By Steve Bass
Oh, Bass, What Did You Do?
On March 21, 1991, I stopped using Norton’s security programs.
But I like to see what the dark side is up to, so I recently switched back to Norton. And I’m really happy I did.
Of course, knowing how you always like to hear the dirt, I’ll tell you the back story.
Oh, Norton, What Did You Do?
It was at the March 21, 1991 user group meeting that a Norton rep was showing off the company’s latest antivirus program. “Give these a spin,” I said, handing the guy doing the demo a floppy disk filled with live viruses.
Not an unreasonable request, I thought. But that’s just me.
He avoided making eye contact, wouldn’t look at the floppy, and said “no.” That’s it. To a roomful of 350 computer users. “No.”
And it was downhill from there.
Over the years, Symantec’s Norton products grew popular; they also became bigger. They leapfrogged over Microsoft Office to obtain, and keep, the bloatware award. Norton products hobbled PCs by hogging computer resources and hard disk space. Like it or not, you got stuck with Live Update, a separate, massive, tool used to keep every Norton program in the world up-to-date — even if you only owned one product.
And when you’d had enough of Norton, you needed special software and a small backhoe to uninstall it. Live Update stayed with you forever.
Symantec shot itself in the foot over and over–and what really fascinates me, is when it had spare time, it did it again.