Onto Norton 360…

ZoneAlarm cut off VMware’s access to the internet so it was time to reinstall it. However, I messed up the reinstallation and now there seems no way to reinstate things like they were without tampering with my Windows XP installation status and I have no intention of doing that. The thing seems to think that it can start a TrueVector service that does not exist.

I have to have some some security software on board so I made a return to the Symantec fold with my purchase of Norton 360. That does sound extreme but I have been curious about the software for a while now. You get the usual firewall, antivirus and antispam functions with PC tuning, antiphishing and backup features available as well. It is supposed to be unobtrusive so we’ll see how it goes from here.

Update: PC Pro rates the software highly while Tech.co.uk accuses it of being bloatware. Nevertheless, the only issue that I am having with it is its insistence on having Microsoft Update turned on. I am sticking with Shavlik’s NetChk Protect, especially seeing what Microsoft have been doing with its update service. Take a look at Windows Secrets.com to see what I mean. Other than that it seems to working away in the background without intruding at all.

Is Windows 2000 support finished?

At work, we still use Windows 2000 on our desktop and laptop PC’s. This may (or may not) surprise you but the XP upgrade seems to have been thought a premature move and Vista turned up later than might have been expected. Now that Microsoft is winding down support for Windows 2000, thoughts have started to turn to a Vista upgrade but the realisation soon dawned that a move to Vista was a major one and it now looks as if we will be on Windows 2000 for a little while yet, until 2008 at least.

I too have Windows 2000 lurking around at home as a testing platform, not a work copy I hasten to add, and software vendors increasingly are not supporting the operating system any more. Symantec is one of these with the 2006 versions of its products being the last ones to support Windows 2000. Initially, I was left with the impression that Kapersky was the same but this does not seem to be the case. While the open source community can continue their supply of productivity applications such as OpenOffice, the GIMP and so on, it is the security side that is of most concern as regards the future of Windows 2000. That said, its successors are not the prime targets for cracking but shared code could mean that it falls foul of the same exploits.

I have yet to notice it with the hardware that I am using but hardware advances may yet put paid to Windows 2000 like they did to members of the Windows 9x line, especially when you consider that the operating system dates from 1999. Then again, you may find that you don’t need the latest hardware so this might not affect you. This is not all that unreasonable given that the pace of technological progress is less frenzied these days than it was in the nineties when Windows 95 was more or less out of date by the turn of millennium. Having the gold OEM version of Windows 95 as the basis for a Windows 9x upgrade treadmill mean that my move into the world of NT-based operating systems was a clean break with a full version of my new operating system and not its upgrade edition.

Nevertheless, there remains a feeling that Windows 2000 is being cut off prematurely and that it could last a while longer with a bit of support, even if there is a late nineties feel to the thing. After all, Windows 2000 probably still supports a lot of what people want to do and without the Big Brother tendencies of Vista too.