Should security programs stop having yearly versions?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by peteyt, Mar 8, 2013.

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  1. peteyt

    peteyt Registered Member

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    Hi there.

    I have been wondering about something for a while so thought I'd ask on here for peoples opinions.

    Quite a lot of software developers, especially browsers, have thrown away yearly updates in favor of regular updates. Some may find they can get a little too regular at times but with all the security holes being discovered daily it's often needed.

    I've been wondering why security programs, suites etc. haven't went along this road. Usually we get a security product name with a year e.g. Antivirus 2013, 2014 and so on. While small updates to fix bugs happen throughout the year its rare to see new features appearing till the next year.

    For example a lot of security suites have put in social network protection features recently. While these features are handy, they could have been included far earlier. It sometimes feels to me that the vendors are holding off handy sometimes needed features probably to make more money. I'd rather pay a monthly or yearly fee with improvements throughout the year that kept up with the problems occurring.
     
  2. gambla

    gambla Registered Member

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    As far as i understand this whole issue, there are good reasons for the delay. The different modules of larger security suites are often developed by different specialised teams. This takes it's time and each module needs proper testing to ensure working with the rest. On the other side is Research and Marketing which need to monitor the current threats, new trends in security, new user demands etc., this has to be implemented too. Testing this with multiple OSes, bug fixing and whatever, should take a long time. I guess it doesn't make sense and it's not cost effective to implement these things in the middle of a lifetime of the product versions.
     
  3. Syobon

    Syobon Registered Member

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    yearly version are just marketing and artificial numbers, pure and simply, to force end user get with the latest.
     
  4. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    ESET V5 to V6! Avast! V7 to V8 :thumb:

    Not every vendor have 2012, 2013 as their version number yet.
    Marketing marketing marketing :cautious: :thumbd:

    A big thank you to the vendors that keep real version numbers alive :thumb:

    Edit: Forgot to answer your question..... Yes They Should :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  5. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Hello SweX.

    Yes agreed version numbers are the proper way to do the changes.

    8.0 implies a major new set of features and GUI. 8.1 is a maintence fix or add on. The date is meaningless in these matters and as others have said marketing is the cause.

    Here is another vendor that does it right:

    Outpost Firewall Pro ver. 8.0 (4164.639.1856)

    With MS they are okay on windows 7 to windows 8 but babble on about Outlook 2003,2007, 2010, 2013.
     
  6. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    It's all about money. ;)
     
  7. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    exactly,money talks :)
     
  8. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Also, i don't have any problems with yearly subscriptions/licenses as long as the price is "right". :D
     
  9. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    another exactly:)
     
  10. peteyt

    peteyt Registered Member

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    It's not just yearly versions. Some suites will bring out a new version each year but number it e.g. 2012 might be 6.0 and 2013 7.0 but usually feature wise nothing changes in the year.

    I understand as has been mentioned it can take a while to implement and test new features but I find a lot just wait for a new year.

    What annoys me even more is that I have came across some security vendors (won't mention who, none on here though) who will try out new things Beta wise and then release the full version at the start of the year often ignoring complaints feature wise and even more importantly bug wise.
     
  11. Janus

    Janus Registered Member

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    I have nothing against yearly versions releases , if they have some real security improvements to offer to an existing version. What I don't like so much, is releases with file shredder- tuneup-registry cleaners and so on. Things that is, in my perspective, non essential to security.
     
  12. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    Yeah that's true. But I feel that if they have both it can be confusing for some customers, so they should only have the year, or only version numbers, not both. Though ditching the yearly number all together would be the best choice ;)
     
  13. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Hahahahaha you wish! :D ;)
     
  14. peteyt

    peteyt Registered Member

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    That's why I like Chrome although some get annoyed an even confused.

    There are 3 versions of chrome - A stable version, a Beta version and a Developer version which go like 1.something 2.something 3.something etc.

    I wish security suites would do this, try new features throughout the year staying on top of stuff. I could imagine a new danger being discovered and a lot of security vendors waiting till the next year to impalement something to prevent it.
     
  15. fax

    fax Registered Member

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    As most licenses are time based and not release based I could not care less of yearly versions nor six monthly if they bring new security features and fixes.
     
  16. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    IMHO it is a matter of transparencey in labelling.

    A 2013 label implies to the masses that it is a product with hot new features. When in fact it may only be a new GUI with no new useful security improvements at all.

    So once again no new years labels, thank you very much.

    Going from version 7 to version 8 is a better method, although once again the new number could be no better than the date in the sense of a new suit over the olde body.

    Aiming for a date also puts marketing preasures on the developers which is counter productive for quality.
     
  17. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I think it is much better for the everyday person who plans to use a paid antivirus/security suite to have a yearly named version. For the free versions it kinda depends. If the free versions continue to alert a user that a free upgrade is available then the user is notified (assuming they have not configured some way to disable notifications). I think it just gives more clarity when a user sees Antivirus 2008 in the splash screen as opposed to Antivirus version 4.1.
     
  18. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    Hahaha... then I would say that my setup has failed, and a very old Rogue has been able to infect me :D
     
  19. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    lol...I was just using "Antivirus 2008" as a general example so as not to call out any particular company.
     
  20. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    Haha Yeah I know ;) :p :thumb:
     
  21. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Having to pay for security isn't a good thing. AV should stop charging for their products in general, especially if they can't even do the job well.
     
  22. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    While I would favor the notion that users should not feel 'forced' to pay for security, idealism apart, we've got to realize that the AV industry, just like any other industry, is a business. Regardless of the performance or value they give to customers (which has been discussed and debated to death), any business model needs to make profits. Charging for their products is merely a way for them to achieve that. The major differences between AV companies in this regard is a matter of pricing and which target market they choose to be their major revenue source.

    As an example, there are AV companies that provide free versions; at least for home and/or non-commercial use. I won't mention specific names to avoid comparisons but I respect that they provide free products for users that can't afford or are unwilling to subscribe to a pay-model for security. It can be said that these 'freemiums' are a form of marketing strategy to increase their user base and that the companies also hope that users pay for their 'higher' or 'premium' products. Nevertheless, at the very least, these users still have an option to go to...which is much better in my eyes than risk using cracked pirated versions.

    Back onto topic, I personally think yearly versions, while might be seen as numbers, may add pressure to the development team to release products merely to "just to make it in time for New Year".
     
  23. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I love this paragraph. Now youre talking like a business man. :D
     
  24. Syobon

    Syobon Registered Member

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    Yeah, but theres a subtle difference between health, competitive capitalism that lifts the economy and evolve the products with better user experience and fear exploitation, evil marketing galore. :shifty:
     
  25. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    I'm not sure where you wish to lead the discussion to but if we may kindly digress...

    Fear exploitation (as bad as it sounds) works and sells like pancakes. You and me know that. As much as anyone would like to oppose/reject the use of it, it's the harsh reality.

    Whether the security industry uses it is up to interpretation and individual opinion. Naturally, ask any representatives and you would get denial. Heck, if anyone of us is in the same industry and that is our rice bowl, chances are we would act the same for that is assumed to be the unofficial and unspoken law within the company. Nevertheless, rather than put the spotlight on 1 party alone, let's face it: fear exploitation is not exclusive to the security industry.

    Ethics and morals aside, in practice (vs on paper and claims/assurances), profits come in as priority over anything else in most industries. Money makes the world go round.
     
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