Symantec has stopped development of Norton Utilities for Macintosh – which finds and repairs disk problems, helps users recover files, and improves hard drive performance through defragmentation.

The company will also discontinue Norton SystemWorks for Macintosh – which includes Norton AntiVirus as well as Norton Utilities.

Symantec representative Michael Romo told MacFixIt: "We are no longer actively developing new versions of Norton Utilities and, since Norton Utilities makes up a large part of Norton SystemWorks, we are discontinuing that package as well."

Symantec senior product manager Nancy Mohler told Mac Observer: "The decision was based solely on the strategic desire to focus Macintosh development resources on Internet security solutions. This decision is also not a reflection of a lack of customer need.

"Symantec remains committed to the Macintosh platform. We are actively working on development of enhanced Internet security solutions to support the Mac operating system."

Development continues

Mohler confirmed: "Symantec will continue to meet market demand for Norton Utilities 8.0 for Macintosh and Norton SystemWorks 3.0 for Macintosh and will continue to manufacture these products for an unspecified length of time. Symantec will maintain its commitment to supporting the current Mac operating system – Mac OS 10.3 (Panther), as well as any future releases of Panther (10.3.x). Norton Utilities for Macintosh and Norton SystemWorks for Macintosh also support all current Macintosh hardware.

Romo added: "We will continue to support current Macintosh systems. If Apple releases a machine that demands a new CD, we will look at the situation on a case-by-case basis."

Symantec will also continue work on Norton AntiVirus: "We are still actively developing Norton AntiVirus for the Macintosh, Panther and beyond. Same thing goes for Norton Internet Security and Norton Personal Firewall," confirmed Romo.

Romo also confirmed that owners of SystemWorks would continue to receive support and virus definitions: "We will continue to offer customer and technical support for these products. Symantec will continue to offer antivirus subscriptions to Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh users, regardless of whether the product was purchased as a standalone or as part of a product suite, such as Norton SystemWorks."

However: "The duration for which support for these products will be available has yet to be determined and will depend largely on the duration for which these products are sold in retail outlets," Mohler stated.

The last virus definition update issued for Norton AntiVirus for the Macintosh was on April 9, following the threat of the MP3Concept Trojan horse.