Symantec drops Norton Utilities

Symantec drops Norton Utilities

Symantec has quietly stopped shipping the standalone version of its venerable Norton Utilities product, choosing instead to offer the software only as part of its SystemWorks suite.

More than 20 years old, Norton Utilities' long list of applications includes hard drive tools, Registry editors, and system information. PC World editors recognised the product's longevity in a piece on classic utilities in the 20th Anniversary Issue.

Symantec decided last September to discontinue the standalone product. The company stopped shipping Norton Utilities in March 2003, a group product manager, Tom Powledge, said.

As a result, the upgrade path for owners of Norton Utilities was to SystemWorks, which includes Norton AntiVirus, CleanSweep (for removing Web-related junk files), and GoBack Personal (for system restoration), Powledge said.

Symantec decided to stop offering Utilities because the vast majority of buyers had switched over to SystemWorks, which the company introduced in 1998, he said.

"The utilities are related, and they're well integrated here," Powledge said. "You get a price break when you buy the suite, and that's how most people began buying them."

With SystemWorks selling well, and the demand for stand-alone Norton Utilities waning, the course was clear, he said.

"It was a natural evolution of the marketplace," Powledge said.

The PC marketplace, that is. While PC owners have to buy SystemWorks to get a new version of Norton Utilities, Apple fans can still buy the standalone version for the foreseeable future.

Symantec introduced the Mac versions of Norton Utilities and SystemWorks later, and those buyers hadn't switched over to the larger suite yet, Powledge said.

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