The opening of Avast’s beautiful new headquarters, Prague’s Enterprise Office Building, is a pretty good cause for celebration. At last night’s Grand Opening event, a few of our executive team members shed light on the moving process, as well as specific details about the building and its potential to open new doors for the company. Avast COO Ondrej Vlcek described the initial concept behind the building:
We modeled the design after some very successful Silicon Valley companies and are bringing that entrepreneurial spirit and drive for excellence to the team.
The building has an impressive collection of features:
- 45 meeting rooms that provide both formal and relaxed environments.
- 6-meter-wide stairs thoughout all six floors that serve as a meeting spot for employees.
- A canteen with free food served daily from the morning until late afternoon. This supports informal contact between groups that traditionally wouldn‘t have lunch together as well as increased cross-departmental communication.
- A fitness area, hammock room, pool tables, cinema, and library for enrichment and relaxation.
- A children‘s room that works to support (and lend a hand to) each of our working parents.
It’s not hard to believe that such a spectacular working space draws in top-notch talent from across the globe to work at Avast. Current Avast employees also have a lot of positive things to say about our new workspace:
When I saw our canteen, I couldn’t believe it. So many varieties of food, from healthy light salads to breakfasts of champions. — Tomas Penka (eComm Specialist)
It’s fresh and unique, and it provides an atmosphere that invites creativity. – Che Johnson (Corporate Tech Support)
The central staircase impels employees to make use of it and walk more, which has been a healthy surprise. – Petr Prusa (QA Engineer)
Moving into the new year, we’re looking forward to thriving in our new building and seizing the opportunity to demonstrate how we work to keep people around the world safe every day.
This past weekend, Prague hosted hundreds of web professionals at the Webexpo conference. Avast Software was a proud general sponsor of this event.
Attendees could meet our team at the Avast booth, try Avast technologies, and chat with our colleagues. They could also learn first hand how it is to work for the Best Czech Employer of 2013!
It was great to see so many people who recognize the Avast brand and use our products at CARTES. We would like to say once more: Thank you so much! Every couple of minutes, we had a friendly visit from some of our fans and we always tried to talk to them for a while. Sometimes we got some interesting questions. We would like to share those that occurred the most.
1. Are you guys from the Netherlands?
No. Despite the orange color all over the place, Avast is a Prague- (that beautiful city in the Czech Republic that you read about in the travel magazines) based company with offices all over the world including Silicon Valley, Austin, Munich, and Hong Kong.
2. How do you make money if your products are free?
In general, we monetize our products both directly (via premium subscriptions or paid product versions) and indirectly (via ads in our applications, or partnerships / referrals, i.e.). On mobile, we are not making much money these days, compared to our desktop products. However, mobile apps are a great part of our product ecosystem. They help us build the brand and engage with people who use them. Our mobile products solve real problems and make the world a better, more secure place. In the future, we see a good potential to monetize mobile applications indirectly, due to our multi-million user base.
3. Why are you a better desktop Antivirus than XYZ?
“Better” is never a good word when talking about competition with modesty and respect. We have some compelling features in our Antivirus products. Check out the Home Network Security, SafeZone or process virtualization in our Avast 2015 version. Or you can try the Free version for yourself and compare our product with the Antivirus you have at the moment.
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WebExpo is the largest Central European conference focused on topics related to the digital world. Among many topics, this year’s focus is security and big data. AVAST Software is not only a proud general sponsor of this event, but also an active participant.
One weekend, over 1,400 online professionals, presentations, workshops, and lots of fun.
WebExpo is a great networking and knowledge exchanging opportunity, and those here in Prague will get a chance to meet AVAST experts from various areas. You can meet the AVAST team at our booth, as well as on the stage. The AVAST booth is located at CEVRO Institut.
Our team plans some fun for you at the booth, including testing new revolutionary glasses Ocul
For the less technically-oriented, we also offer some fun and prizes. If you spot someone wearing an AVAST T-shirt, grab a selfie with this person and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AVASTselfie. Come to our booth and show us the tweet or instagram post and you will receive a 1-year free license of avast! Premium Mobile Security!
The best part of WebExpo is all the knowledge sharing from AVAST specialists. Here is a list of our colleagues and the topics they will be presenting:
- PostgreSQL as Big Data solution [Michal Augustýn] @AugiCZ
- Prompt data delivery in cloud – as an weapon in the armament race of security companies [Petr Chytil] @chytil
- Security threats online [Pavel Šrámek, Jan Širmer]
- Massively Scalable Services at AVAST - Case Study [Jakub Janeček] @jakubjanecek
- It is all about the data. [Pavel Kučera]
- Medium data aka Why you should avoid Big data in Business Intelligence [Pavel Chocholouš ] @pavel242
- Local approach, as key factor to success in e-commerce [Tomáš Janů]
If you can’t attend personally, we have good news for you. Our team will be commenting during the event on social media, so you can join the conversation by following our accounts and special hashtags. Follow us at Twitter and Instagram at
or follow comments with hashes:
The Czechs love their beer. Monks living in the region started brewing in monasteries just a few centuries AD. The Czechs gave the gift of Pilsner to the world back in the mid-1800s, and ever since then citizens have supported their own industry by consuming more beer per capita than any other country in the world. These days, Czechs drink on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year. Not surprising when bottled beer is cheaper than bottled water!
“Beer is known to free up your brain for creative problem solving,” said Jindřich Kubec, Director of Threat Intelligence, “and since AVAST has some of the highest detection ratings of any antivirus out there, it shows that we are doing lots of “problem solving.”
Back in the day, refined sugar came in unwieldy big blocks that had to be sawed at, hacked, and cut through. This physical effort resulted in numerous boo-boos and aching fingers holding onto dainty tea cups (Czechs don’t always drink beer ). One day, the wife of Jakub Kryštof Rad, the man who ran the local sugar refinery, grew tired of having to bandage her appendages every time she wanted a little sweetener. She asked him why he couldn’t package sugar in a more manageable size for teacups. Mrs. Rad inspired her husband to create what we know today as sugar cubes.
“Speaking of sugar,” said Vladimir Saur, Traffic Manager at AVAST, “every day someone brings chocolate to the office, and we are living proof that dark chocolate improves brain function. Well, only when our boss leaves us at least a little bit!”
As unique as a fingerprint
CSI fans will dig what 19th-century physician and scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně revealed in his work in physiology. His discovery that all human fingerprints are unique and his subsequent classification of fingerprint patterns advanced criminology and forensic science. A century later, Czech scientist Jan Janský learned that human blood could be classified into four distinct groups, which led the way to the A-B-O system we use today.
“Just like Sherlock Holmes hot on a the trail of a “whodunit” mystery, the researchers in the avast! Virus Lab follow clues to discover what malware does, why it does it, how to classify it, and most importantly, how we can stop it,” said Filip Chytrý , avast! Virus Lab researcher.
Mick Jagger lights up the castle
You will think you have entered a fairy tale when visiting the Czech Republic. With over 2,000 castles, the country has the highest density of castles, ruins, chateaux, and villas in the world. The most significant of them all is the Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe.
“One of the attractions to working for our great company, is its location. Prague is a fairy-tale city with magical beauty,“ said Marcela Římalová, Senior Worldwide Recruiter for AVAST Software. “After the Velvet Revolution, The Rolling Stones were invited by President Havel to play a concert. They noticed that the Prague Castle was dark at night, so they graciously paid for it and four of its grand halls to be illuminated. It’s a view we still enjoy today.”
avast! Free Antivirus
Powered, no doubt, by Czech beer and chocolate, Pavel Baudiš, a young researcher at Prague’s legendary Mathematical Machines Research Institute came upon a sample of the Vienna Virus on a floppy disk. After he wrote a program to remove it, he showed it to his friend and colleague Eduard Kučera and, together they started what’s now the world’s most popular and trusted antivirus software. AVAST Software is celebrating its 25th anniversary soon and launching the newest version - avast! 2014.
“When we started this company behind the Iron Curtain in 1988, we could not imagine that it would grow to protect more computers worldwide than any other firm,” said Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš, founders of AVAST Software, “No one can say what the next 25 years will bring. But one thing is certain, the AVAST team – now spread over several countries – is talented, energetic, and committed to making sure that everyone in the world has access to computer security that works.”
Our 190 millionth registered avast! user, Julie P. and her friend Steve, were given a free trip to Prague, home base of AVAST Software, in appreciation of Steve’s recommendation. Steve recommended that Julie try avast!, and it turned our better than she expected.
“Since three out of every ten new users come because of a friend, it’s time we also recognize a recommender,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “I am pleased we have been able to identify both the 190 millionth registered user and the friend that recommended avast!.”
Julie is a British national living in Spain. She decided to get avast! Free antivirus on the advice of Steve, a helpful retired friend. And when it came time to install avast! on her computer, it was Steve that downloaded and installed it.
“As a recommender and IT helper, people like Stephen have a big impact on AVAST and have helped drive growth last year from 141 million to 189 million registered users,” said Mr. Steckler. Read more…
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.
In late 2003, I was offered a job in France. After about a 5-second-long debate with my family, the yes decision was reached and we were ready to go. Living in France was an excellent experience especially after I understood that beer is not la bière but “un demi” and asking for coffee is useless (and it’s absolutely useless trying to say it with different accent) because what you really need to say is “grand crème”. The only thing which I never managed to do was to understand the bank teller who spoke excellent French but neither English nor Czech. And on my side, my French vocabulary never really got much beyond “un demi et grand crème s’il vous plaît“ and so making money transfers or paying bills directly was simply not possible. The time had arrived for me to learn how to use online banking. Read more…
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…