To the surprise of many (including ourselves), Symantec shed its old bloaty ways with the release of Norton Internet Security Suite 2009, a svelte security suite that earned a 9 verdict and KickAss award in our Antivirus Software Roundup. Now Symantec says its ready to do it again with a revamped version of its Norton 360 software. Has the world turned topsy-turvy?
"Norton 360 has become one of Symantec’s most popular consumer offerings in just two years due to the all-in-one convenience it delivers and the solutions value we have built directly into the suite,” said Janice Chaffin, group president of Symantec’s Consumer Business Unit. “With version 3.0, we are combining the unmatched performance of our 2009 security products with Norton Safe Web to create even more convenience and value for our customers."
Just like NIS 2009, Symantec says its new Norton 360 version 3.0 takes about a minute to install and consumes less than 10MB of system memory. Not only that, but the company claims users will see faster boot times once 360 turns off "unnecessary" startup programs. Other new features shipping with version 3.0 include pulse updates, idle backup routine, botnet protection, and a web rating service called Norton Safe Web.
Coinciding with the 360 v3.0 release, Symantec also announced the official launch of the Norton Users Discussion Forum. Prior to the launch, the forum had been in beta since April 2008 and currently boasts 1,200 new users and 7,000 posts every month.
Norton 360 is available now with an MRRP of $100 (includes 25GB of secured online storage) for the Premier Edition, $130 for the Small Business Edition 5 User Pack (plus 10GB), and $250 for the Small Business Edition 10 User Pack (plus 25GB).
The job of a whistleblower is a dangerous one, and Robert Delaware has paid the price for speaking out against Microsoft. The contracted game tester had worked closely with the Xbox line, and particularly Bungie Studios since early 2005. For those who haven’t been following the story, Delaware’s testimonial was the basis for an article that made headlines last week regarding Xbox 360 hardware failures at launch. In the VentureBeat article, Delaware detailed the known quality issues with the 360 and that management ignored multiple warnings in order to gain an advantage over the not yet released Playstation 3. Legally Microsoft was within its rights to fire Delaware for his unauthorized interview, but he remains defiant. Delaware claims to have been aware of the possible ramifications but was willing to take the risk. Upon termination Delaware was also warned by an HR representative that he faces possible lawsuits from both Microsoft and the company who contracted him out. The Interview conducted by VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi remains unconfirmed by Microsoft and in response had only this to say: "This topic has already been covered extensively in the media. This new story repeats old information, and contains rumors and innuendo from anonymous sources, attempting to create a new sensational angle, and is highly irresponsible.”
Did Robert Delaware do the right thing? Or was he just looking for publicity?
Microsoft made headlines recently by proudly proclaiming it would support Netflix streaming video to Gold members starting this fall at no additional cost. They have also announced plans to open a community application store whose concept very much mirrors the approach taken by Apple with the iPhone app store. Anyone can apply to join the XNA Creators Club, as long as you have the $99 application fee and a unique idea to work with. Microsoft will distribute content at prices ranging from $2.50 to $10.00 taking a mere 30% cut of the profits. Most readers know this approach is about as creative as the mii2 avatar’s but is still a step in the right direction. With community application support and streaming video now coming to the Xbox, it speaks to a larger trend. Consumers are increasingly looking for a one box solution to their entertainment needs. And the battle for the living room is just starting to heat up.
Click the jump to see to see why the future of all in one entertainment devices is bright.
The console wars just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Earlier today at E3, Microsoft and Netflix announced an exclusive partnership that will give Xbox 360 owners the ability to stream movies and TV episodes included with their Netflix subscription to their living room TV set. The new service will launch in late fall and be available to LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers at no additional cost.
The partnership with Microsoft not only comes as a bonus to existing Xbox 360 owners, who prior to the update had to either buy a $99 set-top player through Roku or deal with unofficial (and buggy) workarounds, but also presents potential console owners a compelling incentive to pick up an Xbox 360 over the Blu-ray capable Playstation 3.