Today, I’m pleased to announce that after a very long development and beta testing effort, we have released VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware. This is the consumer version; the enterprise version will be shipping next week. Company propaganda here, earlier beta announcement (with more information) here. Some reviewers also took an early peek at the beta — including Robert Vamosi at CNET and John Hawes at Virus Bulletin.
Those who have been following this blog may have read some of my prior postings, which started out with a blog post early last year entitled Evolving the Antimwalware Technology Model. In that blog post, I discussed how antivirus products have had to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
The flood of malware these days is just mind-boggling, and the tools needed will require constant reevaluation and new thinking. However, it starts with the platform: Our first task was to make everything from scratch, a blank slate, in order to start off without any legacy code and bloat, using the latest concepts in software development. The second was to create a product that successfully combined antivirus and antispyware functionality, since those two concepts are no longer separate (all users cares about is malware, not some semantic argument about the definition of a trojan, or whether a commercial keylogger should be tagged in a system scan, or whether adware is acceptable or not).
But it goes further than just bloat and performance: It’s a problem with our industry. People generally just hate antivirus vendors (I don’t use the term “hate” lightly, as I’ve seen the user surveys). People are angry with resource hogging applications. They’re upset about missed malware, and poor support coming from some distant overseas call center. They’re tired of “scan and scare” tactics. And they’re very upset about price gouging and abuse of the software subscription process (such as the now common and shameful practice of negative option billing — automatically charging your credit card without your explicit permission.)
And the users are right. Something has to change.
VIPRE is not just a product that answers the call for better performance. It’s also about other ideas, such as fair pricing, responsive support, ethical (not “scan and scare”) marketing, responsible subscription practices, and so on.
(The new CounterSpy 3.0 will also be released soon, likely before the end of the month.)