Sydney and Czech Republic, 24 November 2008 – AVG (AU/NZ) , a global anti-virus and Internet security software provider today responded to Microsoft’s announcement of a free anti-virus software product slated to appear in mid-2009.
AVG noted the multiple challenges Microsoft faces in supporting a free anti-virus software product – chief among them the overhead costs it will incur for customer service and support issues, as well as for ongoing product management and upgrades.
Microsoft will also likely contend with a backlash from dissatisfied channel partners, whose margins and unit sales will be impacted as a result of the free product offering, AVG believes.
“For over eight years, AVG has recognized and responded to the growing global threat of malware by offering a free and comprehensive tool to combat computer viruses, spyware, malware and online threats,” said J.R. Smith, the company’s CEO.
“Microsoft is clearly following our lead, which will certainly help combat basic and less sophisticated threats. But the real threat in this scenario is to Microsoft’s own profitability and channel partner relations.”
AVG also highlighted the challenges facing Microsoft to keep pace with the growing proliferation of new online threats. Microsoft often relies on its monthly “patch Tuesday” updates to refresh its current anti-virus product, leaving computer users vulnerable to botnets and other attacks. The free Microsoft anti-virus software will have less protective features than its current OneCare offering – further heightening computer users’ vulnerability to viruses and other threats.
Statistics highlight the problem. Computer infections from malware are increasing. AVG’s in-house research team notes that 50,000 variants are being issued every day – revealing the need for real-time protection.
AVG’s LinkScanner feature provides protection against these threats. AVG’s anti-virus products are recognized for increasing computer security and online protection with minimal resource strain.
From a global protection perspective, AVG has a strong presence in established and emerging markets. The company’s strategic growth plan includes the introduction of several new native-language versions of its anti-virus programs in the coming weeks. Moreover, the company’s worldwide user-support community – with people and small businesses from 167 countries – continues to grow as the industry’s “self-help” network.
“The exceptional ease of use and simplicity of AVG’s products have long been a strong sell for the channel, providing more security strength and functionality at a much lower cost than Microsoft’s anti-virus offerings,” added Mr. Smith. “Given these tough economic times, our resellers appreciate the robust product margins we offer and the vitality of our end-user community to help drive future sales.”