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Update 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 on Microsoft's latest operating system results in the infamous Blue Screen of Death, H-Security reports. Users have to manually uninstall the technology to get around the problem. Avira's technology isn't yet compatible with Windows Server 12 either, as an advisory by the firm (below) explains.

Windows 8 introduces significant changes to the operating system platform. As with any new computer operating system, it is possible that some existing software is not compatible with it. Currently, the Avira products are not ready for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (Built on Windows 8).

Avira is working closely with Microsoft to achieve compatibility for the products as soon as possible. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that the Avira products will be compatible with Windows 8 in the first quarter of 2013.

The delay puts Avira at a marked disadvantage to security firms which offer basic anti-virus software to consumers without cost, such as AVG and Avast, in the hopes of nagging persuading them to use more functional paid-for security products later. AVG, Avast and Avira all claim to have more than 100 million users of their desktop software.

Avira is the smallest of the three and its market share is likely to suffer unless it can sort out its Windows 8 compatibility problems sooner rather than later. ®

UPDATE: Travis Witteveen, COO of Avira, has been in touch to confirm the delay, which he said had been necessary to match features and functionality of Avira's software to a radically re-engineered version of Windows.

"Microsoft is working hard to get users to upgrade to Windows 8 so we're aware of the risk that we may lose some customers," Witteveen told El Reg.

"Windows 8 offers improved built-in security features so the challenge for all anti-virus vendors is to add value. We want to provide matching features and functionality and are working diligently on Windows 8," he added.

Although Avira has said its software won't be available until sometime in Q1 2013, Witteveen suggested that it will be able to release compatible products within weeks rather than months.

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