CUPERTINO, Calif. - January 25, 1999 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing, today announced that Norton 2000 won the Reviewer's Choice Award from Government Computer News (GCN). In the review published January 11, 1999, Norton 2000 outperformed all six competitors, including Network Associates' (Nasdaq: NETA) McAfee 2000 ToolBox.
"Being awarded this designation from Government Computer News is truly an honor," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit. "The U.S. Federal Government has taken the lead in bringing Y2K issues to the public's attention. Now, by sharing the results of its thorough testing and analysis of Y2K PC solutions, it is once again demonstrating not only its comprehensive understanding of Y2K-related issues, but its unwavering commitment to reducing potential century date problems on all fronts."
GCN Testing and Results The GCN Lab tested seven Y2K solutions for desktop PCs, using the National Software Testing Laboratories' Ymark2000 testing utility. Test tools were rated according to ease of use, features, accuracy, and thoroughness. The Lab judged ease-of-use on simplicity of installation and interface. Reviewers examined features including, but not limited to, the operating systems supported, reporting method, user advice, and corrective patches. To be judged accurate, a utility had to identify all problem areas correctly, particularly in the BIOS. Thoroughness required that the software examine at a minimum all date-related issues within the hardware and BIOS, including leap-year dates.
The Ymark2000 utility tested each product at five levels: Layer 1-hardware, Layer 2-BIOS, Layer 3-operating system, Layer 4-applications, and Layer 5-data. According to the report, while most of the products tested correctly at the hardware and BIOS levels, "Norton 2000 merited its Reviewer's Choice designation by performing admirably in Layers 4 and 5, especially under Windows 9x." The review continued, "The amount of scanned date information from any actively used PC can be overwhelming. Norton 2000 lassoed it into an easily understood format that mostly listed spreadsheets and databases with two-digit year fields as problematic. Although Norton officially supports only Windows 9x and NT, a handy component under Windows 9x creates a bootable floppy that can test Layers 1 and 2 under almost any OS on an Intel-based or compatible system."
Other reviewed products failed to meet GCN's stringent requirements in various areas. For example, in comparing Norton 2000 to Check 2000 PC Deluxe, from Greenwich MeanTime-UTA L.C., reviewers wrote, "Whereas Norton intelligently chooses which files to scan, Check 2000 PC Deluxe might spend a long time scanning every file on the hard drive."
McAfee 2000 ToolBox also fell short of GCN's requirements, causing the writer to comment, "McAfee 2000 ToolBox seems to have been pulled together from separate applications . . . It performs diagnostics backwards: data, virus, applications, and then hardware and BIOS. McAfee advertises updates to 2000 ToolBox on its web site, but I could not get the patch without registering for a secret code. I also couldn't get the live-update features to work. McAfee 2000 ToolBox also installs WinGauge Lite, which tests system tuning, but an obnoxious alert frequently warned that the hard drive was 9 percent fragmented even after complete defragmentation. I finally disabled it."
The review concluded, "If you need a serious tool for PC testing, Norton 2000 is the best choice."
How Norton 2000 Works
Norton 2000 1.0, an effective Year 2000 solution that protects valuable desktop and laptop PCs. By addressing both hardware and software Y2K issues, Norton 2000 makes it easier for PC users to effectively reduce the threat of downtime resulting from non-compliant components and applications.
Norton 2000 offers users a powerful tool that allow users to be proactive and guard the mission-critical data residing on desktop and laptop computers. Designed and created by the world's most experienced utility software engineers, Norton 2000 scans data, applications, and hardware and alerts the user to non-compliance problems that may lead to financial losses, liability issues, and incompatibility with co-workers', customers', clients', or partners' systems.
One of the most critical issues consumers and small businesses face with the approach of the next millennium is how to monitor spreadsheets and databases that are continually changing. One serious issue involves dates that fall close to a "cusp" point. Excel version 4, 5 and 7 assume that year values from 00 to 19 represent 2000-2019 and year values from 20-99 represent 1920-1999. Excel 8 extends this cusp point to 29/30. As a result, dates in a spreadsheet with years close to these cusp points may be incorrectly interpreted. In addition, the cusp point will change across a simple software upgrade and cause erroneous processing of dates. All of these types of errors can have widespread implications for both small businesses and off-site employees of larger corporations.
To address those issues, Norton 2000 includes a data scanning component that not only discovers Y2K problems in these complex files, but also generates a customizable report detailing findings. Norton 2000 scans the following files: Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Access, dBase, Clipper, FoxPro, and Paradox. For recent Excel spreadsheets, Norton 2000 color-codes and annotates the spreadsheet to highlight and explain Y2K issues in each affected cell. Many competitive products simply scan file extensions.
Norton 2000 also audits other popular software applications for year 2000 compliance and tests those applications against a database of known year 2000 problems. The application database is kept up-to-date using LiveUpdate, Symantec's powerful utility program that locates and helps install hardware drivers and software updates specific to the user's system. LiveUpdate gives consumers and small business owners easy and quick access to the most reliable information on compliant software through to the millennium.
In addition, Norton 2000 uses a boot floppy to test and fix system clocks and the BIOS, where possible, thereby preventing users from inadvertently destroying data and program configurations during testing. For added convenience, Norton 2000 also offers a Windows-based System Date Test.
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at www.symantec.com.
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