What's the deal with Symantec anymore?

As I've mentioned before, to keep my IT skills fresh I maintain a small consulting business on the side of my regular day-job here at TechRepublic.An increasingly worrisome trend I've noticed lately is just how many problems I'vehad to fix as a result of problems arising from Symantec software. Whether it's Norton Anti-Virus, NortonInternet Security or (Lord Forbid) SystemWorks, it seems as soon as the user says they're having problems with their computer and you start asking questions, the common denominator is often something Symantec residing on the


I've always liked Symantec software. I used to think that Norton AntiVirus was better than some others on the market like McAfee. And back in the days of DOS, Norton Utilities were an absolute must have in yours oftware toolkit. Maybe it's me, but recently it seems like today there's just

something wrong  with Symantec software.

For example, a recent customer was having problems with her laptop running incredibly slowly. It would take 15 - 20 minutes on start up before she'd have control over her desktop. A quick trip into the Event Viewer showed that LiveUpdate was having fits trying to access the update server. Even though her Internet connection was otherwise good, the updating service would continually

try to access the servers, fail, and retry again. Endlessly. In the process, the whole computer would slow to a crawl.

In another instance, an end user had installed SystemWorks on their workstation in order to clean up some problems with the registry. Before, the computer was running poorly, but afterwards the system was a doorstop. I had no choice but to completely reinstall Windows XP in order to undo the damage.

Plus, we won't even go into the times where I've run into customers that have had updated versions of Norton AntiVirus on their systems and I've discovered undetected worms and Trojans lurking about.

In frustration, I've turned to recommending AVG for home users and some of my smaller business customers. I also kind of like Trend's software as well. Trend's online scanner has been a life saver on several occasions. But with all of the problems I've encountered lately, it's becoming difficult to recommend Symantec software.

If this is indeed a symptom of a larger trend, then Symantec is in trouble. With Microsoft releasing OneCare on one hand, and then shoddy software causing more problems than they solve on the other, it can't bode well for Symantec. I'd be eager to hear about the experiences other TechRepublic members have had with Symantec stuff. Am I alone in becoming disillusioned with it?

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