Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 5.0 for Windows NT servers, the first anti-virus software from the partnership between Symantec and IBM, has been launched both in English and Chinese. IBM and Symantec in May announced a worldwide alliance to develop a family of anti-virus software which will include new products for IBM platforms and merge technology from both companies, including IBM's patented Antivirus Immune System (AIS). That system is a mechanism that identifies virus patterns and ensures it is really a virus signature before it creates an antidote and injects it into the PC. The merger also enables the two companies to share virus technology to provide more comprehensive products. NAV 5.0 for Windows NT for instance, is the first product to have integrated IBM's immune system solution with Symantec's existing anti-virus solutions. It will integrate later with IBM's other software products from its subsidiaries Tivoli and Lotus. Following the agreement, IBM handed over to Symantec the responsibility for handling anti-virus business for its hardware clients, including providing products and maintenance. Daniel Schneersohn, Symantec's North Asia director, said Symantec had spent the past few months helping IBM customers migrate to its platform. The launch of NAV for Windows NT, which is designed to provide effective anti-virus protection across an enterprise, is expected to boost Symantec's presence in the corporate market. Mr Schneersohn said NAV 5.0 was built to give IT managers the ability to configure desktop systems and disseminate and install anti-virus software upgrades automatically to network users. Keeping up with anti-virus upgrades was one of the main concerns of network administrators. The number of viruses in the world was increasing daily and there were multiple ways for viruses to enter the network environment. About 98 per cent of viruses were spread via the Internet, Mr Schneersohn said. 'When the first macro viruses appeared in 1995, they needed a year to spread worldwide. Today's viruses have active contents which makes them spread in a matter of days,' Mr Schneersohn said. Symantec recommends anti-virus updates be done on a daily basis. The new, incremental virus definition feature of NAV 5.0 allowed users to download only the newest virus patterns, making each update faster, he said. Other new features included an option which allowed a 'quarantine server' to be set up on the network, where files damaged beyond repair, or files affected with an unknown virus could be held until a cure was found. NAV 5.0 for Windows NT also offers a new scan-and-deliver capability, enabling administrators to e-mail viruses to the Symantec AntiVirus Research Centre for analysis and receive a fix within 24-48 hours. The feature gives customers the option of keeping the content of the file and sending just its envelope, in order to meet confidentiality needs. NAV 5.0 for Windows NT also integrates with Norton System Centre (NSC), a plug-in for the Microsoft management console which distributes, maintains and automatically updates anti-virus software. NSC event manager is fully integrated with Windows 98 and offers options such as a scheduler for automating tasks such as scanning.