As most of our readers and fans know, we now protect more devices (PC, Mac, and Android) globally than any other antivirus provider.
As our business model is such that our freemium software serves as our ‘advertising’ (we don’t do traditional advertising), and most of our users come to us via referrals, we receive quite a bit of thanks from avast! users around the world.
And as our software is available in about 40 languages, we hear from grateful people in Spanish, German, Russian, French, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Polish, English, and of course, in addition to a few others, the native Czech of the land where we are headquartered.
For years we put selections of this positive feedback on our webpages at avast.com. But recently the world has been shifting toward social media based feedback, which means we don’t hear as much from avast! users through our web contact form (and that’s ok!).
But now and then we still do. And occasionally a message really catches our eye. Today, that message came from Wyoming, USA, in perfect ‘cowboy’ speak. Read more…
A press release from Panda Security, dated June, 21, 2012, properly goes straight to the point in its headline:
Panda Internet Security 2012 Ranks as Best-Performing Antivirus in Recent AV-Comparatives Evaluation
What the headline and accompanying ‘news’ fail to mention is that Panda scored among best-performing antivirus software in the AV-Comparatives test, but still only tied F-Secure for seventh (7th) place – coming in under Tencent (6th), Qihoo (5th), AVIRA and Sophos (tied for 4th), ESET (3rd), avast! (2nd), and Webroot (1st).
My daughter should be credited (or blamed) with the Cute, Pink, and Infected release.
She was playing games on my computer and suddenly screamed: “The internet has stopped!”
Yes indeed, the browser had shut down on her. All I knew at the time was that this involved some online games and a google search using the word “games” or “hry” (games in Czech).
Back at the office, I started sifting through the list of infected sites for those with “game” or “arcade” in the URL and found quite a few. Even better, there were even two sites, cutearcade.com and hiddenninjagames.com, that looked something like the game sites she had been visiting. Read more…
Hello avast! Blog readers. Occasionally we hear from people who wonder how we can (or why we would) give away such great software for free – namely, avast! Free Antivirus and our Android offering, avast! Free Mobile Security.
My unofficial response is that we closely align ourselves to the principles of rock and roll. To keep ourselves in the right head-space in the Marketing/PR department, we listen to the following songs – every day – in constant rotation:
Rolling Stones – “I’m Free”
“I’m free to do what I want any ol’ time…”
The Who – “I’m Free”
Pearl Jam – “Corduroy”
“Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…”
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”
“Give it away, give it away, give it away now…”
Maybe you noticed that we have launched an avast! manufacturer’s forum on CNET.com. Please note that it is not intended to replace our long-standing avast! Forum (forum.avast.com), which will continue to be our main forum. Nonetheless, there is a huge community around CNET.com/download.com, of which many within the community are already avast! users. We are doing our best to be closer to our community and to help in the several main places they go for help. CNET members can find the CNET avast forum at http://forums.cnet.com/avast-forum
A Brazilian is the 160 millionth registered user of avast! antivirus and has won a sweetheart trip to Prague for two.
In fact, it is such a sweet deal, it will be Fabricia’s honeymoon and she will come with her husband. It took so long to convince her that the offer of an expenses-paid trip for two to Prague was real – for someone who had just registered a copy of avast! Free Antivirus and to arrange the trip for her and her new husband – that AVAST has almost added another 20 million registered users in the meantime. We just hope it will be much easier to give away the next trip to Prague.
But, just the facts.
On May 27, Fabricia downloaded and registered a copy of avast! Free Antivirus for her home computer. That’s all. And she went on with her normal life with its facets of work (health sector), love (fiancée), and life together (planning a wedding). And she had absolutely no idea of the commotion that her simple registration would cause over 10,000 km away in the Czech Republic.
In Prague, Julia Szymanska, our AVAST Community Manager, had been getting ready for the registration counter to reach the 160 million mark. With around 100,000 registrations a day, these numbers change quickly. Thankfully, Fabricia had registered with a valid email address. But communication was not easy as there was no response to the first few emails. For starters, she does not speak English and then she thought the emails were spam.
While some of us were ready to give up, our Brazilian colleague in AVAST took over the task. Marcus Googled her email address and name to find her work address and then gave her a direct phone call. After several rounds of communication, he succeeded in convincing her that the AVAST offer was real and that she should really accept it. And when we learned that she would be soon be getting married, this put the expenses-paid trip into a new, very romantic perspective.
In two days, our newlyweds will arrive in Prague. For the two of them, we hope this will be the sweetheart trip they remember for the rest of their lives. And for the rest of the world, it should be a reminder that a free antivirus can be very good to its users AND please pay attention to your emails. After all, we are about ready to notify the 180 millionth user.
I bet most of you have seen the ‘80s Back to the Future trilogy. Back then it had
great special effects, hi-tech equipment, impressive cars and tricks, but there was also a great theme in which the main hero goes back to the past…
You might be wondering how does it relate to avast! antivirus? Well all of us have a bit of nostalgia for the past, a time when we didn’t use PCs and there were no viruses.
So, the other day I asked my colleagues in our marketing/PR department: do you remember your first PC or the first virus you caught?
I was surprised what kind of discussion it has opened and how excited everyone was about it. So here we go (in alphabetical order):
Jason – Copywriter
First real computer I ever used (at school): Commodore 64 (circa 1986-7) with a cassette-tape drive.
First real computer I actually owned was an HP desktop I bought in 1997 (with Windows 95 and McAfee antivirus (avast! engine!!)). I had it until 2002, when I upgraded to a Gateway desktop with Windows XP, which I think came with Symantec/Norton(?)… which I did not renew, instead using free antivirus software (ZoneAlarm, AVG, avast!) from then on.
Milos – Marketing Director
I was a poor kid from a poor village. No computers. Just socialism. Left and right… everywhere you looked. Firsthand experience was the computer lab at school when I lived for a while in Modesto, California, in 1992/1993. PC, Macs and – listen carefully – Amiga.
I hated Mac because the only way to get the floppy disk out was through the software-eject button. So when it crashed – and it was crashing all the time – your disk was in there and impossible to get out.
The PC on the other hand was excellent.
And of course the Amiga… I learned how to animate and draw on it. It was THE computer for graphics!
Last Monday, the TV signal coming going into our TV disappeared. “No signal” was the error message displayed quite prominently on the TV screen. Well, since there is no Ice Hockey World Championships at the moment, I thought that fixing the antenna was not an issue of vital importance – a decision that my family disagreed with. So to keep the domestic peace, I called the service, they came the next day, fixed it in about 30 minutes, and all was fine until yesterday. That is when the invoice for the service arrived. Note, I don’t mind the cost of fixing the antenna, but I DO mind a lot the cost the repair service charged for COMING to our house. The distance is only 17 km (10 miles) but they charged 50% more than a taxi would! And, taxis in Prague are darn expensive. Which brings me to the benefits of free delivery. Read more…
Yesterday’s post about how difficult it is to get a building permit for even a neon sign sparked some interesting Facebook discussions. Clearly getting any sort of building permit is not an easy task in the Czech Republic. Our own experience at AVAST shows that getting a permit for a small sign can easily take 3 months. But, we should not be unthankful. At least at AVAST, we did GET the permit.
I mentioned AVG in my blog yesterday as the other well-known antivirus brand from the Czech Republic. In case you don’t remember, some time ago AVG was actually called Grisoft after its founder Mr. Jan Gritzbach – GRItzbach SOFTware. And the Grisoft company was located here: 49°12’9.262″N, 16°36’23.723″E (view the satellite image).
Since then, the company has changed its name. They have even moved their offices. But the GRISOFT logo is still there, laying flat on the roof. I wonder if it was ever mounted and visible or if it is still waiting for the official building permit. ;)
In case you didn’t know, almost half (!) of all home computers in the world are protected by antivirus products coming from the Czech Republic. That’s because both AVAST antivirus and AVG have been and are still developed here. This does make me wonder why: Why here? The Czech Republic is a small country and even though its borders are surrounded by mountain ranges we are hardly a valley – at least to say – of silicon. As far as I can tell, there is no obvious reason for this. Speaking of technology, the only other thing we gave to world is the word “robot” (invented by Czech novel & play writer Karel Capek who used it in his play R.U.R. in 1921).
So why antivirus? I really don’t know but I do know why we are no longer famous for construction and buildings. It is all thanks to our system of building permits. But it wasn’t always like that. Read more…