A recent update to Norton designed to add compatibility for Windows 10 is incompatible with mainstream Windows releases, according to some users.
Symantec is denying that these issues are anything worse than teething problems, although this has so far failed to placate critics.
Users are loudly complaining about borked Win 8.1 kit, Win 7 kit and (ahem) XP kit on Symantec forums. This issue came to The Register's attention from reader David, who pointed us towards a number of threads featuring complaining punters (here and here).
At the time of writing, none of the threads El Reg viewed had been given a substantive response from Symantec.
Symantec pointed us towards an official blog which states that the Win 10 version of its software is currently in beta. In an associated statement, Symantec promised broad, sunlit uplands lie ahead.
Norton is committed to delivering best-in-class security protection across all devices and operating systems and will be ready to support Windows 10 when it’s available.
In the coming weeks, Norton will release an update to customers, ensuring their Norton protection is compatible with the new Windows 10 OS.
The release will also include enhanced security features and performance optimisations.
David dismissed Symantec’s response as “corporate waffle” that fails to even acknowledge current user problems.
“There's loads of folk moaning (me included, I came late to the party) around an update that installed itself and then can knacker either the PC or itself,” he told El Reg by email. “It left mine in a permanent reboot state and I had to re-image it from a (very luckily) two-day-old image. There's folk moaning about not just affecting Windows 8.1 but also XP, 7 etc, too.”
“I think the thing most folk are annoyed about is Symantec's lack of information or contribution to when it will be fixed,” he continued, “besides acknowledging it appears to have let an alpha or beta release escape as production.”
Pressed on the issue, Symantec issued a revised statement denying widespread problems or anything out of the ordinary. It characterised reported problems as isolated and teething.
Norton releases product updates throughout the year to help detect the latest threats, roll out new features and fix bugs. Every update is carefully monitored for any problems across our global customer base.
If we spot new issues, we are quick to react and implement mitigation measures.
For example, on 11 June we saw some customers experiencing errors when running patches for Norton Security 22.2, so the patches were removed that same day and the corrected version was reposted.
Our current active patch update is designed to bring version 21.x and older clients up to 22.5 to ensure they are ready for Windows 10 when it rolls out later this month.
We have not seen any common issues with the latest version, but will be continuing to monitor the situation.
The Norton maker added to El Reg that it would encourage any users who may be experiencing bugs to contact the support team "so we can diagnose [the problem] with their specific machine configuration."
Our tipster was unimpressed by this response.
"Perhaps if it actually read its own Forums and joined the dots across the various threads it might take a rather different view," he said. "Additionally, it shouldn't have pushed a Beta product out automatically onto folks PCs in the first place."
Windows 10 is due to become generally available from 29 July. To encourage its adoption, Microsoft is making Windows 10 available free of additional charge to users of genuine copies of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, for the first year.
This offer is only really appealing providing a smooth upgrade path of core applications, such as office productivity suites and security apps, is assured. ®