by Mark H. Anbinder -- TidBITS Contributing Editor
We've been wondering when this would happen, and it finally has. Jonathan Feinstein of Shrink2Fit Software let us know that Symantec Corporation, makers of the popular SUM II (Symantec Utilities for Macintosh) and Norton Utilities packages, has rolled the two into a single improved package, Norton Utilities 2.0, or NUM 2.0. The new version is now shipping, and should be available from dealers by the end of this month.
According to a mailing Jonathan received from Symantec, the new Norton Utilities 2.0 will include all the functionality of Norton Utilities 1.1, plus some of the best features of SUM II, such as drive parameter files to allow recovery from badly-damaged volumes. In addition, 2.0 will include a fast backup utility, an improved SpeedDisk optimizer, better file recovery (due largely, no doubt, to some of SUM II's capabilities) and a new version of the Directory Assistance extension (similar to Now's Super Boomerang) that works with System 7, unlike previous versions.
Users who purchased either Norton Utilities or SUM II since 20-Jan-92 are entitled to a free upgrade to Norton Utilities 2.0, in exchange for a dated sales receipt and $8 for shipping and handling. Owners of any previous version of Norton or SUM who purchased the software before 20-Jan-92 may upgrade to this new package for the reasonable price of $39, plus the same $8 shipping and handling charge.
Registered users may give Symantec a call at 800/343-4714 to arrange the upgrade with a credit card. Of course, users who need the free upgrade will need to send in their proof of purchase. All mail upgrade orders should go to:
Symantec Fulfillment Center
Attn: NUM 2.0
P. O. Box 5224
Englewood, CO 80155-5224
I was originally pleased that Symantec chose to keep both SUM II and Norton Utilities in their product lineup after acquiring Peter Norton Computing a while back. Each product had its advantages, such as Norton's ability to repair directory damage and SUM's more-powerful file recovery, but it seems that Symantec has assembled the best features of both packages into a single package that should perform most of the disk utility tasks anyone would need.
The only disadvantage from this move that comes to mind is the fact that Symantec, which previously held two high spots in the disk utility software market, will now only hold one. No doubt the company will retain most of the combined market share from both programs, but it's likely that they will lose a little ground to competitors like Central Point Software in the process (although owners of Central Point's MacTools can sidegrade to NUM 2.0 for $59). Symantec seems to have decided, though, that the advantages of bringing a single, stronger product to market outweigh the disadvantages of giving up one of those spots.