Cupertino, Calif --November 17, 1998-- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing, today announced that independent test results show that Norton SystemWorks, the industry's first completely integrated suite of utility and anti-virus products, surpasses McAfee (Nasdaq: NETA) Office in system stability, integration, functionality, and installation. Norton SystemWorks is the smartest way to keep your computer working. The product is comprised of Symantec's award-winning utility and anti-virus products, including Norton CrashGuard, and a six-month subscription to Norton Web Services.
The tests were conducted by ZDTag, the ZD Testing and Analysis Group. Completely independent of all ZD editorial testing groups, ZDTag brings ZD's top-quality, objective, lab-based research and analysis directly to the user community. A full copy of the ZDTag report is available at ZDTag's web site, www.zdtag.com.
"ZDTag's testing and analysis services are unparalleled in quality and scope," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit. "As a result, we are very pleased that Norton SystemWorks has been proven to be the top utility suite on the market."
To provide the most comprehensive test coverage, ZDTag installed and ran both Norton SystemWorks and McAfee Office on three systems: a high-end desktop system running Windows 98, a low-end desktop system running Windows 95, and a high-end laptop system running Windows 98. Each product was tested for overall system stability, compatibility among products, duplicate functionality, and time and ease of installation.
In a test for system stability, Norton SystemWorks dramatically outperformed McAfee Office. Norton SystemWorks was not only found to be more stable, but it was also virtually maintenance free. McAfee Office, however, required the testers to restart, disable, and remove several applications in order to boot the system. "We found the Symantec product to have much better system stability than the McAfee product," the report stated. "On our test systems, we successfully installed the Symantec product, and were able to restart and immediately use all of the installed applications. No additional system configuration was required.
"After we installed the McAfee product," the report continued, "we were unable to successfully restart any of our test systems. Additionally, we tried restarting our system after installing each component, but continued to be unsuccessful restarting the system with all components installed. On all test systems, we had to remove several of the McAfee Office applications before we could successfully boot onto the operating system. Even after disabling some of the components, we were unable to upgrade VirusScan via the Internet upgrade procedure. We were unable to run the disk defragmentation and file undelete utility because we removed Nuts and Bolts so that we could restart our system . . . Overall, we found the McAfee product to have major system stability problems."
Lab testing also demonstrated that Norton SystemWorks is easier to use because it is one complete package rather than a collection of individual applications. Users access Norton SytemWorks via a single intuitive user interface represented by a single icon on the desktop. Bundled products such as McAfee Office, however, install several icons-one for each product in the bundle. As the ZDTag test report indicated, this lack of integration causes usability problems. "After installing [Norton SystemWorks], we ran the SystemWorks components from within a single integrated dialog . . . We ran the McAfee components as individual products since there was no integrated dialog," the report stated. "The McAfee components each had several subcomponents running in the Windows Systray. We had difficulty determining which subcomponents belonged to which main McAfee components . . . Overall, we found McAfee Office to have major compatibility problems. Only after uninstalling some of the Office components were we able to run our series of test users actions." The testers concluded, "The SystemWorks components worked together better than the McAfee product components."
Norton SystemWorks also outperformed McAfee Office in clear product functionality. "We found that the Symantec product had less duplicate functionality than the McAfee product," the report concluded. "The Symantec product had an average component-to-functionality ratio of 1.1:1, compared to 1.6:1 for the McAfee product. A low ratio means that there was little duplicate functionality between the components and therefore less confusion. The McAfee ratio of 1.6:1 indicated that the McAfee product had a high level of duplicate functionality and was more confusing to use."
In addition, ZDTag testing also confirmed that Norton SystemWorks is faster and easier to install and use than bundled offerings such as McAfee Office. "The Symantec product took 16 percent less time to install than the McAfee product," the ZDTag test report stated. "We were able to install all of the SystemWorks applications via a single button in the installation dialog." Users install the entire suite of Norton SystemWorks products with a single, simple install and registration. In addition, they have the flexibility of choosing which products they want installed, without being concerned for the order of installation or of product compatibility after each component is installed. With bundled products, users are typically forced to install and register each product individually and in a prescribed order, and then reboot after every installation and test their systems to be sure the product is not interfering with another product in the bundle.
ZDTag also noted that Norton SystemWorks included a complete 168-page User's Guide. "We used the User's Guide to help us through the installation process," the report said. "It had a complete table of contents and index and was generally helpful in our use of SystemWorks." In contrast, according to the report, McAfee Office documentation "offered limited detail on each of the products. It contained a small table of contents and no index. The single illustration used in the manual was outdated since it did not accurately reflect the matching image in the actual Office installer."
The ZDTag test report concluded, "Overall, we thought that the Symantec product was a better product suite than the McAfee product primarily because it was quicker and easier to install, had clear product functionality, good compatibility among its components, and did not disrupt overall system stability."
ZDTag is an independent, testing service that builds on Ziff-Davis' history of expertise in high-tech product testing and industry-standard benchmark development. Completely independent of all ZD editorial testing groups, ZDTag brings ZD's top-quality, objective, labs-based research and analysis directly to the vendor community for the first time.
Ziff-Davis is the world's preeminent integrated media company focused on computing and the Internet. It offers global marketing solutions through major media platforms: print, events, Internet, research, education and through an affiliate, television.
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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