Norton 360’s Smart Scheduler

While building the first release of Norton 360 in 2006, we decided we didn't want to use the typical task scheduler so many other products use to run weekly antivirus scans. Remembering to keep your computer on "every Wednesday night at 2am" is a pain, so we set out to build a better wheel.

Norton 360 introduced Symantec's smart task scheduler. The new scheduler doesn't rely on a fixed schedule - instead it works around yours. Basically, Norton 360 is always looking for times that you're away from your desk and uses those opportunities to perform the routine maintenance tasks it needs to keep your PC safe and tuned.

The scheduler was a huge success and we've improved it in Norton 360 v2.0. It works so well that I often get questions like "How can I tell if a scan has run?" or even, "360 is too quiet. It never runs scans." I assure you, it does run weekly scans but users don't see them - and that's the point. I'd thought I'd give some insight into how it works:

The first thing we consider is user activity. Whenever you are using your PC, we try to stay out of your way as much as possible. After that, we look at system resource usage. If you've left for lunch while you're computer is rendering a large video or performing some other intensive task, we'll avoid doing any work if we can. However, if the system is idle and we have a job to perform, that's when the smart scheduler kicks in. If you return to your desk, we'll stop the job and continue it later.

We want the scheduler to provide users with a true set-it-and-forget-it system. For those curious users wanting more transparency, we're working on small application that you can download to see what's going behind the scenes. More to come on that shortly...

Message Edited by Sondra_Magness on 01-19-2009 04:00 PM