Symantec Corporation yesterday announced the launch of the 2008 version of its Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus applications, boasting several new features and enhancements such as a behavioral-based technology called “Browser Defender” that shields users against drive-by downloads and other unknown threats that exploit vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.

Another notable addition to the latest version of Norton Internet Security is Norton Identity Safe, which lets users control what information is transmitted to websites and protects users against keystroke loggers by filling in forms and password fields automatically.

But perhaps one of the most common gripes among users, is the significant slow down their PCs suffer when using Symantec’s products, due to the constant background activity required by security scanning. Symantec claims to have overcome the problem with this latest version, which supposedly uses 69 percent less memory while performing 12 percent faster than a group of unnamed competitors.

Both products are available immediately for download from Symantec's online store, and they will be available through retailers shortly. Norton Internet Security 2008 retails at $69.99 for a three-PC license, while the more limited Norton Antivirus costs $39.99.