Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lavasoft Addresses Conflict with Windows LiveOneCare (Not!)

It appears that a 31Jan08 update to Windows Live OneCare (WLOC) has resulted in the Ad-Aware 2007 service being seen as a conflict.

Conflicts do occur between security software programs and someone with an all-in-one suite such as Windows Live OneCare needs to consider this when adding another security software, particularly when that software includes a service. (Note for example that Spybot Search & Destroy does not include a service.)

According to responses posted in the help topic at the Lavasoft Support forums, Lavasoft has been working to resolve the problem. Understandable, a new issue arises and it is necessary to determine the source of the conflict, working with the other vendor if needed.

I am rather confused about Lavasoft's method of "working" on the problem. Rather, there seems to be more rudeness and sarcasm involved than helpful information for their customers. Today LS Tobias referred Lavasoft customers to the latest blog post by Lavasoft's VP of Marketing, Michael Helander, copied in part:
Microsoft Bullies

For those of you who are old enough to remember Roseanne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live, ”My father always used to say, it’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another”

Microsoft is pushing their weight around. We’ve got Ad-Aware customers contacting us left and right because Microsoft is telling them to uninstall their Ad-Aware software in order to run Windows Live OneCare “security software” (the quotation marks are mine).

Some article title: "Microsoft Bullies"! LS Tobias tells Lavasoft customers that they are working with Microsoft and the VP of Marketing refers to them as bullies. Now that is class (not).

I suppose Marketing VP's get away with being snippy, as in the "(the quotation marks are mine)" in reference to Windows Live OneCare security software.

Also from the Lavasoft blog post:

I guess it always takes two MS people to get your issues resolved?

Smart remarks do not solve issues. But this takes the cake:
Thank you for that wonderful explanation, but isn’t Windows the reason that companies like ours are in business in the first place?
No, Michael, "Windows" is not the reason why Lavasoft is in business. Nicolas Stark is the reason Lavasoft is in business when he took over the original "opt-out" program from Steve Gibson. The malware purveyors keep companies like Lavasoft in business.

It is not uncommon for a security software vendor to point out conflicts between their software and that of another. Trend Micro even includes their own products as well as Ad-Aware as necessary to be uninstalled. See EN-1035951.

The conflict is explained at the WLOC forums as follows:

"As mentioned earlier, Ad-Aware 2007 has changed from previous versions in that it now operates as a service that runs at boot time of the PC. This is discussed on the Lavasoft Support forums at the folllowing link.

Though the free version of Ad-Aware 2007 doesn't include the associated Ad-Watch real-time active mode protection, this service is still loaded at boot time to provide the application with elevated rights to cope with malware, even when the logged in user has limited rights themselves.

Though this choice makes sense for the more effective removal of malware, it creates a new problem. The issue is that when Ad-Aware detects malware the service will attempt to 'take control' and remove the infection, which makes sense by iteself. However, if another anti-malware application also exists on the PC, it may also detect the same malware with its real-time protection at the same moment. Now you have an issue where two programs are competing to remove the same piece of malware at the same moment, i.e. a conflict."

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...


Anonymous said...

We are not objecting to the practice that LiveOneCare prompts the user to remove a program that will cause a conflic.
It's the practice that they do this regardless if the other software is causing a conflict or not, it's just because there is a 'security' software installed and that it is a competitor to LiveOneCare.

Running Ad-Aware 2007 Free should not cause any conflict with OneLiveCare according to tests run by Lavasoft.
The only time a problem occurs is when you are running the realtime protection features of Ad-Aware 2007 Plus/Pro (Ad-Watch), at which point LiveOneCare might terminate prematurely. This is the only reported software conflict between the two programs.

Jona Bolin
Lavasoft AB

Corrine said...

Thank you for the update, Jona. I have known about the conflict for two weeks and felt it was something for Lavasoft and the WLOC Team to work out.

However, Michael's blog post referring to Microsoft as "Bullies" and her snippy, sarcastic and unprofessional comments in the blog post were completely unnecessary and prompted my post.

With that type of attitude, why would the WLOC Team be interested in working with Lavasoft?

Jona, to the point of your comment, you do indicate a conflict between Ad-Watch (AW) and WLOC, causing WLOC to terminate prematurely. That is understandable with two real-time protection programs running.

That said, it is my understanding that the full Ad-Aware 2007 install is the same for all versions, Free, Plus and Pro, which was why one of the early builds of AAW 2007 had to be updated because users of the free version were able to use AW.

Thus, the components of AW are included in every install of AAW 2007 regardless of version. WLOC is seeing those components in the free version. Certainly the WLOC client does not have access to Lavasoft's subscriber list. The software package is detected as a whole and the WLOC subscriber is presented with the warning.

The WLOC Team has a responsibility to their licensed customers.

{Disclaimer: I do not use either Ad-Aware or WLOC on my computer.)

Anonymous said...

I lost 'all faith' in Lavasoft several years ago and will never return...especially when you have programs so good as SUPERAntiSpyware leading the field!! thanks Corrine for more great info