Suddenly on Saturday night the software notifies me that there is a pending program update and I accept it. The result is v.7 tries to install, almost makes it, then:
1. at every boot it asks me to complete the installation.
2. half of the features are disabled because some module failed loading.
3. it asks me to register but registration process fails
4. the updated GUI is so bloated that it barely fits on my uncle's 1024 display.
5. it refuses to unistall.
At that point I am already in "emergency mode" and I am not even thinking of testing email and other scanning components, to not mention the option of digging the support forum for working around issues.
Fortunately Avast provides a tool for forcing the uninstall from Windows in Safe Mode, which BTW is something mu uncle could never do.
Here is the first part of the comedy:
Apparently Avast v.7 was released without proper testing or maybe I should say it wasn't tested on Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems. Then those geniuses at Avast decided to push it as "auto-update" when the only (few) chances to make it work is to manually uninstall v.6 before and then to make a "clean install" of v.7. Basically the auto-update crippled all the WinXp and Win2K systems and forced users to do the same emergency uninstall as me.
Here is the second part of the comedy:
Avast has got a sort of "support forum". Of course the forum was flooded by issue reports and complaints. And here comes the funny part, you are told that if Avast 7 doesn't work is your fault as dumb user and anyway that is what every software does when it get updated. This sort of things really annoy me. What idiot "fanboy" blames the user for a defective software that asks for auto-update, fails to install, fails to uninstall, forces you to remove it in Safe Mode? When the only serious answer in a support forum should be "sorry but it seems v.7 is not working on Windows XP and 2K, you should not update and stay with v.6 until issues are addressed".
Here is the third part:
Avast v.7 is bloated.
Microsoft is giving away a free antivirus, Security Essentials. They don't have a "payed" version like Avast so they don't mind of adding bells and whistles to their software to lure the "american minded" people to think that "more/bigger is better". In fact Security Essentials is almost perfect from the usability point of view.
Avast instead is going the same downhill of any other "security suite". They keep adding "advanced", "smart", "cloud" and "social" features in a GUI with huge buttons and gigantic "toysh" images that "illustrate" the meaning of a feature. The only real function of an antivirus is to scan files and processes in the less intrusive way possible. But if you make a product that is silent and goes unnoticed, then the "american minded" customer would not buy it, because the competing product that looks "bigger" must also be better.
Yes, been there, done that.
At the end I come back home to old good Microsoft.