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…”
On 21 December, 2011, we launched our Android antivirus/anti-theft solution (see our official press release). The beta version, released a few weeks earlier, was well received, and generated a lot of initial buzz in the Android community. What follows are quotes from early reviews, many of which were written about the beta version. We have also received a lot of great feedback from our avast! user community, and thus a few days ago AVAST CTO Ondrej Vlcek responded to 10 frequently asked questions about avast! Free Mobile Security.
Here is some of the initial praise from the Android community:
“It has the potential to overshadow just about all of the apps in our Mobile Security App Shootout.”
“A strong contender for the best overall security app on Android.”
“Extremely sophisticated security solution accessible to everyone.”
– Android Police (product review, 7 December 2011)
Yes, most of us complain about all the seemingly unnecessary changes that Facebook initiates far more often than we’d like (just about the time we figure out how to navigate everything)… but it’s good to remember that Facebook is a free service. Of course some will argue that nothing is really ‘free’, but at least +140 million active avast! Community members know differently.
Some of you will remember the days of Rolodex. Mine was typically overfilled with business cards and scraps of paper – taped, glued, or even stapled in place. Sometimes a few ‘creative’ oversized business cards or paper scraps would clog up the ‘machine’, and maintaining changes to phone numbers, addresses, and job titles was always a major problem.
So Facebook, for me, was a welcome change. All my contacts keep their own info updated, and I can find them at any time via the search box. And my Facebook account serves 4 key purposes:
Fabricia, our famous 160 millionth avast! user registration from Brazil, is coming to Prague with her husband! We at AVAST Software are all excited about their visit and looking forward to hosting them here – especially since it turns out that we are inadvertently sponsoring their honeymoon.
I decided to ask them a few questions before the trip, just to see what their expectations were.
1. Have you ever won any valuable prize before?
Fabricia: No, neither Eder (new husband) nor I have ever been awarded with any prize whatsoever.
2. How does it feel to be the 160,000,000th avast user registration?
Receiving the email notification that we won a trip to Prague was initially a huge surprise. At the beginning, I thought it was a scam message. However, after confirming that it wasn’t spam, we were very happy… even euphoric. Especially since, as I just mentioned, it was the first time I actually won something and that the value of this award is outstanding. On top of that, we were planning to get married, so we agreed that this trip would be slightly postponed so it could be our honeymoon. We are sooooooo happy and looking forward to it.
3. What do you expect from the trip?
Our expectations are the best possible, and we are anxious to meet AVAST people. We’ve also heard that Prague is incredibly beautiful and we will have an opportunity to visit many interesting places. Read more…
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’m 38 years old, lived my first 33 years in the USA, read and studied amply about US government agencies over the years (especially during my ultra-paranoid conspiracy theory phase in my early 20s), and yet, until today, I had never heard of DARPA.
According to Wikipedia, however, the agency has been around a while — longer than me, in fact: << Its original name was simply Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but it was renamed to “DARPA” (for Defense) in March 1972, then renamed “ARPA” again in February 1993, and then renamed “DARPA” again in March 1996. >>
It sounds like an agency with multiple personality disorder, but I guess it’s essentially a branch of the Department of Defense (DoD) that focuses on technological R&D.
Why am I telling you about it? Because I know a lot of readers of this blog are sharp-minded (maybe even genius-level) non-Luddites, who can actually understand what the guys in our Virus Lab talk about when they post here… and would jump at the chance to prove their skills (and win some money in the process). Read more…
Launched in 1996, Download.com is the leading (and safest) download portal for software of all types. The portal has been offering our avast! Free Antivirus for 10 of those 15 years, so we would like to say CONGRATULATIONS, and we look forward to the future.
AVAST Brand Manager Miroslav Jirku says, “Download.com is definitely an important distribution channel for us, because it’s well known in the USA. avast! Free Antivirus is Download.com’s 2nd most-downloaded software for 2011, which is really a great success for the whole avast! team.”
Indeed, in addition to being its 2nd most-downloaded software of 2011, avast! Free Antivirus is also Download.com’s 5th most-downloaded software program of all time.
The content of VB 2011 programme provided an excellent amount of information from the security industry in the last three days. It came packed in an interesting and humorous way. Here is some more pictures from conference to present the atmosphere and we looking forward on next conference!
Greetings from Barcelona. The conference is in the middle and here are few pictures from the first day. Everyone seems to be satisfied with the conference, and especially with the free beer offered by AVAST!
For 10 years now, AVAST has been giving free antivirus protection to home computer users. What started on June 1st 2001 as an innovative step to bring the avast! brand to users around the globe without expensive advertising has worked very well indeed. Over 130 million users are now protected by avast! Free Antivirus and while it may sound like a cliché, even the users who have the free version are very valuable to us.
For starters, it is you, the users of the free version, who give us priceless word-of-mouth advertising. The majority of new users know about AVAST only because it was recommended to them by their friends (hence, we don’t pay for any advertising). You help us to translate the software (avast! is now available in 38 languages and 11 are now being finalized). You help each other and us at the Support Forum and, last but not least, you help us to find new viruses via the CommunityIQ system. Read more…