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Crapware
I stopped using symantec's products. They're too bloated and REALLY slow down my system. I had actually bought the new AV 2006 and it messed up my system so bad that I had to refomat and I returned the utility for a refund.
Posted by sjc1963 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Told them so. Goodbye antivirus Co.s, MS enters market
And yet ANOTHER product segment gets usurped by Microsoft -and this time it's because they can't secure their product!

Brief History of products MS STOLE:
-Web Browser -Was Mosaic, Netscape
-Presentation software - Was Adobe's Persuasion, among many others in an innovative market (until Powerpoint was _bundled_ with MS Windows installs)
-Text Editor - Was Word Perfect
On and on...
Where is the fair and competitive line drawn??
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft's Products are Superior
Draw a competitive line? That's like saying we should cut off one leg of a runner who trains really hard to become the best and beats everyone by a mile. Microsoft makes really good and easy to use programs. They have their flaws, yes, but still, who wants to pay for a web browser? Who wants to pay for antivirus or a firewall? If the competitor wants to even the playing field they have to stop putting out garbage and actually make a product that competes. Look what Apple is doing--their edge is on trying to design superior, awesome looking computers and mp3 players. Dont' penalize Microsoft when what they are doing helps me out in my everyday life.
Posted by JamesHCNET (2 comments )
Link Flag
Told them so. Goodbye antivirus Co.s, MS enters market
And yet ANOTHER product segment gets usurped by Microsoft -and this time it's because they can't secure their product!

Brief History of products MS STOLE:
-Web Browser -Was Mosaic, Netscape
-Presentation software - Was Adobe's Persuasion, among many others in an innovative market (until Powerpoint was _bundled_ with MS Windows installs)
-Text Editor - Was Word Perfect
On and on...
Where is the fair and competitive line drawn??
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft's Products are Superior
Draw a competitive line? That's like saying we should cut off one leg of a runner who trains really hard to become the best and beats everyone by a mile. Microsoft makes really good and easy to use programs. They have their flaws, yes, but still, who wants to pay for a web browser? Who wants to pay for antivirus or a firewall? If the competitor wants to even the playing field they have to stop putting out garbage and actually make a product that competes. Look what Apple is doing--their edge is on trying to design superior, awesome looking computers and mp3 players. Dont' penalize Microsoft when what they are doing helps me out in my everyday life.
Posted by JamesHCNET (2 comments )
Link Flag
 

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