Yesterday, I went to the Norton 2010 Launch, and I must say it is definitely a very interesting and unique launch. It was held at the Singapore Flyer, at one of the event halls. It started out with a very casual registration and dinner. Followed by 3 different games (like what?) that essentially brings out the theme of the event, “Get Safer, Smarter, and Faster”.
The 1st game was “Spot the difference” of two pictures of Da Vinci’s Last Supper (Faster). The 2nd game were to solve anagrams, and they were focused on security keywords (Smarter). The last game was to create an egg catcher out of scraps (Safer).
After all the games, the actual event commenced, with Effendy Ibrahim first up, followed by David talking about Norton’s new technology in Norton 2010.
The last time I used a Norton product was many years back, and the impression I had was that Norton was a very resource-hogging, cpu-intensive, clunky and annoying huge piece of junk that takes over your computer, decreasing your computer’s performance and usability, including increasing boot-time.
That was all in the past. In Norton 2010, they focused on making it light on memory – using only just 10MB at idle, faster scanning speeds, fewer intrusive popups, increases boot time by only a little, and installs under 1 minute. But the most impressive technology that separates Norton from the rest of the other security suites is an additional new level of security, codenamed Quorum, that essentially uses the concept of “Crowdsourcing” to discover any new malware that isn’t already in the database of malware signatures. Quorum uses the opinions of the masses to determine the “reputation” of a certain file based on some statistical algorithm which allows Norton 2010 to determine whether if a file should be denied or allowed based on this “reputation”. This allows faster and quicker propagation of malware discovery, allowing it to determine a new malware within an average 1 hour. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Quorum. There are many other ideas in the works that makes use of this concept, like being able to determine whether a particular application is unstable or will crash your system, and various other interesting ideas for quick propagation of information regarding a certain application.
Another technology, System Insight, is useful for technically-inclined users (friends and family of the technically-inclined). The constant performance monitoring of applications allows these users to correlate poor performance with activity on the PC, including new downloads and installs. This will enable users to figure out (for friends and family) what exactly is slowing down their computer and remove or mitigate the cause.
In terms of the User Interface, and the toolbar, I’m not impressed with the space-eating toolbar, and the gratuitous animation which does not bring any additional value at all to the user. Thank goodness it isn’t an often used feature. If Norton needs some recommendations with UX, look me up and I’ll recommend several great UX gurus. Installing toolbars and taking over precious real-estate space on your screen, especially when netbooks are becoming popular, isn’t really the way to go. Random fancy, gratuitous animation just because it looks cool does NOT add any value to the user experience, but might even slow down the animation performance on slower computers. It is the epitome of BAD user interface design. With that said, I’m pretty impressed with how they represented System Insight and performance monitoring in a timeline, which is something that actually make sense.
Other than that, I am pretty impressed with the improvements they have made in terms of speed, and memory resources. With regards to the event, it was great and enjoyable. Enjoy the photos below.
Some additional interesting read of Gratuitous Animations and Design: