I know that many of our users have been asking this question for quite a while. We can now give the answer—after the holidays and very early in 2010. We will announce the specific date shortly before the actual release.
On Saturday finished the last major milestone before the general release when we released the public beta of the Version 5 Internet Security (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=51331.0). Additionally the beta of the new Free AntiVirus (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=51330.0) has now been out for a couple of months and has about 300,000 users. If you have not yet tried one of these products, I encourage you to do so and think you will be very impressed. We have loaded all three new products with lots of features. And we have actually increased the capabilities of the free product. Here is what we will now have:
Avast! Free Antivirus. This is the new name of Avast! Home Edition. It has a completely new user interface (good bye car radio interface) along with a lot of new features. For protection, it has signatures, heuristics, behavior detection, infected web site detection, malicious website detection, and detection of potentially unwanted programs. I doubt there are any other free programs with this amount of protection in the free product. And I know of many paid programs that do not have this amount of protection. It also has a gamer/silent mode so that when you are running games, movies, or other full screen applications, the AV program will leave you alone and not interrupt your game or movie. We have also made it smaller and faster. And of course, any current user of Avast! Home Edition will be offered a free upgrade to this new product.
Avast! Pro Antivirus. This is the new name of Avast! Professional Edition. It is similar to the Free Antivirus but adds a number of new features. Most importantly, it adds a sandbox (or virtualization). This allows you to run your browser (or any other application) inside the sandbox so that if you are browsing to dangerous websites (perhaps purposefully) or executing suspect programs, any damage will be limited within the sandbox and will not affect your computer. We think this is an exciting new feature and only one or two other products on the market offer this capability. And for advanced users, we also offer this sandbox in a 64-bit environment which we think is unique. And as with the Free Antivirus, current users of Avast! Professional Edition will be offered a free upgrade to this product. Licensing-wise, this product will be available in 1-user and 3-user packs for the home.
Avast! Internet Security. This is our new flagship product and we are excited by it. It takes the Pro Antivirus and adds two internet security capabilities: anti-spam and a 2-way silent firewall. The anti-spam does exactly what you expect—filter out spam messages. I personally find this feature useful as I see that the ISPs, mail providers, etc. are not doing as well at filtering out spam as they did a few years ago. And the firewall is one of the easiest and best I have used. For most users it is completely transparent—they never have to adjust the settings. For the power users, the detailed settings are all quickly available.
With these three new products, we now have a security product for everyone. Avast! Free Antivirus is perfect for people using the internet for email and web browsing. Avast! Internet Security is designed to protect people that user the internet for more critical functions such as online banking and online buying. And, Avast! Pro Antivirus is perfect for the advanced user that wants additional controls.