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back to article Avira 'fesses up: Our software isn't compatible with Windows 8

Freebie anti-virus firm Avira has admitted its security software is not compatible with either Windows 8 or Windows 12 Server. The German firm issued an advisory on Friday admitting its products would not be compatible with Windows 8 until the first quarter of 2013 after users complained that attempting to run Avira's software …

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FAIL

So Avira hasn't been testing its products against the alpha and beta builds? Shame on them.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF?

You got down voted?

Is an Avira rep on here?

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Impressive!

I suppose Windows 8 RTM came as a complete surprise to them, and they hadn't noticed the Developer Preview, the Customer Preview and the Release Preview.

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FAIL

How the hell does this happen?

It's not like Windows 8 has just taken the world by surprise (there's been 3 preview/beta builds since September 2011). Are the underlying AV hooks in Windows 8 really that different from Windows 7? I can't imagine they are.

Or is this a case of another company bypassing/abusing undocumented API features rather than doing the right thing?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How the hell does this happen?

"It's not like Windows 8 has just taken the world by surprise"

It's not like Windows 8 has just taken the world by storm - fixed

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How the hell does this happen?

It's not like Windows 8 has just taken the world by storm

This message was brought to you by Google. As usual.

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Plenty of AV products don't support 8 yet, in fact if you jump on their compatability site the only freebie AV that does is AVG, Avast is definitely *not* compatible as I have witnessed BSODs caused by an avast dll on 8, and it is not listed as compatible on Microsoft's site yet.

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Eh?

What happened to legendary (not joking) Microsoft developer support which even hunts for common mistakes and reaches to individual developer?

Not flaming, I can't defend Avira but the catastrophic bsod reports, especially from Avast confused me. It isn't Ms style, it is Apple style.

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lenovo

They're not the only ones, at least some of lenovo's laptop camera drivers appear to be busted by W8, accessing the camera prompts a blue screen and an unhappy smiley followed very quickly by a reboot.

Elaborate Bytes virtual DVD driver also seems to be incompatible.

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Re: lenovo

Hardware drivers I can understand.

But a software-only antivirus package should NEVER BSOD a machine. It shouldn't be possible at all.

Impressive that they can do it, in fact.

I have BSOD'd Windows 8 but that was just playing about with explorer (nothing tricksy, just file management) on a perfectly clean VM image - which shows that MS are maintaining their usual quality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: lenovo

AV software has to hook into the kernel to watch for things like rootkits and such. So yes, it's possible.

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Re: lenovo

If they provided a sdk for anti virus guys so they would never have to hook to kernel themselves instead of directly competing them, this wouldn't happen.

Remember how dangerous to defrag until there was a special sdk?

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FAIL

It's the usual thing: Companies have had loads of chances to test compatibility and even devise new shiny versions: "Bob's AV - For the NEW Windows!" (costs 50% more than the last one)

Instead they wait until launch day and go "Oh. Need to fix this, then"

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Would you have liked to spend half-a-million updating some huge piece of antivirus software that ties into everything from file-access hooks to memory-scanning for, say, Windows ME.

Because nobody was actually ever sure that 8 would be a success of out. To be honest, I think the jury's still out at the moment. Sure, there's no reason why you shouldn't *look* at the possibility, but to just suggest that every software manufacturer should be automatically ready on Windows 8 launch would only be Microsoft's dream.

In reality, if their software BSOD's on Windows 8 when using the same code as they had on Windows 7, that's quite a serious problem that might take forever to determine the cause of. For a start, the two OS are basically the same under the hood so something, somewhere changed and will require new code (not just patching of old), testing, deployment, etc. and then be checked to work with Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc. If the software had had some small tiny problems or "worked except for feature X because of Windows 8 feature Y", then I don't see why they couldn't have patched-and-shipped.

But a BSOD is pretty serious and probably means they are running driver-level hooks into the OS to capture file accesses etc. in a way nobody else does (or we'd all be BSOD'ing!). That's a deep level bit of programming that might even require MS certification if you want your program to install without horrendous security dialogs etc.

And all for something that might still be a total flop.

I can't blame them for holding out. And I know of nobody with any significant amount of machines that would be deploying or even testing Windows 8 for at least another year or so. And there are alternates available so people are quite welcome to vote with their wallet which might prompt more of a development spur than anything else.

I don't get the fuss, to be honest.

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Something which the home market would use, like AV should be tested on something which OEMs are going to provide.

Whatever your views on Windows 8 are, there will be a lot of Windows 8 machines on the field from new hardware purchases.

If I were making a game (not the Big Game of Twenty Thirteen (TM), but Simulator-game Simulator) or a niche app, I might consider holding off.

If I were making a potentially widespread app (AV/Backup/PowerLink/etc) then I would want to try and maximise the coverage.

An AV causing BSOD is more likely than another app doing a BSOD, since it pokes around more than Notepad, for example.

It is though another non story: Developer didn't prepare for next Windows launch, Developer gets bitten by incompatibility.

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Windows Defender

Windows 8 includes the new version of defender which rolls in Security Essentials.

No real need for any other AV at the consumer level.

Also @Efros, windows 8 can mount disc images without the need for a 3rd party driver. Not sure what images are supported but iso works fine.

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Re: Windows Defender

Until the European commissars get involved and decide that Microsoft is abusing it's OS monopoly to force out competing AV and ISO Tool vendors.

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Re: Windows Defender

I'm surprised that other vendors still offer free consumer AV. Is there any reason to use anything other than Microsoft Security Essentials?

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When the AV industry makes a product that works...

...I'll consider recommending something other than MSSE / SCEP.

I really, really hoped that MS' entry into the AV market would cause AV vendors to wake up and migrate from the Addictive Update Model.

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Re: Windows Defender

There's more to security than anti-virus, but there are finally favourable things being said about Microsoft Security Essentials, which to me seems to be simply renamed as Windows Defender for Windows 8. Evidently, third-party competing products do need to justify themselves. Having said that, disabling the competitor's product is another familiar Microsoft trick just as renaming parts of the system to confuse users is.

Avira are only promising to have a compatible product for Q1 2013, but there's a {easonable chance of them getting their stuff fixed before then - even with the holiday season to get through.

And, probably, a security product monoculture would be a bad thing. Better if evil programmers have multiple systems in existence to challenge them.

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Step One: Avira Admits it has a problem

Good job Avira, you've taken the first step. The following steps will result in a much better product. Hang in there.

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Re: Step One: Avira Admits it has a problem

Agree. It's easy to criticize Avira for not being ready for a change that's had a long preview cycle, especially when their software just crashes instead of warning of the incompatibility. But those who don't have the joy of managing software development projects may not appreciate that it's often slightly more difficult than waving one's magic wand. At least they straightforwardly acknowledged the problem, didn't make any excuses, and gave a time frame for fixing it. Would that all software companies did the same!

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FAIL

Re: Step One: Avira Admits it has a problem

... And checking which version of windows the SW is started under is complex in what way you say?

Even though it's a fragile to detect OS version it's way better than a BSOD.

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Anonymous Coward

Avira?

Don't they run buses?

#nevereardofem

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Joke

Re: Avira?

They do insurance along the North Wales rail network.

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Anonymous Coward

Technology

Over the last few years Ive gotten more and more problem with calling a single piece of software a "Technology". The combustion engine is a technology. Transistor technology is. Not an antivirus SW.

Calling a piece of SW a technology is just plain stupidity.

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Anonymous Coward

Unix doesn't get Viruses

So why not install Linux? It's also free. Even if you hate Apple, OSX is Unix too and so won't get viruses either.

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