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AVG sees Uphill Battle for Microsoft's Free Anti-Virus Software

AVG Technologies today responded to Microsoft’s announcement of a free anti-virus software product slated to appear in mid-2009. AVG, which for eight years has offered free anti-virus software to users worldwide, noted the multiple challenges Microsoft faces in supporting a free anti-virus software product – chief among them the enormous overhead costs it will incur for customer service and support issues, as well as for ongoing product management and upgrades.
  • 24 November, 2008 15:40

<p>AVG Technologies, a global anti-virus and Internet security software provider with over 85 million users in 167 countries, today responded to Microsoft’s announcement of a free anti-virus software product slated to appear in mid-2009.</p>
<p>AVG, which for eight years has offered free anti-virus software to users worldwide, noted the multiple challenges Microsoft faces in supporting a free anti-virus software product – chief among them the enormous overhead costs it will incur for customer service and support issues, as well as for ongoing product management and upgrades.</p>
<p>Microsoft will also likely contend with a severe backlash from dissatisfied channel partners, whose margins and unit sales will be negatively impacted as a result of the free product offering, AVG believes.</p>
<p>“For over eight years, AVG has recognized and responded to the growing global threat of malware by offering a free and comprehensive tool to combat computer viruses, spyware, malware and online threats,” said J.R. Smith, the company’s CEO. “Microsoft is clearly following our lead, which will certainly help combat basic and less sophisticated threats. But the real threat in this scenario is to Microsoft’s own profitability and channel partner relations.”</p>
<p>AVG also highlighted the challenges facing Microsoft to keep pace with the growing proliferation of new and increasingly onerous online threats. Microsoft often relies on its monthly “patch Tuesday” updates to refresh its current anti-virus product, leaving computer users vulnerable to botnets and other malicious attacks. Importantly, the free Microsoft anti-virus software will have even less protective features than its current OneCare offering – further heightening computer users’ vulnerability to fast-spreading viruses and other threats.</p>
<p>Statistics highlight the escalating problem. Computer infections from malware are increasing exponentially. AVG’s in-house research team notes that 50,000 variants are being issued every day – further pointing up the need for real-time protection.</p>
<p>AVG’s LinkScanner feature provides up-to-the-minute protection against the very latest threats. What’s more, AVG’s award-winning anti-virus products have long been recognized for providing maximum computer security and online protection with minimal resource strain.</p>
<p>From a global protection perspective, AVG has a strong presence in established and emerging markets. The company’s strategic growth plan includes the introduction of several new native-language versions of its anti-virus programs in the coming weeks. Moreover, the company’s worldwide user-support community – with people and small businesses from 167 countries – continues to grow as the industry’s only truly “self-help” network.</p>
<p>“The exceptional ease of use and simplicity of AVG’s products have long been a strong sell for the channel, providing more security strength and functionality at a much lower cost than Microsoft’s anti-virus offerings,” added Mr. Smith. “Given these tough economic times, our resellers appreciate the robust product margins we offer and the vitality of our end-user community to help drive future sales.”</p>
<p>About AVG Technologies
AVG is a global security solutions leader protecting more than 85 million consumers and small business computer users in 167 countries from the ever-growing incidence of web threats, viruses, spam, cyber-scams and hackers on the Internet. Headquartered in Amsterdam, AVG has nearly two decades of experience in combating cyber crime and one of the most advanced laboratories for detecting, pre-empting and combating Web-borne threats from around the world. Its free online, downloadable software model allows entry-level users to gain basic anti-virus protection and then to easily and inexpensively upgrade to greater levels of safety and defense in both single and multi-user environments. Nearly 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors team with AVG globally including Amazon.com, CNET, Cisco, Ingram Micro, Play.com, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo!. More information is available at www.avg.com.</p>
<p>Media contacts:
Lloyd Borrett AVG (AU/NZ) 03 9581 0807
Shuna Boyd BoydPR 02 9418 8100</p>

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