When Symantec updated its Norton AntiVirus and Utilities products last fall, Mac users were able to run the applications in Mac OS X -- provided they launched either utility from a bootable CD or an OS 9 partition on their hard drive.
That was a workable solution at the time, especially considering that OS X was still in beta form. But with the next-generation operating system now available and preinstalled on every new Mac, users need native versions of utilities for no other reason than to avoid booting up a CD every time they want to run a virus scan.
An upcoming update to Norton AntiVirus will allow Mac users running OS X to ditch the disc -- version 7.0.2 of the antivirus software has reworked to run in OS X. Symantec is also updating Norton Personal Firewall to run as an OS X-native application.
The Carbonized utilities lack some of the features you'll find in the OS 9 versions. You'll also have to install each utility twice -- once in the native layer of OS X and once in Classic. And Symantec's third major Mac product -- Norton Utilities -- awaits an update that will make it an OS X-native application. Still, Symantec felt it was important to make Carbonized products available, with more updates planned for later.
"We've taken this initial step to bring everything for the short term up to par so our customers are protected," says David Loomstein, group product manager for Symantec's consumer products division. "We filled all the gaps. The next step is to get the low-level technology working."
Mac users who bought the most-recent releases of Symantec's utilities can use the Live Update feature to download the updates during the week of June 11. Registered users can also purchase a $15 replacement CD containing the OS X updates.
AntiVirus 7.0.2 lets users scan and repair viruses within OS X and use Live Update to get the latest virus definitions and scan engine. However, users can't schedule Live Update activities in OS X. Autoprotect, e-mail scanning, and simplified preference features also won't work in the new OS. But, all these features are available for OS X users running Classic.
Norton Personal Firewall 1.0.2 retains the majority of the utility's features in OS X with one exception; there's no control-strip access. However, OS X users now have protection from ICMP PING attacks -- a feature that's not available in the OS 9 version of Personal Firewall.
Unlike Symantec's other products, Norton Utilities will still not run from the Classic or native layers of OS X. Users looking to run the disk repair and optimization utility in OS X will have to keep doing so from the bootable CD or an OS 9 partition of their hard drive. Version 6.0.2 introduces bug fixes aimed at improving compatibility with the new OS from the bootable CD. Symantec is developing an OS X-native version of Utilities.
In addition to updating its stand-alone utilities, Symantec plans to revise its product suites. Norton SystemWorks will now include the latest versions of AntiVirus and Utilities, as well as a Carbonized version of Aladdin Spring Cleaning and a version of Dantz Retrospect Express Backup that will be able to perform backup functions if you run the application from the bootable CD. The Norton Internet Security suite will feature updates to AntiVirus and Personal Firewall, as well as a Carbonized version of Aladdin iClean.The latest versions of Norton AntiVirus and Personal Firewall feature more than just an Aqua-like interface--the Symantec utilities have been updated to run natively in OS X.