Feeds

Avira antivirus patched but still not fully Windows 8 ready

'Completely new architecture' causing BSOD struggles

Seven Steps to Software Security

Avira has rolled out a patch that makes its popular freebie anti-virus software more compatible with Windows 8.

Earlier this month the German firm admitted its products were not yet compatible with Windows 8 after users complained that attempting to run Avira's software on Microsoft's latest operating system results in the infamous Blue Screen of Death.

Avira said its security technology didn't play well with Windows Server 2012 because of a radical redesign in Microsoft's underlying operating system technology.

Travis Witteveen, chief operating officer of Avira, told El Reg that Avira hoped to have compatible products within weeks. He admitted that it was possible that Avira would lose market share to freebie anti-virus competitors, such as AVG, in the meantime.

Software patches released by Avira on Tuesday ought to resolve the BSOD (stability) problems but users might still be confronted with a pop-up that warns that the software is not officially supported by the security firm. Sorin Mustaca, product manager at Avira, said that the security firm plans to release further software updates to iron out remaining problems. "We are working very hard to get our products Windows 8 compatible as soon as possible," he said.

A blog post by Mustaca goes some why to explaining why achieving compatibility between security products and Windows 8 is a challenge without providing much insight into why the German firm didn't see this problem coming months ago. There have been three preview/beta builds of Windows 8 since September 2011, but Avira's failure to get products ready in time suggests it didn't put enough resources into developing and testing its technology against the operating system until much too late.

"The Windows 8 operating system, and its equivalent in the server area called Windows Server 2012, have a completely new architecture," Mustaca explains. "Their architecture forces the software which runs on them to make significant changes in the frameworks and the APIs (Application Programming Interface) used to write the software. Old frameworks (eg, Layered Service Providers, Transport Driver Interface, etc) will no longer be supported on the long term.

"As with any new computer operating system, it is possible that at the beginning some existing software is not compatible with it. Currently, the Avira products are not yet certified for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 and there were some problems reported by our users who have upgraded to this operating system."

Independent testing lab AV-Test.org reports that the vast majority of anti-virus vendors in the market already offer Windows 8-compatible products to consumers. But Reg reader feedback from our previous story on Avira's Win 8 woes suggests that it's not always plain sailing even with products listed as compatible with Windows 8. Nonetheless the absence of Avira from the list remains noticeable. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.