jdMorgan - 5:12 am on Jun 16, 2008 (gmt 0)
> My own free copy (single machine, non-commercial) of AVG would no longer download virus defs, announcing that the free version had been discontinued and that to continue to protect my blah blah I would need to upgrade.
The most likely cause for this is that you had AVG 7.x. They announced (last year?) that 7.x would no longer be supported, and that users should "update" to 8.x (free version also available, if somewhat obscure).
Now, whenever you go to "update," the first thing you see on the page is their offer to "upgrade" to the full-featured paid version. You always have to scroll to the bottom, or even scroll to the right to find the "update" link for the free version. Just an example of marketing at work here, but once you know how it works it's no longer any bother. IIRC, ZoneAlarm does the exact same thing whenever there's an update to their free firewall.
You are unlikely to get Mr. Thompson, AVG, or any other major Web company to publicly acknowledge any serious problems such as the ones we've identified here. For legal reasons, it's simply not done -- at least not until the corporate legal and marketing departments have approved a statement. Having been paid by AVG for the LinkScanner technology, it's fairly easy to understand Mr. Thompson's position here.
We've raised the flag, we've rung the bell, we've shouted the alarum. We'll just have to wait and see what they do now that the problems have been identified and various solutions/improvements proposed. It will undoubtedly take quite some time...