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Adaptec, Symantec tweak programs for Windows Me

Software makers affected by changes in Windows Me are updating their programs to work with the Microsoft operating system, released last week.

Software makers affected by changes in Windows Me are updating their programs to work with the Microsoft operating system, released last week.

Both Symantec and Adaptec have released updates that address incompatibilities between their applications and Windows Me, Microsoft's new operating system for home PC users.

Windows Me, which focuses on making computers easier to use and maintain, eliminates the ability of third-party software applications to overwrite certain key system files. Previous operating systems from Microsoft such as Windows 98 and Windows 95 allowed this overwriting.

The incompatibilities also affected applications from Quarterdeck, Network ICE, Network Associates and McAfee.com. These companies have not yet announced or issued updates.

Microsoft asserted that it had Is Windows Me for you? worked with software makers to make sure their applications were compatible with Windows Me. "We did a couple of things with Windows Me that really helped solve a bunch of other issues," Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's lead product manager for Windows Me, said last week. "But we ended up creating temporary issues with eight applications."

Adaptec has issued a free upgrade to its GoBack software, which rectifies the incompatibility. The Milpitas, Calif.-based company also has alerted its registered users that the free update is available, according to a company representative.

Symantec, of Cupertino, Calif., today announced that Norton Internet Security 2001, its Internet security and privacy software, has been updated to support Windows Me.

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The Windows Me feature that affected the third-party applications, called System File Protection, is a valid means of improving the reliability and stability of a computer, according to Dan Kusnetzky, a software analyst with International Data Corp. But Microsoft's somewhat heavy-handed approach caught some developers off guard, he said.

"It's a reasonable way to handle the problem," Kusnetzky said. "It's too easy for people to change something which affects the entire operation of the system."

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft released Windows Me last week. The operating system provides new home-networking features, digital-media enhancements and new Internet features. It is available for $49 to Windows 98 users and $109 to other Windows users.

Windows Me is the last DOS-based operating system from Microsoft, the company has said. The next operating system, code-named Whistler, will be based on the same code as the company's operating system for businesses, Windows 2000.