About two months ago, I upgraded my client to the new version of AVG. I’ve used this product for several years, mostly because it’s free. I had some annoying issues with the free version because of an incompatibility with Vista’s new security method where session 0 is no longer available. The console session in XP was Session 0, but in Vista it is the context only services run under. The purpose is to isolate the user’s GUI from services that may be malicious. The user now logs into session 1. Services that need to pop-up messages to the user would just send the command to draw a pop-up message to the same session that it runs under (service account.) In Vista with SP1 (yes, the initial release of Vista is sp1), they have “allowed’ services to send messages to console session 0 still, but it causes a pop-up stating there is an application that is trying to display a message. You have to click on the window, and Vista switches the view to Console 0 session so that you can interact with the service. AVG pop-ups for virus definition installation summary in 7.5 attempted to display summary and caused these interruptions, which was annoying weekly ritual. Note that in the next service pack Microsoft has stated they will no longer provide this functionality; we will have to wait and see. Remote control switches have changed for console sessions as well.
I had hoped V8.x would fix this, and it did. But it also seemed bloated to me. I noticed that in my searches there were circles spinning as soon as I got results. I quickly tracked it down to the new AVG link scanner. It is supposed to check if a link is safe before you click on it. That was annoying as hell to me because it was taking system resources, and was touching all these sites without my authority. I went into the AVG control panel and disabled the feature. I wondered how much additional traffic this was causing, and if it was going to throw off Google’s search / link tracking. It turns out at least the former is true. Wired noticed a significant increase in traffic to their site; read more about this here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/13/avg_scanner_skews_web_traffic_numbers/