Microsoft Gives AVG App the Boot, AVG Responds
Article by George Norman
On 14 Sep 2011
The antivirus app that AVG Technologies, the Czech company that provides antivirus and security software products for home and business users, recently released to the Windows Phone Marketplace, has been given the boot by Redmond-based software giant Microsoft.

Microsoft Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone, Brandon Watson, announced via Twitter that the app has been pulled from the Marketplace and that an inquiry into the matter has been launched. Microsoft’s response comes after former Microsoft employee Justin Angel and self-proclaimed Windows hacker Rafael Rivera raised a few concerns.


Angel said that the app improperly used a geolocation feature to track Windows Phone devices and send certain data back to AVG; he pointed out that the app abuses the geolocation feature and violates Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 certification guidelines. Rivera on the other hand called the app “AVG-owned scareware” and pointed out that the app displays ads and scans for EICAR test strings (they’re used to test antivirus software). Rivera also said that the app is useless since there isn’t any Windows Phone malware.

AVG Technologies responded to the criticism brought against its app. It argued that the app does not abuse geolocation, it’s just a feature meant to help users locate their phones should they lose them. AVG's Chief Technology Officer Yuval Ben-Itzhak said that the feature was requested by numerous users and that there are many other mobile products that offer similar functionality.

In response to the app being useless, Yuval Ben-Itzhak pointed out that three years ago, there were few viruses and malware for Android as well, but the number of threats grew as Android’s popularity increased. Today the AVG’s Android app scans 594,892,025 SMS’s a month, finding 783,963 of them as bad/spam and scans over 157 million App packages a month finding 225,034 of them are infected with malware.

The same can be said about Windows Phone 7; there are few viruses and malware aimed at it right now, but that can change in the future.“AVG believes that the Windows Phone 7 OS will continue to increase in popularity and, as it does, it will become a high value target for thieves and hackers,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak added that the app isn’t just about scanning for viruses, it’s about protecting valuable personal info and protecting against various other threats apart from viruses.

About the inquiry Brandon Watson mentioned – AVG said that it collaborated with Microsoft in developing the app and that Microsoft reviewed the app before it was rolled to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone Marketplace, AVG Technologies, Security
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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