Dear Peter Norton,
You probably won't remember me, but we sat next to each other at a press dinner about 10 years ago. The conversation was only memorable for the 'who has the most home bread-making equipment contest' you got into with a colleague. You won.
I am finally so irritated with Symantec that I thought I'd drop you a note. I know you don't have that much to do with the software anymore but I want to talk about Norton software and, well, it has your face on it. (As a quick aside, I do think you might sell a lot more if you looked a bit happier on the box. It's just a personal thing, but you look fairly cheesed off - a smile might help sales.)
Anyway, first up is a quickie - Norton Navigator, a really good product that deserves much more than to quietly rot in the shadow of Windows Explorer/Internet Explorer 5. Can you use your influence to get out either a new version or some more upgrades that make it fully Windows 98 compatible - perhaps a version that incorporates the two upgrades on the Symantec Website?
It is the Website that is the focus of my complaint. You or your chums at Symantec had the good idea of creating Live Update, where you dial up the Symantec server and download any upgrades your Symantec program needs. Very simple, very clever.
In the old days, it used to be that you could either do the Live Update thing or pop onto the Website, download the same upgrade onto your PC and then run the upgrade from there. Now, the beauty of this was that if I had, say, a virus checker at the office and at home, I could download the virus updates, load them on my home machine and then take the file into the office and load them there too. Thus, both my machines would be nice and up to date with just the cost of one file download.
Not anymore. The facility to download the file from the Website has been stopped, so if I want to upgrade my Norton Utilities at home and in the office I now have to make two phone calls.
And, without wanting to be too cheeky, Norton Utilities 3 is now at version 3.0.9 - someone's been doing a bit of tweaking, haven't they? It's not you getting in a bit of late night coding is it? I now have to download each one of these sometimes large upgrades twice - why not keep the two systems running in parallel?
I know you are trying to provide a service and I think the whole Live Update system is a fine thing, just please don't forget us who pay phone bills. Let's not allow the 'look what we can do' technology get in the way of providing a simple and useful service.
Thanks for your time - keep on making the bread.
Chris Long is a freelance IT journalist.
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference