Today is the big day—the day we (and many of you) have been waiting for—we are starting the release of the Version 5.0 products today. This is a pretty complicated roll-out so we are staging it. Today we will be releasing the new products (and the new website) in English and French. Over the next 10 days or so, we will be releasing the products and website in additional languages (German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and possibly Korean, and Arabic). Other languages will then be added as we have them available.
Three products (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, and Internet Security) and a new website are being released today. Even though we have expanded our product portfolio, our philosophy of having and promoting a top-notch free antivirus is paramount. This philosophy has enabled us to achieve 100 million users and we are continuing it. As you read through our new website and launch information, you will see that not only is the new free product easier to use and more visually appealing than the old product, it provides even more security protection. And it is still free and free from annoying pop-ups and requests for money.
These products are not minor updates from the existing products. They are all new. Some of the changes—such as the new user interface—are obvious. Some are not obvious at all (such as the new scanning engine). All-in-all we think they are a vast improvement from the current products—modern, light, fast, and very effective. For details, see the product detail pages on the new website.
- Avast! Free Antivirus. This is our new flagship product and replaces Avast Home Edition (we changed the name to emphasize the product is free). We focus this product on users that use the internet for web browsing and email. If that is what you do on the internet, this is the product you need. We are very proud of this product and we stack it up against anyone else's paid antivirus—in fact, we have recently started submitting this product in lieu of our paid products to all of the industry standard tests. Virus Bulletin, one of the most respected journals, recently called this product "….nothing short of a miracle" (see separate blog post). Google selected this product for incorporation in many of their Google Packs. You can download this product here: http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download.
- Avast! Internet Security. This is our brand-new product and is focused on users that do on-line banking or shopping or that have sensitive data on their computer. We believe that these users need some extra layers of protection and developed this product to provide three more layers. This product takes the free antivirus and adds a 2-way silent firewall, a sandbox, and anti-spam. The firewall ensures that only trusted applications are able to receive or send data across the internet. The sandbox provides a means of executing your browser (or any other application) in a protected environment—thus even if you get infected, the infection does not leave the sandbox and does not harm your computer. And the anti-spam helps you get rid of all that irritating email you receive every day. And, we have made this product attractive to consumer users—a single license can be used on 3 computers in your household. This link will take you to the product and download page: http://www.avast.com/internet-security.
- Avast! Pro Antivirus. This is the update to the old Professional Edition. We focus this product on individuals that want to customize their security and on businesses. It is the same as Internet Security but without the firewall or anti-spam. This allows world-class security using your own personal choice of firewall and anti-spam. Here is how to get this product: http://www.avast.com/pro-antivirus.
To support these products, there is also a brand new website. Today the website will only be available in English and French. But, as the other languages roll out, the language-specific websites will also.
If you are using a 4.8 product (home or professional editions), the update is pretty painless. Sometime in the near future, the 4.8 product will tell you version 5.0 is available. You will have the choice of a free upgrade or a special existing-user offer for the new Internet Security. All you have to do is click which option you want, and you will be upgraded. As we have about 100 million users, these messages will take a month or two to get to all users. If you don't want to wait for this automated message, you can manually upgrade and get the same special offers by clicking on the homepage banner that asks if you are already a 4.8 user.
As you can imagine, it was a massive effort to release three new products and a new website at the same time. All of our teams have done a great job in making this happen. Development of course developed the new products. But many other teams were also involved—virus lab and research, localization and translation, website development, on-line store, and marketing.
If you are reading this at launch time, we will think of you as we celebrate with the Czech national drink……