TDS software line discontinued

Discussion in 'Trojan Defence Suite' started by Wayne - DiamondCS, Jul 22, 2005.

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  1. Wayne - DiamondCS

    Wayne - DiamondCS Security Expert

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    Folks I know this will come as a bit of a shock to some of you, but the TDS software line is to be discontinued, effective immediately. This is one of the biggest decisions I've ever had to make as the director of DiamondCS, so it was not a decision that was taken lightly, but a decision that will ultimately benefit you, our customers. For a full understanding, please read on.

    So why on earth did we make a crazy decision like this?!? I hear you ask...

    The security industry is an extremely dynamic industry and you never know just what will be around the corner. This dynamic attribute demands that security companies grow and evolve with the times, and when big decisions need to be made, we're not afraid to make them if it means that you - our customers - will benefit the most. Software comes and goes, TDS isn't the first and it won't be the last, but the time has come to develop even more powerful security systems using improved methodologies. It is the future - signature scanning is not.

    Winding the clock back, TDS was first developed when the very first remote access trojans for Windows were released. This was in the mid-late 90s, and there were just a few of them initially (Sokets de Troie, Acid Shivers, NetBus, Back Orifice) so it was easy for even a single person to keep on top of the situation. Today in 2005 there are tens of thousands of trojans alone with dozens being released on a daily basis, many often incorporating new offensive techniques against security software (one of the reasons ProcessGuard was developed - security software was taking an absolute battering before it was introduced). A lot of work has been put into the development of TDS4, but we have ultimately decided that we will not release it to the public. Not much development time has actually been wasted as a lot of technologies developed for TDS4 will be seen in our next product release, which we're keeping a tight lid on for now but that is literally just around the corner. So why discontinue a product as successful as TDS?

    The answer in a nutshell: Time, cost, constantly tied-up resources, and a declining market. Database-driven scanners (ie. anti-trojan scanners, anti-virus scanners and so on) are not "conventional" programs. By conventional I mean the developer works on a program, releases it, occassionally releases updates for it, but is otherwise free to work on other projects once the project is initially complete. Scanners on the otherhand require DAILY fulltime maintenance, and with the world of viruses and rootkits becoming more complex the time & resource demands are constantly increasing. The end result is that we've been tied down to this one program, which has prevented us from being able to develop so many other security programs, many of which would be considered superior to TDS in their own right, yet because we're tied to TDS we've been unable to pursue our other ideas. If you look at the other anti-trojan developers you'll see the same thing - they're not free to pursue other creations because they're tied down to their scanner. Additionally, it costs a lot of money to pay somebody to maintain the signature database as well, so not only does it require a lot of time, it also requires a lot of money - just to keep the program going from one day to the next, but that money just isn't there due to the low prices of anti-trojan software in general (and no subscription fees), but even when sales are at acceptable levels all resources are still tied up, due to the nature of the work. Conventional software does not suffer from this. High levels of piracy were also not helping the cause, as although pirates use our software illegally for free, it still costs us to supply the bandwidth for them to download databases. It will be interesting to see what happens to other anti-trojan scanners, as they're in the same situation and will have to make some big decisions sooner rather than later, for their own survival. My personal opinion is that scanners will have a place for quite some time, but already they cannot be used as a sole defence, and gradually they'll step back and become more of a second-line defence as more powerful security systems are developed.

    By 'freeing' ourselves of the resource burden that TDS had become we are now free to update our existing software more often and we are now free to pursue other software ideas, one of which you will see soon as I just mentioned.

    To TDS users, we thank you for letting us help to secure your systems with this program over the years. Many of you purchased TDS when it was just TDS1/2 (~$30), and took advantage of the free upgrade to TDS3, and as we've never charged for database updates that works out to ( $30 / 8 ) $3.75 per year for what many have rated the most comprehensive anti-trojan scanner even made, so as you can see although TDS has done well for itself over the years it has certainly not been a cashcow for us, and I know Kevin (BOClean author) recently shared similar sentiments here at this forum in regards to the expense required in maintaining a scanner. Yes we could start charging subscription fees, but we would still be tied down to the one program which would prevent us from creating so many others.

    As a small token of our appreciation to TDS users we have decided to offer a free license to your choice of ProcessGuard or Port Explorer. If you have both PE and PG already then we're also offering a free license for a friend! (You can even choose to have them pay you half the value of your license). To take advantage of this special offer please email your TDS3 keyfile along with your registration name and email address to sales@diamondcs.com.au. This offer is available for a strictly limited time so don't delay!

    Thankyou for taking the time to read this, and I hope you now have a better understanding as to why this decision needed to be made. This is clearly a big decision, and we wouldn't have made it if it wouldn't benefit our customers, it's that simple.

    Anyway as they say, on with the show ... there's software that needs developing, and a new website nearly ready for release. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2005
  2. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Will there be something available for those of us that already have both PG (multi-license here) and PE?
     
  3. Starrob

    Starrob Registered Member

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    Wow,....this announcement will provoke a lot of comments. I almost can't wait to see some of the comments.

    I have one question. When will the updates for TDS-3 be discontinued?

    This is just my opinion but I think this also says something towards DCS thoughts about the continued viability of the AT industry which has been commented on in numerous threads.

    My own point of view is that a product like TDS-4 was not going to be leaps and bounds above some of the other scanners being developed on the market today and that the cost for developing a scanner that was not going to beat some of the other scanners hands-down was cost prohibitive...in other words DCS might be saying that AT software might not be much of a moneymaker in the future.

    Just think of what companies like KAV, Zonealarm, PREVX are doing. It might be hard to build a "must have" TDS-4 in light of some of the direction of the products being put out by numerous companies.

    I don't know if any of the AT companies will survive as "AT scanner" type companies with the possible exception of maybe one or two. I think we are seeing the transformation of a industry.

    I think the security industry might divide in two with some companies providing "suites" and others providing highly specialized products. The days of layering with a AT, AS, AV, Firwall might be changing. It will be interesting to see.

    Now I sit back and watch the complainers as well the cheerleaders and those that just simply have a big question mark!!!!



    Starrob


     
  4. Pilli

    Pilli Registered Member

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    Wayne, I really am sorry to hear about your decision regarding TDS4 but do understnad why this decision had become necessary and wish you and Gavin well in your new endevours.

    I have thought for quite a long time now that scanners are not the way to go, prevention being far better than cure.

    Looking forward to your new release. Pilli :)
     
  5. dog

    dog Guest

    I'm a little sad, but not really shocked. I do understand your decision, and it certainly would have been a tough decision to make, but I have no doubt that it was the correct one. The offer extended to your TDS customers is certainly a generous one, and a very nice gesture - it further demonstrates why we regard DCS so highly - Not only do you offer top-notch products but your customer service and support is also a notch above everyone else. I look forward to your next creation, and I wish Gavin and yourself the best of luck with it and any other endeavours.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  6. Wayne - DiamondCS

    Wayne - DiamondCS Security Expert

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    Thanks very much for your support guys, it's very much appreciated! Ultimately you, our customers, are the reason why we had to make this decision, and when you see our upcoming releases it will start to make more sense as to why one program had to give way, because this does essentially open the floodgates for us to resume normal unhindered development, so although half of me is sad that I've had to give up "my baby" in TDS, the other half of me is quite excited about what we'll now be able to do and release to you guys, so yes we're losing one program but it will open the door for many others to follow :)
     
  7. Bowserman

    Bowserman Infrequent Poster

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    Good luck with your future products :).

    Regards,
    Jade.
     
  8. Robyn

    Robyn Registered Member

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    Very sad as this has been my one and only AT but I fully respect & understand your decision. Over the time I have used TDS I certainly appreciated the support from the forum and the replies via e-mail to any worries.

    Thanks to actual Diamond team, Jooske + Pilli to mention a few who helped me gain confidence in trying to understand the actual software. I will find it really difficult to replace my AT as my computer has only ever had TDS scanning for any Trojan/supsects.

    I am only a home user but want to express my support, thanks + sadness to Wayne and the future software he will develop. Sad to think I will have to uninstall TDS in the near future.
     
  9. paulson

    paulson Registered Member

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    Thanks for a good piece of software that did a good job for some years. Whether there will be new definitions or not I will keep TDS installed because of the network features and other useful stuff.
    Good luck for the future and all the best to you guys, push the envelope with your new projects
    paulson
     
  10. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    I can understand your reasons for discontinuing TDS and am looking forward to seeing some of the new products that come out of the DCS stable.

    However, I am a bit peeved since I only purchased TDS (as part of the Action Pack along with PG) on 1st November 2004, so I have not even had 1 years worth of updates, along with the promise of a free update to TDS4 and WG 4.

    I also appreciate your offer of a free licence for PG or PE, and realise that you didn't have to offer that, but I do not have much use for a second licence for PG or PE. People who purchased TDS at version 1 or 2 have certainly had more than there moneys worth, but for people like myself who haven't even had a years worth of updates, I would rather have a licence for one of your new products (preferably AT related) when they are released.
     
  11. jp10558

    jp10558 Guest

    Doesn't ProcessGuard basically prevent trojans if used correctly? Anyway, I would guess they are likely working on that - making it more userfriendly, maybe some hurestics to recommend what to do with some of the pop-ups, and I hope even more control - like where apps can read/write to on the disk.
     
  12. Antarctica

    Antarctica Registered Member

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    Defenestration, I fully agree with you. I can understand the reasons for discontinuing this product but like you I bought TDS-3 in december 2004 so I feel I didn't get updates for my money worth.

    As I already have licence for PG and Port Explorer I would also prefer to be able to get a free licence for the new products.

    That said, I want to wish Wayne and the TDS team good luck for the future. :)
     
  13. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi Wayne,

    I feel sad, and (I have to admit it) a little shocked.
    I can also understand that you guys feel sad for having to take the decision.
    If I remember me well, it was your father who started the TDS project.
    A long history comes to an end.

    I remember me the good old days when there was only the private TDS board and we all were that dedicated group, having fun, coming up with ideas, supporting each other, beta testing; great friendships were formed there.
    I remember me the reply from Blazey when I first wrote there some guidelines :)
    I'm sure that lots of us have great memories about those days.
    TDS teached us a lot !

    Wayne, I can understand your decision. It must have been an hard one.
    May I thank you and Gavin, and the whole DiamondCS team (now and in the past), for all your hard work in all those years.
    Big thanks !!!

    I would like to wish you all the very best in the future.
    I'm looking forward to new DCS programs.

    May the diamond of DiamondCS keep on shining !!!

    Most warmest regards,
    Jan
     
  14. trock

    trock Registered Member

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    Ok, how can I locate my TDS-3 registration keyfile?
     
  15. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    You will find it at C:\Program Files\TDS3\TDS3.kf for a typical installation.

    Blue
     
  16. trock

    trock Registered Member

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    Thanks Blue.
     
  17. Infinity

    Infinity Registered Member

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    I understand but what can I say...I already thought that costs will be a constant matter of importance for anyone running a business.

    I hope DiamondCS Crew, that your goals will be achieved and like you said, the customer will gain too...

    However, few questions (already asked but I ask again, off course ;))...
    * when will tds-3 stop updating

    the rest of the questions:

    There is no santa clause I guess :D

    best wishes, and thanx for the many years of support.

    tds-3 was a magnificent piece of work, way ahead of the rest (back then ;)) and no offence,

    Andy
     
  18. Pawthentic

    Pawthentic Registered Member

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  19. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi Wayne,

    Clearly this decision was inevitable. The business model (e.g. one time purchase price) could not support a productd as complicated and resource intensive as an TDS-3 - especially when TDS-3 is trying to find a market niche that could exist over time against products like Kaspersky AV.

    I feel I received more than my money's worth from my investment in the Action Pack, so I am not disappointed. I am glad you will be applying your creative resources to newer and more advanced products than TDS-3.

    I would suggest that you offer your current TDS-3 customers, some discount with your new product line. I believe that this would be a fair offer from a business point of view.

    Thanks again for the great products over the years. I will continue to be a loyal customer of DiamondCS because I feel I get plenty of bang for the buck.

    Regards,
    Rich
     
  20. kwesi

    kwesi Registered Member

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    Hello, Wayne.

    I'm sorry to hear that TDS is on the way out (first Giant and now this!), but I'm glad that from the sound of things you'll be moving things forward technically and in your careers as a result.

    A big thank you to Wayne and crew, Pilli, Jooske and all of the rest of you hardworking people who have supported TDS users.

    I, too, am wondering when TDS-3 updates will come to an end, but in any case, I will definitely be a willing customer for your new products, as I have so much faith in TDS-3 and PG.

    Good Luck.
     
  21. Kevin McAleavey

    Kevin McAleavey Security Expert

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    GREETS, Unca Wayne! Naturally, our OWN customers have been emailing and wondering what's become of US as a result of all this, and first I'd like to say, "OH MAN ... YOU SMART BASTARD!" Heh.

    As you indicated, what both of us got ourselves mixed up in back in the mid 1990's was a labor of love and concern to those of our customers who paid us for OTHER products - in our case it was the NSClean (for which our company is named) and the IEClean browser "cleaner-uppers" and dealing with "trojans" was a SIDELINE which we provided to our customers concerned about all those early toys and the antivirus' industry's CONTINUING failure to cope with them once they've taken hold.

    On average, we only had to provide updates for NEW nasties perhaps a few times a month. AND we had time to write BOOK REPORTS on them too once we'd arranged a means to just snuff 'em. Ah, the fun and mystery of unravelling the innards of "Back Orifice" for which "BOClean" was named when it became a necessity instead of a freebie "give-away" along with the other toys. Ah, seemed so EASY back then. :(

    Seven trojans a MONTH in 1999? Ummmm ... OK, we'll cover that while doing our OTHER stuff. Seven trojans in a WEEK in 2001? Ummmm ... OK, we'll cover that too. Seven trojans in a *DAY* in 2004? Ummmm ... ow. But like you, we've been stuck in "we made a promise of 'one price forever' and like you, we've kept it. Now we're doing ten to forty *NEW* trojans *EVERY* day, not to mention having to sift through HUNDREDS that aren't really "new" except to our "competitors" who frankly aren't willing to do the 24/7 coverage you and we have.

    Like yourself, had I had ANY idea of what I was getting myself into, I would be selling paint at Wal*Mart with a sheet-eating GRIN on my face KNOWING that a day was only X number of hours and I'd get some sleep and some time off - same for everybody ELSE here. Ain't been like that in a LONG time. Add to that, folks ain't buying and suddenly the reality is you're faced with INSANE expenses and very little income to justify the workload. And like you, just keeping up with the day's raft of "free antitrojan download" which is ITSELF a TROJAN is beyond anything any of us expected when we said, "buy it and pay once."

    In the past couple of years, some newcomers have emerged in this and held OUR feet to the fire as newbies trying to gain a "competitive advantage" with "we'll NEVER do a subscription fee" and THAT nonsense (as THEY raised their prices) precluded any of us on the frontlines from COVERING the costs of research none of us had ever planned on ever needing to do. And even with the "newcomers," I don't know ANYONE who's actually making MONEY doing this. Sure a handful of people daily buy a copy, and that's what has kept us all going, but unlike games or other utilities, it isn't the SOFTWARE that is the major cost, nor its development.

    The KILLER COST is all the RESEARCH and updating required on a daily basis, and individual user sales SURE don't make up for that. In OUR case, were it not for all of our huge governmental and corporate licensees who buy LOTS of copies (BOClean is NOT a "home user program" and thus its difference from the expectations of many) are the ONLY reason why we still have any employees at all. Truth be told, if we depended on the "public" to pay our bills, we probably would have gone under a long time ago on not only the sheer volume of research, but the much higher expense of supporting individuals for ONE sale as opposed to an administrator who's paid for 30,000 desktops. PERSONAL support is insanely expensive to render as opposed to a corporate situation. And of course the bandwidth. It's those INDIVIDUAL customers, particularly those who bought through discounters where we never collected a fair drop and giving EACH ONE bandwidth for multiple machines that have OUR costs ALSO exceeding the two dollars *WE* get paid. :(

    So YEAH, I sure do understand where you're coming from. Like I said, we're going through the same problem here where it has affected our ability to provide support within minutes instead of hours, and the costs of dealing with "spyware" trojans on top of the classic "back doors" has only made it FAR worse.

    To *OUR* customers, we intend to MAINTAIN what we've provided for all these years, we're not going anywhere. We're at least fortunate that some additional investments in our company over the past year have permitted us to cover these insane expenses and still have SOME ability to develop the next generation of what we do. However, if this security situation with XP and its insane number of security holes continues to grow worse, then it might well become necessary to turn to those who have had BOClean for a number of years and try to determine SOME means of recouping the incredible losses of the current state of malware research as compared to the terms and conditions BOClean was originally designed under. For NOW, there isn't a need but if things get any worse, then we might very well need to consider how to PAY for the 24/7 coverage we provide on a daily basis.

    For now, our BIG corporate customers are covering the bill *AND* are willing to pay to ensure that we keep doing it. But like I said, if we had to depend on the "software gotta be FREE" public, we'd be loading "abetterinternet" on their machines like some of our competitors and then say "not harmful, we don't detect it anymore." ... :)

    But yeah, I *sure* don't BLAME YOU ... CONGRATULATIONS on managing some sanity we just can't afford to do with all of our commitments to people who WILL sue our pants off. especially all those governments with attorneys with little to do at their desks who DID pay us enough to cover THEIR costs to us at least. Heh.
     
  22. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    oh wow...TDS discontinued huh? i guess i dont have to worry about TDS-4. and competition has now lowered a bit. well im sure it wouldve been the right thing to do.
     
  23. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    I believe that Wayne's and Kevin's comments underscore the need by companies to develop a business model that:

    1) Is competive
    2) Can support ongoing development
    3) Can make an attractive profit that will encourage additional investment of time and money

    Pricing that is too low may be insufficient to create enough revenue, and pricing that is too high will inhibit the growth of the user base (and marketshare) that ultimately make it impossible for a company to subsist.

    A really good example is the release of the new ZoneAlarm product which is clearly trying to build product value by adding anti-spyware functions, and thereby trying to induce "free" customers to become "paid license" customers.

    I personally feel there is plenty of room for DiamondCS to grow in the "pro-active/preventative" market (e.g. ProcessGuard, WormGuard) and I hope that this market becomes very large and viable, since I have always believed that an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of detection.

    Goodluck to the guys at NSClean (I am also a licensed user of BOClean) and DiamondCS! Thanks for all of the security and support you have provided to me over the years.

    Rich
     
  24. TouchuvGrey

    TouchuvGrey Registered Member

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    Wham, it was like a kick in the gut. All of a sudden an old friend is gone. I understand the decision. Maybe in a day or so it will be a little easier to accept. Thank you all, Wayne, Gavin, Jason, Jooske, Pilli, all of you who have protected my computers and helped me with problems over the past few years. No argument here, i've long since got my money's worth. I eagerly await future developments.


    Mike
     
  25. Starrob

    Starrob Registered Member

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    I don't think you would like working at Wal-Mart's. Word is the pay is low....The only thing that pays less than Wal-Mart's maybe is selling AT or AS software :)

    BoClean might be one of the few AT's left standing.....at least for awhile. As long as BoClean can keep big corporate and/or government customers they can continue to survive. They might even make some money from home users in the end as they might be one of the last places to go to for a specialized AT/AS product.

    I personally feel that maybe only one other company that is a AT scanner can survive as a stand-alone and that company will probably survive by becoming more like a anti-malware suite.

    The market is just too crowded with alternatives. Most of the AT and most AS companies will probably either end quietly or have their technology bought by one of the "big boys" like Symantec, McAfee, or Microsoft to name a few, if they are even considered to have a new or orginal idea.

    I think the days of having a seperate AV, AT, AS and firewall is evolving. I think maybe people in the future will simply buy a suite of products from one of the big boys and a few highly specialized products to cover the holes that the "suites" don't cover from the smaller outfits like DiamondDCS and a few others.



    Starrob

     
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