Author Topic: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98  (Read 53254 times)

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win98user

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2010, 11:40:18 PM »
Hi,

Yes, I know I'm breaking what some people consider to be protocol to reply on an old thread.  But I came across this via a search, so it is still very much a relevant thread when you consider that.

I just wanted to say, I am an experienced, professional software engineer and computer hobbyest of many years, am still using windows 98SE on some of my computers.  There are some VERY good reasons to use it in some cases.  I think calling it "obsolete" and similar comments could be considered a bit demeaning and that is what the poster was upset about.  This thread is what inspired me to sign up and post.

I recently started to run into this "no support for older OS" antivirus problem when AVG dropped support.  I needed a temporary solution while I very grudgingly started switching my internet'ing machine over to one of my XP boxes, so I tried out Avast 4.  But I would like to see someone continue support for a 9x antivirus because it is better to have an antivirus on all machines even if they aren't what is directly using the internet anymore.

To this end, I would give my business to any company willing to do so.  Saying no one uses old OS's is incorrect.  It alienates customers / potential customers to drop support for old OS's, so in the end, money is lost, not gained (assuming M$ is not paying companies under the table to drop support).  It is not difficult at all to support software that considers all OS's, despite what some people are saying.  I assume that if there are any responses, they will try to say that I am wrong on this point, but that would simply be incorrect, as facts are facts.  It is a fact that I write a ton of software that works on everything from 95 to the newest Windows OS's and it is not difficult to do so for the vast majority of applications.  And it is a fact that I have very legit reasons to use Windows 9x on some of my machines.  It is a fact that there's a ton of 9x users still around despite manipulated studies and statistics.  The whole M$ "end of support" thing is rather silly; I have 9x boxes installed and running just fine.  The only real problem I've ever had is this recent issue of finding a half-way convenient tool to scan for viruses.  The alternatives to that seem to be doing the scanning with XP boxes across the LAN or using a boot-based scanner, but that process is far less convenient.

I see that version 4 is supported for 9x.  I would ask the company to keep the virus definition updates going if you want me as a home customer for any of the many OS's I use or to recommend your product for the businesses I work for; word of mouth = money.  It was a big mistake to design version 5 only for later OS's, but it is still possible to maintain the definitions for version 4.

I'll also start a thread elsewhere on 9x support and some minor glitches I need to ask about, but since it is based on this thread it needed to be here first.

Thank you

win98user

Offline nightshade

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2010, 11:48:48 PM »
Thank you for your support in the windows 98 quest in the hope that Avast 4 can continue to support virus update definitions.

What I had been told is it's not worth the time and effort supporting windows 98 for the small percentage that still use it.

I wonder if Vlk will read this.



« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 11:52:05 PM by nightshade »
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Hermite15

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2010, 11:50:29 PM »
@ win9 user: you're welcome  :)
@ nightshade: he sure will  :)

Offline igor

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2010, 01:14:39 AM »
It was a big mistake to design version 5 only for later OS's

Well, maybe you should start your own antivirus company/business if you know best.
The fact is, however, that it wasn't really an option to design version 5 for both Win9x and NT. Either there would be no version 5 at all (i.e. only small changes would be made, let's call it 4.9) - or two separate products would have to be created and maintained, which would be very expensive (money / time / effort...). I certainly don't believe that the current type of avast! 5 GUI would (if compiled as ANSI and without any missing dependencies) run on Win9x - with its notorious problems with GDI recources. We couldn't even move to a new version of the development tools (MSVC) - which is somehow more secure, generates slightly better/faster code, and makes it possible for us to work on a 64bit version. Even if you write a simple "hello world" application in new MSVC, it won't run on Win9x.

Saying no one uses old OS's is incorrect.  It alienates customers / potential customers to drop support for old OS's, so in the end, money is lost, not gained

I'm afraid the math is quite simple, and it doesn't support your conclusions.
The ratio of Windows 95/98/ME users of avast! in the past 7 days was... 0.3%. I hope you undertand that bringing more features and more protection to 99.7% of users gains more money (because more users will like and use the product) than supporting the 0.3% minority.
If it were possible to support Win9x painlessly, we'd certainly do that - but it's not the case, the price would be very high, in all respects.

It is a fact that I write a ton of software that works on everything from 95 to the newest Windows OS's and it is not difficult to do so for the vast majority of applications.

What kind of software do you write? Low level applications with their own drivers? I doubt that.
Sure, if you write simple user-mode tools, then it may seem "easy" for you... but for a low level application, with parts of code being updated almost daily as part of the virus definitions (so you should test all changes on all the supported operating systems)... certainly not.

I would ask the company to keep the virus definition updates going

Virus definition updates will certainly go on until there are corresponding vertion 5 replacement for all the editions (server, network, ...)
But the pressure will certainly be to end the support reasonably soon after that - because even supporting v4 virus definition updates is quite expensive; and I'm not necessarily talking about money, but about the time and effort needed - which could be spent in a better way. Simply said, if v4 virus definitions wouldn't have to be maintained, avast! 5 would have better detection today, detect more malware and provide more protection - because the virus lab could focus on that, instead of spending their time on duplicating parts of their work.

So again, the question stands: do we want to provide better protection for 99.7% of our users, or for the other - 0.3% - part?
(and I'm sure the ratio will grow more and more).

Offline nightshade

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2010, 01:37:07 AM »
Ok igor, all that is fine and understood, but apart from having to update operating systems or even buying a new computer, what are the users of 98 to do if they want to keep their systems as they are?

Are they to forget about real-time programs and solely depend with the on demand scanners.

I can understand you turning round and saying why would we care, but to be truthful the only reason I am using this older system is for 2 reasons, first is I know it like the back of my hand, and secondly it does what I want it to do, but don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate what you say.

Can I further ask you where you get these stats for about the 3% ratio of 98 users?
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win98user

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2010, 04:46:55 AM »
Hi igor,

Thank you for your response.

And thank you for the comment about starting my own company; LOL! I needed a good laugh.  Sadly, I do not have the time nor enough interest in business-related issues.

With respect, I can unfortunately see that your opinions on software development and marketing differ from mine, or at least company policy prevents you from saying otherwise.  In any case, your mind seems to be made up, so I will not debate the subjects.  I do certainly appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my post.

In answer to your questions and comments regarding development, I write software at all levels and of many varieties, from simple high-level applications to highly complex applications that require both high level and low level coding.  When I have creative control over my project, I make it a point to only build modules with the tools that are intended for the target(s) in question, if there is a need for any low-level layer, or else the minimum required tools for purposes of backwards compatibility.  This prevents issues like you mentioned for the "Hello world" example you gave.  I do not use the newer versions of dev studio to build the modules that will run on 9x, for example.

I understand your confusion with what I suggested with regards to the low level / driver issues; I understand clearly that low-level driver differences and such would certainly require more development time, however many or most of us (meaning, anti-virus users who use win9x), would happily settle for only the higher-level on-demand scanner portion of the toolset (starting the process manually).  I would be surprised if there was a realistic need for a driver in such a context.  So the idea was not to support any low-level tools using drivers that would require significant extra development, just to keep the core tools, mainly the scanning app, compatible.

As far as version 4 support, I have to admit that I am quite surprised that the conversion from version 5-compatable antivirus definitions to version 4 definitions (and related testing app etc) is not fully automated and thus requires significant additional man-hours.  I would have thought packaging the definitions up for version 4 would be an automated part of the build process for the version 5 packages.  That's not an attempt to debate the point, simply clarification of my original assumption.

My follow-up question is about on-demand scanners.  Since your company has the experience, could you please use your knowledge to at least provide us 9x users with some advise/recommendations on the following points? - thanks

- What are some options for antivirus tools that will likely continue to run on 9x after Avast drops support?  When AVG dropped 9x support, the majority of recommendations were for Avast.  So what's next?
- Regarding on-demand scanners, are you referring to tools that can still run natively within 9x?  I had only looked at boot-time scanners so far (meaning, those that start from a boot disk (I think using a small version of linux) and don't care what OS you have installed).  If there are good on-demand scanners that will continue to run from within 98, do you have any recommendations?  Do you have one?  (if not, there would obviously be a market for one that ran on 9x to replace the lack of 9x support in the full product - perhaps a stripped-down version of your version 4 product)
- If not, do you have a recommendation on a good boot-time scanner?  Does Avast have such a product available?  I have seen several mentioned that look promising, but I would certainly appreciate your input.

Thank you again for your help

Hi nightshade,

Thank you for your reponse.  I didn't realize when I made my post that you would still be checking this thread.  I hope we can find a good solution to this 9x issue.  I should point out that if Avast doesn't work out, I have other ideas that I already mentioned (a boot-time scanner, scanning with an XP machine over LAN to shared drives).  Not nearly as good as having the software directly available, but at least options.

Thanks

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2010, 05:16:24 AM »
Ok igor, all that is fine and understood, but apart from having to update operating systems or even buying a new computer, what are the users of 98 to do if they want to keep their systems as they are?

Are they to forget about real-time programs and solely depend with the on demand scanners.

I can understand you turning round and saying why would we care, but to be truthful the only reason I am using this older system is for 2 reasons, first is I know it like the back of my hand, and secondly it does what I want it to do, but don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate what you say.

Can I further ask you where you get these stats for about the 3% ratio of 98 users?

Hi nightshade

RAV Free still supports 98SE (according to their website anyway).

I'm still running avast! 4.8 on 95 and 98 machines but I'm realistically anticipating the day when i won't be able to. Recently I "inherited" a still-functional but 10 year-old Compaq Pentium 266 laptop which won't recognize more than the inbuilt 32MB RAM. I did "the usual", split the 3.2GB hard disk into 2 partitions so I can back up C:\ to an image on D:\ using Ghost, and it's running "naked", i.e no AV (albeit behind a router). In case of infection I can recover in 15 minutes.

Actually igor write 0.3% not 3%. If he's right it's ten times worse than  you thought!  :o
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
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Offline nightshade

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2010, 05:45:51 AM »
Actually igor write 0.3% not 3%. If he's right it's ten times worse than  you thought!  :o

Yeah you're right, it was 0.3%

Isn't it strange though that Rising Antivirus Free Edition can support OS:Win98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Win7; so why can't Avast?

I just might give them a try, thanks for the link.
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Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2010, 07:49:29 AM »
Maybe igor overwhelmed with information.
Summary: avast! 5 could not do what it does, as well as it does, if it was 9X compatible.

RAV looks slick and works well but you could say that
if RAV is a broadaxe, avast! 5 is a katana,
if RAV is a Skoda 110, avast! 5 is a Fiat X1/9...
you get the picture.  ;D

Also, like avast! 4.8, not all RAV features will work on 98.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline igor

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2010, 10:37:05 AM »
As far as version 4 support, I have to admit that I am quite surprised that the conversion from version 5-compatable antivirus definitions to version 4 definitions (and related testing app etc) is not fully automated and thus requires significant additional man-hours.  I would have thought packaging the definitions up for version 4 would be an automated part of the build process for the version 5 packages.  That's not an attempt to debate the point, simply clarification of my original assumption.

Well, the compilation/release of virus definitions certainly is an automated process - so for that part, supporting avast! 4.x definitions only adds some delay (the definitions are released a few minutes later) and bandwidth. What I had on mind are the detections themselves... we've discovered some limits / weakness in the format of the virus database over the years it existed (hardly surprising - you always find that you could have done something better, especially when the target - malware to be detected - changes quite significantly during longer time-periods). So, we've prepared a new format for avast! 5 virus definitions - so that it's more flexible and powerful, thus making it possible to add complex detections in an easier way.

However, when we support avast! 4.x - either we can't use these new features at all (because avast! 4.x doesn't have them), or the detections have to be done twice, one for avast! 5 and a "duplicate" for avast! 4.x. Also, many of the detections are not simple signatures or checksums - they are complex pieces of code that relies on some underlying API... and now you have to APIs, the new powerful one and the old weak(er) one... and you have to support both, lots of #ifdefs, lots of similar "duplicit" code with lots of opportunities to make mistakes.
Also, some stuff isn't meant to be detected in avast! 4.x (PUPs, for example, because you cannot configure in 4.x whether to detect them or not) - so every such detection has to be marked as v5 only... more work again... etc.

So, to sum up - the virus databases (of avast! 4 and avast! 5) are not equivalent; they have a different format, they contain different code, they don't detect exactly the same. While many of the detections come from the same "source" indeed, there are parts that have to be maintained/handled separately.

Offline nightshade

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #55 on: February 05, 2010, 12:25:00 PM »
Again igor very good, but I ask again, what are users of 98 to do when the support drops? and there are 0.3% of us you know.  ???

I have to be honest, the number of times I have been hit with a virus in the 10 years I could count on one hand, and they have been the ones when you visit a web page and given a message to abort the connection for example html iframe-inf and JS:ScriptIP-inf.

So of course I could be careful and only visit sites I can trust and not open suspicious email attachments, in other words sail along with no anti virus only using a spyware/malware prog.
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Hermite15

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #56 on: February 05, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »
my advice:

Offline nightshade

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #57 on: February 05, 2010, 01:24:36 PM »
Come on Logos, be serious.

 >:(
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Offline Pondus

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #58 on: February 05, 2010, 01:43:22 PM »
Should Ford still continue to make parts for the model T-ford ........ ???


erm.....W98 CD is now very expensive ......http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=55038.0     ;D
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 01:53:37 PM by Pondus »

Hermite15

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Re: Avast 5 Beta on Windows 98
« Reply #59 on: February 05, 2010, 02:22:51 PM »
Come on Logos, be serious.

 >:(

was gonna ask you the same, can you imagine that (excuse me now, I'm switching back to Windows 3.1... will be back in a sec to request Avast 5 support  ;D ).
 Look, if you decided that you wanted to spend the rest of your existence running a DX 33 and you're OK with that, then fine, but who could take that seriously, who  ??? You either can't afford buying a new PC or you don't want to spend the bucks, that's again your problem. People should be lucky to be able to use Avast 5 on XP, and you're asking for Win98 support  ??? with the pretext that that you're used to it? If you knew it that well, ie like I did when I was running it, it would take you a few hours to get used to XP, and then another few hours to get used to Vista etc...you got the idea. Windows is Windows and the interface, the GUI, hasn't changed fundamentally... it's still windows, icons and folders, just with more power with every new release, more stability and more security. So if you want to stay in your hole, stay in your hole you know, but avoid these rants in forums where 99,99% of users don't have your problems. May be you're still learning Win98...then come back when you're done with that and we'll give you a few tips on how to upgrade to 98SE  ;D