GUI & FEATURE SET
As stated in my introduction, the GUI for Panda IS 2009 is a huge improvement on what IS 2008 offered. While 2008 is just as functional, 2009 is simply more pleasing to look at with its streamlined feel and intuitive layout. The five-tabbed console makes locating utilities a breeze.
The Status tab is split into three sections and gives a sort of statistical overview of system health. These sections are labeled Protection, Maintenance, and Updates and contain real-time stats on each. Displayed at the bottom of each section are settings and advanced options for custom configuration.
The Scan tab offers a number of scan utilities for running checks on your drives, emails, or specific files and folders. This section offers a scheduling tool which is a must for any security software suite.
The Report tab allows you to run statistical data analysis to custom tweak your security configuration for optimum security and performance.
The Quarantine tab shows items that were flagged as malicious and their current status. This section will also display important analytical data such as the original file location, the reason it was quarantined, and when this information was sent to Panda via their Collective Intelligence system. This system essentially "recruits" other Panda Security users from across the globe to provide Panda with real-time virus data that can be shared virtually. As threats are analyzed, in real-time, warnings can be sent to all Panda IS users and assist (or prevent) a large outbreak.
The Services tab immediately caught my attention because one of my biggest pet peeves is having to search through a website for support. Panda offers every type of support (email support, recovery disk creation, bulletins, downloads, suggestions, etc.) all in one convenient location within the console. For my purposes this is more than sufficient but novice users could probably benefit from a technical support line and/or an online user forum.