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Norton upgrades for Windows 98

The new antivirus suite includes protection against "Trojan horse" programs and malicious Java code.

    Symantec will introduce the latest version of its popular antivirus suite next week, the first of its Norton utilities for Windows 98 users.

    Norton AntiVirus 5.0 still protects Windows 95 and Windows NT workstation users, but also includes some features designed specifically for use in concert with the latest Microsoft operating system.

    The upgraded utility offers some features protecting not only against bona fide viruses, but also "Trojan horse" programs aimed at stealing passwords, malicious Java or ActiveX code which can corrupt files of Web site visitors, and virus hoaxes which can alarm online neophytes unnecessarily, according to Marian Merritt, senior product manager for Symantec.

    The new version also provides more frequent virus definition updates and patches, Merrit said, which can save users the trouble of seeking out the appropriate patch whenever a virus rumor makes the rounds on the Web.

    In addition, Norton AntiVirus 5.0 includes new features like Quarantine, which allows users to isolate infected files, and Bloodhound, which detects viruses by observing applications' typical behavior and recording aberrations. Norton AntiVirus 5.0 for NT Servers also includes its own Quarantine feature, allowing network administrators to isolate infected or suspicious files.

    "Our objective is to make the administrator's job easier, to control all files in a central manner," said Jack Lang, product manager for Norton 5.0 for Windows NT Workstation.

    Norton AntiVirus 5.0 will be available on August 20 for $49.95 for the full version and $29.95 for the upgrade version.

    "We do integrate with the Windows 98 scheduler," added Merritt, explaining that Norton 5.0 running on Windows 98 can schedule its own updates automatically, instead of relying upon users to remember to visit Symantec's Web site.

    "Only 50 percent [of our customers] ever update at all. That is not the best, nor the most frugal way of doing it," she said.